World Match Racing Tour Announces 2010 Tour Card Holders

Wednesday 17 February 2010, London, UK – The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) today announced the names of the nine Tour Card Holders for the 2010 season.

After developing the invite policy introduced in 2009, the WMRT has allocated the Tour Cards for 2010 to:

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

« 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, » said Tour Director Craig Mitchell.

The Tour Invite Policy, first introduced in 2009, will guarantee the Tour Card holders invites to six of the first nine events but they can compete in more events if they are able to secure wild card invites from the individual event promoters.

For teams that did not receive a Tour Card, there are still opportunities to race on the WMRT through event wild cards or through the events that make up the Tour Qualifying Series that feed into the World Tour events.

« 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, » Mitchell enthused.

Francesco Bruni from Team Azzura of Italy said, « I am extremely happy to be part of such an important and prestigious circuit. I am also very proud to have the opportunity to compete for the Match Race World Title wearing the Team Azzurra uniform! »

Mathieu Richard from the French Match Racing Team also shared the same excitement. « I am very glad to have a Tour card, and I am looking forward to taking part to a fantastic 2010 championship!
The 2010 field is very exciting, with an interesting mixed of three generations of skippers – young guns like Adam Minoprio (NZL), and Torvar Mirsky (AUS), veterans with Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Bertrand Pace (FRA), and skippers of my generation. »

Tour Standings in 2009

1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 138 Points
2. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 97 Points
3. Ben Ainslie, (GBR) Team Origin 95 Points
4. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR 93 Points
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team 89 Points
6. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar 83 Points
7. Sebastien Col, (FRA) All4One 55 Points
8. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 48 Points

About the World Match Racing Tour:

The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series featuring 10 World Championship events across the globe, sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with « Special Event » status

The World Tour awards over US$1.5million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the « ISAF Match Racing World Champion ».  In addition, an incentive to compete in the world’s premier sailing series just got bigger. A US$250,000 overall prize pool for the top nine teams with a $50,000 bonus for the outright winner of next year’s World Match Racing Tour is now on offer.

Events utilise the same « match race » format used in the America’s Cup with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which places a focuses on team work and skill. Racing takes place close to the shore for the general public to follow the races as virtual on-the-water stadiums.

Media and television highlights coverage reaches over 600 million households in excess of 100 countries around the world.

World Match Racing Tour sponsors include Pindar, Custom House, Travel Places, Wedgwood and Sail.TV

2010 Tour Schedule
1. April 6 – 11, Mondial Match Race Marseille, France
2. May 19 – 24, Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany
3. June 8 – 13, Korea Match Cup Gyeonggi, Korea
4. June 22 – 27, Portugal Match Cup Troia, Portugal
5. July 5 – 11, Match Cup Sweden Marstrand, Sweden
6. August 31 – September 5, St Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland
7. September 8 – 12, Danish Open Bornholm, Denmark
8. September 21-26, Vietnam Match Cup Nha Trang, Vietnam
9. October 4 – 10, Argo Group Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda
10. November 30 – December 5, Monsoon Cup K. Terengganu, Malaysia