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World Match Racing Tour on hold

Published on October 15th, 2021

If you want to bury bad news, release it on a Friday. Here’s the latest update (on a Friday) from the World Match Racing Tour on October 15, 2021:

Organizers of the World Match Racing Tour today announced the final event of the 2021 season, the Boa’an Match Cup/WMRT Final in Shenzhen, China will be postponed to March 2022 following a review of the current border and quarantine restrictions in China.

The event was scheduled to take place from December 15-19 as the 2021 tour season finale, which will now be delayed to March 2022 (provisional dates March 15-20, 2022).

The decision to postpone the Shenzhen event has been made jointly between the WMRT Organizing Committee and the Sports Bureau of the Boa’an District of Shenzhen, official hosts of the event. While it is expected the border and quarantine restrictions will be improved in China over the coming months, the current restrictions impact significantly on the logistics for the event as well as the visiting teams.

“Our partners in Shenzhen have been working tirelessly over the last few months to go ahead with the first Boa’an Match Cup/WMRT Final in December,” reports WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance. “Sadly the current travel restrictions to China which include a minimum 14 days of quarantine prior to the event, as well as post event quarantine for event staff, make it unfeasible to organize the event properly and efficiently. It is a shame to postpone the event but it is the right decision and we look forward to visiting Shenzhen again in March.”

Mr Li, representative of the Sports Bureau of the Boa’an District of Shenzhen added, “It is with regret we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone the Boa’an Match Cup/WMRT Final in December. We are very excited to host the World Match Racing Tour in Shenzhen and we remain fully committed to delivering a spectacular event in March 2022. We thank of all the participants, competitors and event partners for their understanding and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Shenzhen in March.”

Editor’s note: This translates to there being no Tour events scheduled until the Final, and the first 2022 event in April, and most likely being the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA. The rules state the top 14 as of October 3, 2021 qualified for the 2021 Final. Here is the leaderboard as of that date:

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 WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion.

Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR).

Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors.

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