Like many elite sports, there are very few spots for truly professional competitive sailors. In 2009, The World Match Racing Tour introduced a system of Tour Cards that allowed qualifying teams guaranteed entry to events.
[cleeng_content id=”698079817″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]This system allows teams on the tour to more effectively plan their season and give more security to sponsors. The tour card system should also give security to promoters by guaranteeing big name sailors will compete at the events, though in 2009, not all card holders competed in all events. The Tour Card process has been changed slightly for 2010. Tour Card Holders will receive entry into 6 of the 9 events. Tour placings are determined by results in five races plus the Monsoon Cup. Teams can compete in all nine races if they gain wildcard entries.
With the America’s Cup looking like it will return to a more traditional monohull match racing format, the World Match Racing Tour will once again become the place where future America’s Cup helmsmen and Skippers are made.
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has announced the names of the nine Tour Card Holders for the 2010 season. They are:
- Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch – ISAF Match Racing World Champion (2009)
- Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team – Finished 2nd in 2009
- Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin – Finished 3rd in 2009
- Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzura
- Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
- Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team
- Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
- Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
- Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar
Tour Director, Craig Mitchell said
“Last year, we had a great season. This year, we have received a tremendous response from the teams and believe that the 2010 series will be an even bigger and more significant series for the WMRT, the skippers and teams, as well as for everyone following the action on-site at the events or through the media,”
“We see the level of professionalism amongst the skippers and teams going up each year and 2010 will be no exception. We are looking forward to another great series of events and crowning a worthy champion. It is going to be fiercely competitive from the first race in France, in April, all the way through to the last race in Malaysia, in December,”