Planning for World Match Racing Tour
Published on March 20th, 2019
London, UK (March 20, 2019) – The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), under new ownership since January 1, has announced an extension to the 2018 season in order to complete the World Championship following its sale by Aston Harald in December 2018.
The decision to extend the 2018 season follows feedback from teams and stakeholders keen to complete last year’s unfinished season.
“Teams invested in the Tour last year to win the World Championship,” noted WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance. “The Tour was sold before a Final took place and we have extended the schedule to ensure the World Championship title is properly awarded. The GKSS Match Cup Sweden has always been a flagship event of the Tour and we are excited to partner with them to host the World Championship.”
The revised 2018-2019 WMRT Final will take place July 3-7 in Marstrand, Sweden. Hosted by the GKSS Match Cup Sweden, the event will be sailed in M32 catamarans and the winner will be crowned 2018-2019 Match Racing World Champion, as sanctioned by World Sailing.
The top 12 teams from the current WMRT leaderboard will be invited to compete in Sweden. They include defending Match Racing World Champion Torvar Mirsky (AUS), and former World Champions Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR).
Looking for his first world championship win is the current leader of the WMRT rankings, Nicklas Dackhammer. “Although we are currently on top of the leaderboard, it’s a winner-take-all championship, so we will have to bring our best game,” said Dackhammer. “But we know the M32 well and we have a hometown advantage in Marstrand, which will hopefully give us an edge.”
Winner of the 2018-2019 World Championship will receive the sterling silver WMRT trophy, commissioned in 2011 from Royal British jeweller Garrard & Co., who famously in 1848 crafted the world’s oldest sporting trophy – the America’s Cup.
Alongside the WMRT Championship Final at the GKSS Match Cup Sweden will be a Women’s Match Racing Trophy to be held over the duration of the event and featuring six teams.
Planning ahead for the World Match Racing Tour:
As a result of extending the 2018-19 WMRT season, the Tour will announce a 2019-2020 season scheduled to start in the latter part of this year.
Going forwards, it is the intention of the WMRT’s new owners to return the Tour to its roots, with a remit for the series and an organizational structure for 2019-2020 and the future similar to how it was before the ownership of Aston Harald.
“The World Match Racing Tour was founded on a very simple premise: To grow top level match racing by bringing together a series of existing and new events under a common ‘World Series’ brand,” explained Pleasance. “Each event is run independently but benefits from the added value that being part of a World Tour brings through global exposure and partnerships – the sum being greater than that of the parts.
“Our plan is to return the Tour to have 8 to 10 world championship events per year and generate financial value to both sailors and sponsors through international media coverage and prize money. Qualifier events will give an open opportunity for any match racing sailor to become World Champion.”
The World Match Racing Tour remains one of the few events granted ‘Special Event’ status by the world governing body of the sport, World Sailing. Originally a single annual event, since 2006, the Match Racing World Championship has been decided annually over the multiple events that comprise the World Match Racing Tour.
Background: Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organised and officially sanctioned match racing events. Teams accumulate points from each of the events towards an overall WMRT global ranking, with the top twelve teams competing in the WMRT Championship Finals at the end of the season.
Source: World Match Racing Tour