The World Match Racing Tour will feature another America’s Cup skipper in 2009. Ed Baird will head a four-man Alinghi crew in the world championship. Alinghi will race against proven match racers like Ian Williamson and rising stars like Torvar Mirsky.
Alinghi, Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, has entered the 2009 World Match Racing Tour in preparation for the next America’s Cup. Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper, comments:
“These are the sort of regattas we enjoy doing; with multi-national teams and we are really looking forward to measuring ourselves against some of the best match racers in the world, particularly as some of them are entered challengers for the 33rd America’s Cup.”
Ed Baird (USA), helmsman, will lead the four-man Alinghi crew of Pieter van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED), Lorenzo Mazza (ITA) and Warwick Fleury (NZL) at up to 10 match racing events around the world, starting with the Marseille
International Match Race on 10 March and culminating with the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia in December.
Baird, a three-time Match Racing World Champion said:
“The World Match Racing Tour puts a premium on teamwork and mastering ever-changing conditions. We’ll get a lot of different opportunities to race all the top match racers, which will ultimately be great for our Cup preparations,” said three-time Match Racing World Champion. I haven’t been a regular on the Tour since 2005, but it will be great to get back into the action and to remind myself and the team what it takes to win short, tough races against all the top guys.”
The top guys, most of whom have America’s Cup affiliations, include
- Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar – 2 x defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion.
- Sébastien Col (FRA) French Team/K-Challenge – America’s Cup helmsman and ISAF ranked number one match racer
- Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Team/Team French Spirit
- Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza
- Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing
- Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
“Getting back on the Tour will keep us up to date with the latest thinking on rules, tactics and strategies,” said Ed Baird. “We’ll also have the chance to keep communicating with the race teams from the many syndicates that are part of the next America’s Cup,” he concluded.