World Match Racing Tour Announces 2017 Plan
Published on December 22nd, 2016
Hönö, Sweden (December 22, 2016) – The World Match Racing Tour has announced the 2017 season schedule which will include one World Championship Final, six World Championship level events and eighteen World Tour level events.
With the tour under new ownership, the 2016 season saw the introduction of the M32 multihull at all but one event (Congressional Cup) and a rise in the prize money at each World Championship level event.
Kiwi Phil Robertson was crowned the 2016 World Match Racing Champion after beating Taylor Canfield (ISV) in the Final of the World Match Racing Tour. The 29-year-old and his Robertson Racing crew banked US $33,000 for winning the event plus a World Champion’s bonus of $1,000,000.
The 17th edition of the tour in 2017 will include multihull and monohull events as well as the introduction of prize money at some World Tour level events. Prize money amounts for 2017 have not been announced.
“The World Match Racing Tour will consist of twenty-five events where eighteen will be at the World Tour (WT)level,” explained Craig Mitchell, WMRT Racing Director. “The finalists of the World Tour events win an invite to a World Championship (WC) level event. After the penultimate event, the top 16 on the leaderboard will secure invites to the WMRT Finals 2017.
“This will give up to 42 teams the opportunity to win every World Championship level event and allow more teams to find their way in to world class match racing. In addition the scoring system has been tweaked to give more WMRT Championship points to the WT level events and to the teams reaching the quarterfinals of the WC level events. This will create a more exciting playing field.”
Robert Magnusson, CEO of Aston Harald Sports, the rights owner of the World Match Racing Tour continued, “We have several events that now are committed over multiple years, which will give the Tour great stability. This together with new global sponsors, which will be announced in 2017, is testament that our new model is working and we can continue to grow the longest running global professional sailing series in the sport.”
The 25 events will be spread across the globe and the 2017 season presents the first World Match Racing Tour event in China and a return to Croatia.
Martin Sohtell, Head of Marketing and PR at Aston Harald Sports reports, “The new season will present events in more countries and places than ever before. We are very excited to host the World Championship finals in China this year, the first ever Tour event in the country. The World Match Racing Tour is truly a worldwide series with events and teams from across the globe. Each venue will present their event through a press conference or a media release which will start already in the first week of January. Expect a lot more exciting news at the start of 2017.”
2017 WMRT Season
2017 World Championship Level Events:
WMRT Match Cup Australia, March 20-25
WMRT Congressional Cup, March 29-April 2
WMRT Northern Europe, June 6-11 (Venue announcement Jan 20)
WMRT Match Cup Sweden, July 3-8 (Venue announcement Feb 3)
WMRT Match Cup USA, August 1-6 (Venue announcement Jan 27)
WMRT Match Cup America, October 3-8 (Venue announcement Jan 31)
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
WMRT Match Cup China, November 3-10 (Venue announcement Jan 17)
2016-17 World Tour Level Events:
WMRT Energa Sopot Match Race, July 29-31
WMRT West Coast Cup, September 19-21
WMRT Cape Crow Cup September 23-25
WMRT Swan River Match Cup, January 23-25
WMRT Geographe Bay Cup, February 11-17
WMRT Perth Match Cup, March 16-18
WMRT Ficker Cup, March 24-26
WMRT Miami Match Cup, April 11-13
WMRT Coconut Grove Cup, April 15-17
NOTE: More World Tour level announcements separately or in affiliation with WC level venue announcements.
Background: In 2013, Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the design and production rights to the one-design M32 catamarans. In July 2015, Aston Harald AB acquired the World Match Racing Tour, which then began the use of the M32 during the 2016 Tour. Launched in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by World Sailing.
For further information; www.wmrt.com
Source: World Match Racing Tour, Scuttlebutt