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9 January 2009, 09:22 am
World Match Racing Tour Announces 2009 World Championship Schedule
The ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy
Who will claim the ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy in 2009?

World Match Racing Tour
Terengganu, Malaysia

The World Match Racing Tour has announced its schedule of events for 2009, the total prize purse for the 2009 Tour season now stands at over $1.5 million, the largest in the sport.
The overall winner of the Tour will be crowned 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

The schedule of events is as follows:
Date Event Venue Nation
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

The World Championship will again receive worldwide television coverage with 10 shows broadcast to over 15 international networks reaching over 600 million homes in 90 countries. The Monsoon Cup in Malaysia and Korea Match Cup are also expecting to broadcast LIVE following the success of 2008 where the events generated over eight hours of live coverage on Eurosport and ESPN. In addition, broadband viewers will be able to follow highlights of the World Championship via the website www.worldmatchracingtour.com, the ISAF Match Racing World Championship microsite www.sailing.org/matchworlds and at www.Sail.tv.

"2009 will be a very exciting series for the World Championship", commented Tour Director, Craig MITCHELL "We are truly the only global sailing series at this level of competition. At the end of the year the World Champion will have had to master seven different types of yacht in nine different venues against the best skippers in the world."

Returning to defend his 2008 title is current ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and his Bahrain Team Pindar. However, competition will be stiff from a world class line up including 2008 World Championship silver medallist and America's Cup talent Sébastien COL (FRA) of French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, Ben AINSLIE (GBR) from Team Origin, Paolo CIAN (ITA) from Team Shosholoza, Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE) from Victory Challenge and Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) from French Match Racing Team/French Spirit. Also in the running will be young guns and future Cup skippers Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) and Torvar MIRSKY (AUS). But it's not enough to deter WILLIAMS winning drive, "We look forward to defending our title and the increased competition from the Cup teams that will utilise the World Tour as they wait for the fate of the 33rd America's Cup to be decided".

While many of the teams and skippers await the outcome of the America's Cup decisions, the World Match Racing Tour provides an ideal platform to hone their skills as MITCHELL points out, "Despite the current uncertainty with the America's Cup, we are seeing strong participation for next years Tour from hopeful 33rd America's Cup teams. This highlights the strength and credibility of the Tour and the training ground it provides for skippers and their crews. The Tour also offers a great economical platform for the teams and excellent sponsor exposure in new markets. It's still the place where Cup dreams are made," he said.

The list of past ISAF Match Racing World Champions (read the full list here) reads like a who's who of America's Cup stars and veterans which include the talents of Russell COUTTS (NZL), Peter GILMOUR (AUS), Chris DICKSON (NZL) and Ed BAIRD (USA), making the World Tour crown a must credential in any successful modern America's Cup campaign.

In addition to the nine events that make up the World Championship, the tour will also be announcing the schedule for 18 tour qualifying events and the eight World Tour Cards in the coming weeks. Each Tour stage will have two qualifying events from which the winning teams will earn an entry into the main Tour event.

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

Yvonne Reid
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