Inaugural Monsoon Cup to host golden jubilee anniversary for Tour

A milestone anniversary will help commemorate a burgeoning event and close out the 2005 calendar year for the Swedish Match Tour. It will also be the last event under the title of Swedish Match see previous news story here.

The Tour will celebrate its 50th event at the inaugural Monsoon Cup (November 29-December 4) in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. One of three new events on the Tour schedule the event has a MYR400,000 (approximately $105,000) prize purse.

In the midst of its seventh racing season, the Tour was founded in 2000 to unite the world’s best match-race events under one umbrella. Swedish Match Tour events include Portugal Match Cup, Danish Open, St Moritz Match Race, Monsoon Cup, Brazil Sailing Cup, ACI H1 Match Race Cup, Match Race Germany, Toscana Elba Cup?Trofeo Locman and Swedish Match Cup.

Championship points are awarded at each event and accumulate through the season to crown a tested and proven champion. The events are in different countries with widely varying racing conditions, rewarding patient match-racing tactics. And the boats typically change from venue to venue, rewarding an adaptive style and consistent crew work. The current Tour season encompasses nine events in nine different countries.

“I can’t believe we’ve reached 50 events,” said Tour Director Scott MacLeod, who’s been associated with the Tour from the beginning. “It’s a huge testament to our longevity, to the sponsors, to the individuals who organize the events and to the sailors who continue to support the Tour. And by our observation the Monsoon Cup, as part of the Tour, will be a superb event.”

After three events the current Tour season is closer than ever before. Ben Ainslie (GBR) of Emirates Team New Zealand leads the standings with 30 points, 1 point ahead of past Tour champion Peter Holmberg (ISV) of Alinghi. The top eight are separated by 10 points.

Through six completed seasons the Tour has awarded $1.15 million and a BMW 545i Touring (valued at $85,000) in championship prizes. Ninety-nine different skippers have competed in at least one event, 63 different skippers have scored points towards the Tour championship, and 19 skippers have placed in the top 3 of the six Tour championships.

Swedish Match Tour Standings

(After 3 of 9 stages)

1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Emirates Team New Zealand, 30 points

2. Peter Holmberg (ISV) Alinghi, 29 points

3. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 25 points

T. Staffan Lindberg (FIN), 25 points

T. Jesper Bank (DEN) United Internet Team Germany, 25 points

6. Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST, 23 points

7. Gavin Brady (NZL) BMW Oracle Racing, 20 points

T. Mark Mendelblatt (USA), 20 points