World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the world’s leading match racing series featuring World-Class Championship events across the globe. The series is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with “Special Event” status.
|Professional Sailing Championship|
ProMatch Tour Ltd10 Queen Street, HM11 Bermuda
ProMatch Tour Ltd10 Queen Street, HM11 Bermuda, Bermuda
|James Pleasance - Executive Director|
The tour currently spans across 3 continents and is now the only professional monohull match racing series since the September 2010 decision of the America's Cup to organise only multihull races at their events.
The Tour awards over US$1.5 million in prize money, with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the “ISAF Match Racing World Champion”. A US$500,000 overall prize pool for the Championship is now on offer.
Tour Events utilise the same 'match race' format used in the America’s Cup with racing taking place in identical supplied racing yachts which change for each event and which place a firm focus on team work and skill to win the race. Racing takes place close to the shore in order for the general public to follow the races as if they were in virtual on-the-water stadiums.
Media and television highlights coverage spans the globe, reaching millions of households in over 183 countries around the world.
TOUR HISTORY IN BRIEF (the history of match racing)
1660 – First ever match racing event between King Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York – raced from Greenwich to Gravesend and back for a prize purse of 100 guineas
1937 – First match racing event in a “one-design” yacht sets sail at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. American C Sherman Hoyt was the first winner of the King Edward VII Gold Cup now known as the Argo Group Gold Cup
1964 – Congressional Cup joins the King Edward VII Gold Cup as a match-racing regatta
1965 – The Royal Lymington Cup joins in the following year making it three match racing competitions – Bermuda, Congressional and Lymington – they all survived through the 70’s
1985 – The World Match Racing Conference was established to supervise on ruling and restriction and supervision on all match-racing regattas
1985 - Five key founders of Match Racing regattas formed Match Racing Association in Long Beach California
1988 – The idea on umpiring on the water, with instant justice and penalties was adopted at the Congressional Cup after the incident at the America’s Cup in 1987 Fremantle.
1988 – Chris Dickson wins the first World Championship of Match Race Sailing, held as a single rolling event in Fremantle, Australia.
1989 – Chris Dickson wins his second World Championship of Match Race Sailing at Lymington (the term “Match Racing” was not yet formally used)
1990 – Peter Gilmour wins his first Match Racing Championship
1991 – Chris Dickson wins his third Match Racing Championship
1992 – Russell Coutts wins his first Match Racing Championship
1993 – Russell Coutts wins his second Match Racing Championship
1994 – Bertrand Pace wins his first Match Racing Championship
1994 – Match Cup Sweden was first held in the island of Marstrand
1995 – Ed Baird wins his first Match Racing Championship
1995 – Match Racing received great interest and Fabergé, the cosmetic manufacturer used the brand “Brut” to form a match racing series. The series offered USD250,000 of prize money, the highest prize awarded in sailing regattas. To win the big prize – and the Fabergé Egg, the competitor had to win three out of five races – Bermuda, San Francisco, New York, Lymington and France – the Brut Cup
1996 – International Yacht Racing Union is renamed as International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and setup up a classification for match-racing
1996 – Swedish Match sponsors Match Cup Sweden after they had finished the Whitebread Round-the-World sponsorship (now known as the Volvo Ocean Race)
1997 – Russell Coutts and his Team Magic wins the Fabergé Egg and the USD250,000 prize money. Brut left as a sponsor after that leaving the match racing series in a state of limbo.
1997 – Peter Gilmour wins his second Match Racing Championship or known as ISAF World Championship
1998 – Peter Gilmour wins his third ISAF Match Racing Championship
1998 – Swedish Match takes over and sponsors the match racing series. The creation of Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing began
1999 – Jesper Bank of Denmark, wins his first ISAF Match Racing Championship
2000 – Swedish Match Tour (formerly known as the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing) is the official match racing sailing series sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation. Bertrand Pace is the winner of the Tour
2001 – Magnus Holmberg of Sweden wins the Swedish Match Tour on home ground Marstrand
2002 – Peter Holmberg of the Alinghi Team wins the Swedish Match Tour
2003 – Jesper Radich from Denmark wins the Swedish Match Tour
2004 – BMW joins in as the Official Partner of the Tour. Peter Gilmour wins the Tour in Sweden
2005 – Peter Gilmour wins the Swedish Match Tour and USD60,000 prize money as well as a BMW Car
2005 – First Asian participation in the match racing circuit – Monsoon Cup marks the 50th event on the Swedish Match Tour
2006 – Swedish Match Tour became the World Match Racing Tour and became the ISAF World Championship. Peter wins the Tour and claimed his fourth ISAF Match Racing Championship
2007 – Ian Williams wins his first ISAF Match Racing Championship and the Monsoon Cup
2008 – Back to back wins for Ian Williams as he won ISAF Match Racing Championship again 2008 – With the success of the Monsoon Cup, Korea Match Cup joined the World Match Racing Tour
2009 – Adam Minoprio became the youngest sailor ever to win the ISAF Match Racing Championship
2010 – Ben Ainslie of Great Britain wins the ISAF Match Racing Championship
2011 – Ian Williams wins his third ISAF Match Racing Championship with a double, winning the Monsoon Cup, the season finale of the World Match Racing Tour
2011 – Great Britain’s Royal Jeweler’s, Garrard & Co created the World Match Racing Tour trophy
2012 – With the success of World Match Racing Tour – ALPARI UK Ltd became title sponsor of the Tour – renaming it as the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Ian Williams bags his fourth ISAF Match Racing Championship matching match-racing legend Peter Gilmour who announced retirement that year
2013 – Taylor Canfield wins the ISAF Match Racing Championship at the age of 24
2015 – Ian Williams wins his fifth ISAF Match Racing Championship beating Peter Gilmour's record of four world championship title
The World Match Racing Tour has been sponsored since 2000. The title sponsorship enables the tour's sponsorship name. There have been two sponsors since the tour's formation.
- 1998–1999: No sponsor (Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing)
- 2000–2006: Swedish Match (Swedish Match Tour)
- 2006–2011: No sponsor (World Match Racing Tour)
- 2012–2015*: Alpari Group (Alpari World Match Racing Tour) *Alpari (UK) Ltd goes into administration due to Swiss franc turmoil
- 2015–current: No sponsor (World Match Racing Tour)
As well as sponsorship for the tour itself, the World Match Racing Tour has a number of official partners and suppliers.
- Garrard & Co: Official Jeweller & Silversmith (2011–2014)
- Pelle P: Official Clothing Partner (2012–current)
- Drift Innovation: Official Supplier (2013–2014)
- Albert Riele: Official Watch Partner (2014–current)
- IMG Media Group: Official Media Partner (2013–current)
When only two sailing boats are on the starting line of the race, the race is called match racing. Match racing has its own set of rules, which are slightly different from the regular sailing boat racing rules and these create very close, aggressive competition in which collisions can easily occur. Match racing also has on-the-water judging, with umpires dispensing "instant justice" on the water. Match racing is tremendously exciting for those participating and, unlike some other sailing competitions, match racing can be equally thrilling to watch. Before the start, the boats vie for control, circling each other and trying to wipe each other off into spectator boats in an elaborate game of cat and mouse.
Rules and Strategy
- When the wind comes across the sides of the boats in the opposite direction, the boat with the wind on the left (port) side gives way to the boat with the wind on the right (starboard) side.
- If the wind comes across the same side of the boats and there is no overlapping, the boat behind (astern) must keep clear.
- Should the wind come across the same side of the boats and there is overlapping, the boat on the leeward (downwind) side of the other has the right-of-way.
- Umpires follow each race and make instant penalty decisions. A boat (colour flag on back) with a penalty (colored ball on umpire boat) must do a 270-degree penalty turn before the finish.
- Visit Appendix C of the ISAF's Racing Rules of Sailing to view the rules for match racing.
- The Start: A 7-minute starting gun signals the beginning of an intricate, heated pre-match dogfight, with the two boats engaging in a furious one-on-one battle to gain the leading position on the race course. Additional gunshots indicate the countdown to the beginning of the race at 5 minutes to go, 3 minutes to go and finally the beginning of the race.
- Windward Leg: On the course the boats commence an upwind battle; the lead boat spilling turbulent air off its sails to slow the boat behind. Furious tacking is likely to ensue with the latter trying to force a crew error in order to rob their aggressor of the advantage. The end of the first windward leg provides an opportunity for the trailing boat to seize the edge by creating an inside overlap within two lengths of the mark, forcing the lead boat to allow room which usually means relinquishing its place.
- Downwind Run: On the downwind run the trailing boat has a chance to attack from behind, positioning itself so it's spinnaker casts a wind shadow over the leader. To escape, the boat may gibe away, creating heart-pounding onboard action - and spectacular sailing - as each crew furiously swings spinnakers from side to side.
- Dropping the Spinnaker: At the bottom mark the same overlap rules apply and the action intensifies as crews drop the spinnaker and prepare the boat for the next leg while the skipper jostles for position.
- The Finish: Once more around the course and the battle is over. Often the winner is not determined until the final few boat lengths.
|Year||World Champion||Venue||Tour Winner||Team||Points|
|2015||Ian Williams (GBR)||World Tour||Ian Williams (GBR)||GAC Pindar||132 points|
|2013||Taylor Canfield (ISV)||World Tour||Taylor Canfield (ISV)||USOne||120 points|
|2012||Ian Williams (GBR)||World Tour||Ian Williams (GBR)||GAC Pindar||130 points|
|2011||Ian Williams (GBR)||World Tour||Ian Williams (GBR)||Team GAC Pindar||144 points|
|2010||Ben Ainslie (GBR)||World Tour||Ben Ainslie (GBR)||Team Origin||126 points|
|2009||Adam Minoprio (NZL)||World Tour||Adam Minoprio (NZL)||BlackMatch Racing||138 points|
|2008||Ian Williams (GBR)||World Tour||Ian Williams (GBR)||Bahrain Team Pindar||110 points|
|2007||Ian Williams (GBR)||World Tour||Ian Williams (GBR)||Team Pindar||172 points|
|2006||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||World Tour||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||Pizza-La Sailing Team||113 points|
|2005||James Spithill (AUS)||Calpe, Spain||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||Pizza-La Sailing Team||117 points|
|2004||Ed Baird (USA)||Ekaterinburg, Russia||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||Pizza-La Sailing Team||135 points|
|2003||Ed Baird (USA)||Riva del Garda, Italy||Jesper Radich (DEN)||Team Radich||111 points|
|2002||Karol Jablonski (POL)||Stockholm, Sweden||Peter Holmberg (USA)||Oracle BMW Racing||120 points|
|2001||None||None||Magnus Holmberg (SWE)||Team Stora Enso||104 points|
|2000||Dean Barker (NZL)||Split, Croatia||Bertrand Pacé (FRA)||Team New Zealand||114 points|
|1999||Jesper Bank (DEN)||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|1998||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||Hayama, Japan|
|1997||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||Marstrand, Sweden|
|1996||Russell Coutts (NZL)||Dubrovnik, Croatia|
|1995||Ed Baird (USA)||Auckland, New Zealand|
|1994||Bertrand Pacé (FRA)||La Rochelle, France|
|1993||Russell Coutts (NZL)||Long Beach, United States|
|1992||Russell Coutts (NZL)||Perth, Australia|
|1991||Chris Dickson (NZL)||Hamilton, Bermuda|
|1990||Peter Gilmour (AUS)||Auckland, New Zealand|
|1989||Chris Dickson (NZL)||Lymington, United Kingdom|
|1988||Chris Dickson (NZL)||Perth, Australia|
BlackMatch Racing won the inaugural best team award in 2009.
Johnie Berntsson won the Swedish Sailor of the Year Awards in 2011
- Tour Prize Money
- "ALPARI BACKS SAILING SERIES".
- "Alpari UK currency broker folds over Swiss franc turmoil".
- http://www.sailing.org/sailors/858.php ISAF Match Racing Rules
- http://www.sail-world.com/UK/Mathieu-Richard-wins-the-%27King-of-the-Mountain-in-spectacular-style/74333 Sailworld article describing pre-match dogfight - Extracted Sept7 2010
- BlackMatch best team New Zealand Herald, 1 April 2010
- World Match Racing Tour Official Site
- Link to BBC H2O interview with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston recorded 15 April 2010
- Independent Newspaper article 'All-Australian final at Portimao, Portugal Match Cup' 28 June 2010
- CNN Stena Match Cup Sweden video presented by Shirley Robertson 19 August 2010
- Travel Places Tour destinations info
- Latest 'World Match Racing Tour' Business News
- 'Boats on TV' coverage of Portimao, Portugal Match Race Cup '10
- 'World Match Racing Tour' coverage of Danish Open Final '10
- Swiss franc shock forces West Ham shirt sponsor Alpari out of business
- World Match Racing Tour: Ian Williams of GAC Pindar takes title for a record fifth time