World Match Racing Tour

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World Match Racing Tour
WMRT trophy.jpg
World Match Racing Tour
Formerly Swedish Match Tour
First held 2001
match-racing tour
Most recent champion(s) Torvar Mirsky (2017)
Most titles Ian Williams (5)
Official website Official website

The World Match Racing Tour is an annual match racing tour and World Championship in the match racing event of sailing. The World Match Racing Tour has "special event"-status from the International Sailing Federation. The Tour awards over US$1.5 million in prize money,[1] 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.[2]

Tour events utilise the match race with racing taking place in identical supplied racing yachts which change for each event and which place a firm focus on teamwork 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.[1]

History[edit]

Beginning of match racing tour[edit]

The World Match Racing Tour in its current format started in year 2001. However, many of its regattas started earlier, e.g. the King Edward VII Gold Cup (now known as the Argo Group Gold Cup) in 1937 with American Briggs Cunningham as the first winner.[3]

During the mid-1990s, match racing receives greater interest and Fabergé, the cosmetic manufacturer used the brand Brut to form a match racing series. The series offered USD 250,000 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 regattas in Bermuda, San Francisco, New York, Lymington and Séte – the Brut Cup.[4]

In 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. Swedish Match takes over as sponsors of the match racing series in 1998 and the creation of Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing began.[4]

Swedish Match Tour (2000–2006)[edit]

In 2000, the Swedish Match Tour (formerly known as the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing) gets the official match racing sailing series sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation. Bertrand Pacé is the winner of the tour. In 2005, the first Asian event in the match racing circuit – Monsoon Cup – is added and marks the 50th event on the Swedish Match Tour.[4]

M32s in Match Cup Norway 2018.

World Championship (2006–present)[edit]

In 2006, Swedish Match Tour becomes the World Match Racing Tour and gains status as the World Championship in match racing. Korea Match Cup joined the World Match Racing Tour in 2008. Great Britain's Royal Jeweler’s, Garrard & Co created the World Match Racing Tour trophy in 2011. In 2012, ALPARI UK Ltd becomes title sponsor of the tour – renaming it as the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.[4]

In 2015, the tour adopted a new format where competitions were grouped into two categories: championship events giving more points and tour events giving less points in the tour standings.[5] For the 2016 tour, M32 became the equipment.[6]

Sponsorship[edit]

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.

Year Sponsor
1998–1999 none (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)[7][8]
2015–current No sponsor (World Match Racing Tour)

Winners[edit]

Year Winner Team
2000  Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Team New Zealand
2000–01  Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Team Stora Enso
2001–02  Peter Holmberg (USA) Oracle BMW Racing
2002–03  Jesper Radich (DEN) Team Radich
2003–04  Peter Gilmour (AUS) Pizza-La Sailing Team
2004–05  Peter Gilmour (AUS) Pizza-La Sailing Team
2005–06  Peter Gilmour (AUS) Pizza-La Sailing Team
2006–07  Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar
2008  Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar
2009  Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing
2010  Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin
2011  Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar
2012  Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2013  Taylor Canfield (ISV) USOne
2014  Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2015[9]  Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2016[10]  Phil Robertson (NZL) Phil Robertson Racing
2017[11]  Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]