Rebuilding the match racing pyramid
Published on September 26th, 2019
London, UK (September 26, 2019) – The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), sailing’s longest running global professional series, has reached an agreement to take over the management and operations of the Match Race Super League at the end of the 2019 season.
The Match Race Super League was founded in 2017 as a series of monohull match racing events by Danish sailor Morten Lorenzen, and Eberhard Magg and Harald Thierer from Germany, both long time organisers of the Grade 1 event Match Race Germany, held annually on the shores of Lake Constance in Southern Germany.
The formation of the League was a reaction to the America’s Cup shifting to catamarans, and how the WMRT was then owned by a catamaran manufacture as part of a marketing scheme to sell boats. But as the grassroots was committed to keelboat match racing, the goal of the League was to unite organizers and promote high level monohull match racing internationally.
This merger follows the change of ownership of the World Match Racing Tour at the beginning of 2019, and the subsequent announcement the Tour would be including monohull events again.
This year, the Match Race Super League comprised 10 events including the Szczecin Match Race (Poland); NJK Spring Match Cup (Finland); Match Race Germany; AIRCALIN Match Race (NCL); the Detroit Match Cup, Oakcliff International, and Thompson Cup from the USA; DBS Marina Cup (Singapore); and The Kingdom Match Race (Bahrain).
Events currently forming the Match Race Super League will be invited to join a new series of World Tour events from 2020 which will run alongside the World Championship events and award points from each event to the annual WMRT leaderboard.
“One of our key missions with WMRT is to re-build a strong pyramid of match racing events for teams to compete at all levels and earn points towards the annual World Championship,” explains WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance.
“Our agreement with the Match Race Super League will help to develop a solid platform of events for more teams to participate, some of which will also be selected as official qualifiers to the higher graded World Championship events.”
“We are very pleased to reach this cooperation with WMRT,” added Match Race Super League Founder Eberhard Magg. “We share the same goals as WMRT to promote and grow match racing internationally, and also ensure there is a clear and accessible pathway for teams to advance to the World Championship.”
Six-time Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams, GBR (Team GAC Pindar), who started his senior international match racing career at the Lymington Cup, UK in 1996 before joining the World Match Racing Tour in 2005, believes the WMRT and Super League partnership will certainly help to grow the appeal of match racing.
“The structure and format of the World Match Racing Tour over the years has been a significant reason for Team GAC Pindar’s continued participation on the match racing circuit,” notes Williams. “For new teams entering the sport, the opportunity to compete in more local match racing events and earn points towards the World Championship leaderboard will be hugely valuable and I hope will attract many new teams to the Tour.”
As part of the new agreement, Morten Lorenzen and Eberhard Magg will both join the World Match Racing Tour in an advisory role to oversee the development of the new series of World Tour events to be announced soon for the 2020 WMRT season.
Thus far the Argo Group Gold Cup, one of the most storied match racing regattas in the world, has been the first event announced for the 2020 the World Match Racing Tour calendar.
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 organized and officially sanctioned match racing events which are used to award prize money and the Match Racing World Championship title.
Source: WMRT, Scuttlebutt