Mirsky, Radich, Robertson, Richard… These are the names of the stars that the World Match Racing Tour will build its global tour around in 2011. Alongside these rising stars will be sailors like Ian Williams and Peter Gilmour who not only love the format that is one-on-one match racing, but also want to get a piece of a USD $1.75 million prize fund.
While the WMRT might have lost some big names like Ben Ainslie and Adam Minoprio to the Olympics and the Volvo Ocean Race, the competition will be intense and fans of the strategic sailing format that showcases sailor skill rather than the size of their bank balance, should enjoy the season.
While the debate around the America’s Cup has centred on the number of hulls the boats have, match racing skills will still be important for a team that is looking to win the trophy in 2013. This means that in 2011, Torvar Mirsky and Ian Williams will compete in both the Extreme Sailing Series and the World Match Racing Tour, while Francesco Bruni will compete under the banner of America’s Cup Challenger of Record – Mascalzone Latino.
Commenting on the list of Tour Card Holders, WMRT CEO Jim O’Toole said:
“We’re very satisfied with the response that we had from the application process and can now reveal a great line up for 2011, which is sure to provide dramatic action for fans to follow.
One thing that really stood out during the application process was the level of professionalism of the teams’ tenders. All the teams involved demonstrated a combination of excellent match racing credentials, robust sponsorship and funding models and an ability to add value to the Tour through their own marketing activities which will be a vital element as the Tour looks to expand its profile.”
The Tour Card Holders, who represent 6 different countries, are guaranteed entry to at least 6 of the Tour’s 9 events which get under way with Match Race France in May and concludes with the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia in November when the top 9 teams will be battling for a share of the USD 500,000 Tour Bonus Pool.
2011 World Match Racing Tour Card Sailors
- Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
- Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino
- Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
- Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team
- Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
- Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team
- Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
- Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing Team
- Ian Williams (GBR), Team GAC Pindar
WMRT Tour Card decisions are based on the following criteria: Sailing skill, Current Tour or ISAF Ranking, Past Tour or ISAF Ranking, Financial submission for Tour Card, Recent achievements in other sailing disciplines, Media awareness, interaction and pro-active public relations plans, A demonstrable financial and logistical commitment to the 2011 season, Sponsor activation of a teams participation on the Tour, Overall Team presentation.
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