Perhaps one good thing to come out of latest F1 scandal is that the phrase ‘the F1 of sailing’ will be used less often. While entrepreneurial promoters continue to create new races and events in sailing – announcing themselves as the best in the world before a race is sailed – one event has a legitimate claim to being a world class, World Championship.
The World Match Racing Tour is, in our opinion, one of the most undervalued properties in sport. The WMRT visits more markets in a single year than any other annual sailing competition and is a recognised ‘must have’ for any skipper with America’s Cup ambitions.
More recently, the Tour has run successful events in Malaysia and Korea, taking match racing to a completely new audience.
Yesterday the World Match Racing Tour announced that private company Regal Faith Ltd has acquired from F10 Holdings Ltd their interest in ProMatch Tour Ltd, the exclusive rights holder of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).
The involvement of Regal Faith Ltd and its consortium of private equity investors from Australia, Malaysia and Australia will see increased focus on developing world class venues around the globe, whilst adding stability and structure to the existing professional sailing circuit.
Outgoing President Scott Macleod from F10 Holdings Ltd commented:
“After over 20 years involvement with Tour from its early stages then through the Swedish Match Tour up to its current status as the ISAF sanctioned World Match Racing Tour I have taken considerable pride in the development of the sport. I am very happy to be passing the control of the World Match Racing Tour to the team at Regal Faith Ltd who have the experience and investment to realise the full potential of the Tour, I wish them and Peter Gilmour all the very best for the continued development of the Tour.”
Match racing veteran Peter Gilmour has been appointed Acting President and will become the Tour Advisor once a full time replacement has been found. Peter Gilmour commented:
“Our sport is rapidly expanding in the commercial area, with the backing and support of a significant balance sheet to build this Tour we are delighted to be able to make this long awaited announcement. It has taken over three years to finalise this transaction and we will see considerable new plans develop over the coming months. The sport has seen aggressive development in events, America’s Cup and independent team participation, spectators, media interest and sponsors. We are looking forward to developing the WMRT further as the leading match racing World Series for professional sailors.”
For all WMRT events it will be business as usual. Tour Director Craig Mitchell said:
“Regal Faith Ltd’s investment in the WMRT demonstrates the value that has been built up in the Tour over the last three years. The investment will enable us to continue to expand and develop the Tour and we look forward to delivering the vision of our new investors.”
The WMRT will be holding the annual Tour Summit for all event organisers on the day immediately following the World Yacht Racing Forum in Monaco on 11th December 2009.
Following consultation with the Tour’s event promoters and stakeholders a detailed presentation laying out the re-energised ambition and vision of the Tour will be unveiled during the opening weeks of 2010.
Don’t be surprised to see new venues, and new sponsors in the coming months.