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22 January 2009, 04:55 pm
World Match Racing Tour Adds Marseille International Match Race As First Event Of The Year
Racing at the 2008 Marseille International Match Race
The Marseille International Match Race has joined the 2009 World Tour circuit

World Match Racing Tour
Terengganu, Malaysia

The World Match Racing Tour is pleased to announce that Marseille International Match Race (MIMR) has been added as the tenth stop on the 2009 Tour season schedule.
The event, organized by the Yachting Club de Point Rouge (YCPR) and supported by the City of Marseille, will be held over 10-15 March and is the first event of this year's Tour, whose winner will be crowned the 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

"We're very pleased to have this event in Marseille," said Tour Director Craig MITCHELL. "The event has a long history of excellence at ISAF Grade 1 level, and has always attracted strong interest as the first high-graded event in the European season. This is a perfect match for it to be on the Tour."

Jean Pierre CHAMPION, President of the French Sailing Federation said, "Hosting an event of the Tour has been a long term goal of the FFVoile. The creation of a French National Championship Tour started 20 years ago. The championship went to all French regions in order to develop Match Racing. The system has produced sailors such as Sébastien COL [(FRA)] and Mathieu RICHARD [(FRA)] along with America's Cup competitors Bertrand PACE [(FRA)] and Philippe PRESTI [(FRA)]. I am really happy to see this event going to Marseille who have invested a lot in Match Racing facilities, as the organization of one ACT of the last Americas Cup has proved. It is also a good boost for the members of the French Match Racing Team after their two runners up places in the last two years. It is always important to compete in an event of the Tour in your own country, even more when the goal is to win the World Championship.

"Last but not least I'm very happy for the Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge and the wonderful MIMR event which has been one of the reference ISAF Grade 1 events for the past few years."

Twelve teams will race in eight equally-matched J/80 class yachts, and the total prize money purse is 50,000 Euros. MIMR's qualifier event is the Y's Cup and will draw on two teams from the 10-team format, held over 7-8 February in Marseille at YCPR.

The new Tour Card policy will guarantee invitations for eight of the top teams from the 2008 season, with one being COL of the French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge. While COL finished second in the 2008 season championship to two-time reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar, he may find this event particularly favourable for his 2009 championship hopes as YCPR is his home club.

2009 World Match Racing Tour Schedule
Date Event Venue Nation
10-15 March 2009 Marseille International Match Race Marseille Germany
27-31 May 2009 Match Race Germany Langenargen Germany
2-7 June 2009 Korea Match Cup Gyeonggi Korea
16-21 June 2009 Portugal Match Cup Troia Portugal
29 June-5 July 2009 Match Cup Sweden Marstrand Sweden
1-6 September 2009 St Moritz Match Race St Moritz Switzerland
9-13 September 2009 Danish Open Skovshoved Denmark
22-27 September 2009 Brasil Sailing Cup Vitoria Brazil
5-11 October 2009 King Edward VII Gold Cup Hamilton Bermuda
1-6 December 2009 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu Malaysia

ISAF Match Racing World Championship - www.sailing.org/matchworlds

For more information in the Marseille International Match Race, visit the event website at www.ycpr.com.

And for more information on the 2009 World Match Racing Tour, visit the Tour website at www.worldmatchracingtour.com.

Yvonne Reid
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