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20 May 2009, 11:59 am
PRESTI To Challenge For ISAF Match Racing World Championship
Philippe PRESTI at the 2007 Brasil Sailing Cup
Philippe PRESTI has joined the battle for the 2008 World title

World Match Racing Tour

Frenchman Philippe PRESTI has proved to be an extremely versatile sailor and the World Tour is pleased to announce the allocation of a Tour Card to him for the remainder of the 2009 season.
The recent confirmation that the 33rd America's Cup is to be raced in multihulls has resulted in the withdrawal of Alinghi's participation on the Tour for this year. "It is with regret that we have to withdraw our entry to all Tour events in 2009. The WMRT is the most competitive match racing event in the world and provides excellent training for a conventional America's Cup in monohulls. As we have been forced into an America's Cup Match in multihulls, our focus must be on training and racing them," said Ed BAIRD (USA), America's Cup winning helmsman.

Philippe PRESTI (FRA), who was involved in the America's Cup in 2003 and 2007, welcomed the Tour Card and looks forward to working towards his goal of becoming World Champion. "It has always been a long term ambition to be crowned Match Racing World Champion and this is a great opportunity to achieve it. To be able to compete regularly on the Tour and work together as a team will be so beneficial. With the recent announcement of the plans for the 33rd America's Cup there are a number of sailors that now have to sit and wait for the next multiple challenger event which may not be for some time. However the Tour will enable us to maintain our match racing skills and keep us fresh and with a mix of good sailing and luck make us World Champions I hope," said PRESTI.

The Tour director Craig MITCHELL was pleased to welcome PRESTI onboard, "It's good to see Philippe make the commitment for 2009 and we wish him well. This year the championship will be closer than ever and I am sure Philippe has the ability to be right in the mix."

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard
(Top eight teams after Stage 1 of 10)

1. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing, 25
2. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 20
3. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 15
4. Damien IEHL (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 12
5. Ed BAIRD (USA) Alinghi, 10
6. Sébastien COL (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 8
7. Paolo CIAN (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 6
8. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar, 4 points

The winner of the annual World Match Racing Tour is crowned as ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Find out more at www.sailing.org/matchworlds.

Yvonne Reid
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