Sharing the Wealth to Insure the Future
Published on July 15th, 2016
Phil Robertson (NZL) was crowned World Match Racing Champion after beating Taylor Canfield (ISV) at World Match Racing Tour Marstrand (July 4-9), the fifth and final event of the 2016 season. The results from the previous four Tour events in 2016 had qualified the 20 teams for the finale sailed in the M32 catamaran, which is manufactured and marketed by Tour owner Aston Harald.
Robertson and his crew of Stu Dodson, Will Tiller and James Wierzbowski had won $33,000 for winning Marstrand and a World Champions’ bonus of $1,000,000. For a group of sailors that have been paying their way around the world this past season, with no funding from a sponsor, a million dollars is a life-changing sum. Yet, behind the scenes, there was more to the story.
“Every one of the 20 skippers signed an agreement before the event, where whoever won the million would share it with the rest of the fleet,” explained Robertson. The winner would still get the lion’s share – $400,000 went to the winners – but every team received enough money to help ensure their presence for the next season.
As builder of the M32, Håkan Svensson’s company bought the Tour to promote the boat and provide a professional circuit that offers sufficient reward to its sailors. As Robertson explains, the sailors are eager for it to continue. “Håkan Svensson invested a lot of money so that all of us could be part of this new era in the World Match Racing Tour, and with everyone getting a real piece of the pie, we’re investing it back into the Tour.”
Next season’s schedule, not yet released, is expected to start soon in 2016 and conclude again with the Marstrand event in 2017.