The World Match Race Tour will continue to be raced in monohulls, despite some seeing it as a training ground for the America’s Cup
The ISAF Match Racing World Championship, now in its 22nd year and known as the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), today committed its future to monohull match racing and unveiled its future strategy, been designed to ensure the growth and sustainability of the event.
With the America’s Cup holders having stated that they are starting with a clean sheet of paper by moving to catamaran racing for the foreseeable future, WMRT has undergone a thorough review process with its promoters, teams and sponsors, and taken into account recent media reaction and public feedback.
Their findings are echoed by data from a recent survey conducted by Sail-World, which shows that the majority of sailing fans surveyed want to see match racing conducted in monohull boats. WMRT CEO Jim O’Toole commented: “As rights’ holders we have a duty to act in the interests of match racing. The majority of people feel that the true essence of match racing is about intense, highly manoeuvrable, closely fought, head-to-head battles and we have developed our strategy to take into account these views.”
“While we are committed to preserving the integrity of what the public sees as match racing we also have a responsibility to drive the sport forward and ensure that it constantly seeks to innovate and expand. The doubling of the prize fund and addition of six new venues by 2013 with new boat designs shows our commitment to attracting great sailors and providing the best platform for match racing.”
WMRT will be doubling the tour’s bonus prize pool to US$ 500,000 meaning sailors will compete for a total prize fund in excess of US$ 1,750,000 in 2011. It will be launching a new host city bidding process in the next 14 days which will add six new venues by 2013. To complement the addition of new cities and to ensure the Tour embraces developing technology, submissions will be invited from international designers and boat builders to create boats for the new events joining the tour.
For more, visit www.wmrt.com