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New match racing tour for women

Published on May 18th, 2022

The Women’s International Match Racing Association (WIMRA), formed in 1996 as an international association of women sailors to promote women’s sailing, created the first and only professional sailing series for women in 2013 – the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series).

But as the sport emerges from the pandemic, now the WIM Series will join the open tour.

The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), founded in 2000, will launch the first Women’s World Match Racing Tour, a global professional series designed to promote and grow female participation in sailing and match racing around the world. The inaugural 2022 Tour features four events in France, Denmark, Greece, and the 2022 Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Women’s World Match Racing Tour has been created with the support of WIMRA to continue the legacy of the WIM Series which sought to provide a platform for women’s match racing after the event was eliminated after the London 2012 Olympics. There are currently over 200 female match racing sailors on the World Sailing global ranking.

The WIM Series title was last awarded in 2019 to Pauline Courtois from France, the current world #1 on the World Sailing women’s match race rankings. After a break in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic, the series has been re-launched as the Women’s World Match Racing Tour and will be managed by the WMRT organization in London, UK.

“We are delighted to support the launch of the Women’s World Match Racing Tour,” commented WIMRA Executive Director Liz Baylis. “The Tour is a fantastic opportunity for women sailors and will continue build on the success of the WIM Series. We look forward to working closely with the team at WMRT to help expand the Tour for the future.”

WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance added, “We are excited to launch the Women’s World Match Racing Tour today after many months of planning. Historically, opportunities have been limited for women in professional sailing and match racing – this new tour will provide a valuable platform and pathway for women to compete in their own championship series.”

The 2022 Women’s WMRT features four stages:

Stage 1 – Normandie Match Cup, June 2-6, Le Havre, France (Beneteau First Class 7.5m)
Stage 2 – Women’s Match Race, September 23-25, Royal Danish Yacht Club, Skovshoved, Denmark (DS37)
Stage 3 – EUROSAF Women’s European Championship, October 12-15, Corfu Sailing Club, Greece (Platu 25)
Stage 4 – Women’s Match Racing World Championship, November 9-13, RNZYS, Auckland, New Zealand (Elliot 7m)

The Women’s WMRT will award skipper points at each event with the best three results to count towards the 2022 WWMRT title.

For more information on the Women’s WMRT:

Founded in 2000, the 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.

Source: World Match Racing Tour

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