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25 July 2007, 09:30 am
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Troia Portugal Match Cup 2007
Troia, Portugal

The third event in this year's World Match Racing Tour begins today with the opening round robin of the ISAF Grade WC Troia Portugal Match Cup. Twelve skippers will meet each of the others once and the top scoring eight helmsmen will progress to the knock out stages of the competition, beginning with the quarter-finals that will begin as soon as the preliminaries are complete.

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The list of skippers and crews includes many who have been on duty in Valencia at the America's Cup as well as the leaders in the World Tour and the top placed skippers in the ISAF world rankings. These may mean little at the end of this regatta - the standards are extremely high and there are bound to be changes.

Gavin BRADY (NZL) for instance, the helmsman of BMW Oracle Racing, is officially ranked # 102 in the world, a position that is certain to alter by next Monday. BRADY has brought with him four of his America's Cup team-mates, Sean CLARKSON, Morgan TRUBOVICH, Eric DOYLE and Ed SMYTH, and will be a hard act to beat.

The three leaders in the World Tour, Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) Paolo CIAN (ITA) and Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) will provide the bulk of the opposition. All of them have shown winning potential this season, along with Philippe PRESTI (FRA) who did duty as back-up helmsman to Luna Rossa's James SPITHILL.

Sebastien COL (FRA) was helmsman of the French America's Cup challenger, Areva, while Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) is the last event winner on the World Tour, taking the Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand. HANSEN, it was reported, displayed an outright mastery of the conditions, which were extreme by any
standard, reaching near gale force winds.

Alvaro MARINHO (POR) is the local skipper while Finland's Staffan LINDBERG is fresh from competing in the Star at the ISAF Sailing World Championships at nearby Cascais. Eugeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) finished sixth in this year's Congressional Cup.

The evergreen match racer, Peter GILMOUR and his PST Sailing Team, can always be relied on for a podium finish, and one must never underrate the
one woman skipper, Sally BARKOW, who finished second in the women's event that finished here yesterday.

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Standings
(After Stage 8)

Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World Match Race Ranking Team Pts
1 Mathieu RICHARD FRA 2 Saba Sailing Team 78
2 Paolo CIAN ITA 3 Team Viano Mercedes Benz 66
3 Ian WILLIAMS GBR 1 Team Pindar 62
4 Bjorn HANSEN SWE 9 Team Onico 49
5 Sébastien COL FRA 4 Areva Challenge 47
6 Jesper BANK DEN 15 United Internet Team Germany 45
7 Ed BAIRD USA 28 Alinghi 40
8 Magnus HOLMBERG SWE 99 Victory Challenge 40
World Match Racing Tour Schedule
(2006-2007 Season)
Stage Event Venue Date
Stage 1 Portugal Match Cup Cascais, Portugal 18-23 July 2006
Stage 2 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 9-13 August 2006
Stage 3 St. Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland 15-20 August 2006
Stage 4 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 10-15 October 2006
Stage 5 Allianz Cup San Francisco, USA 24-29 October
Stage 6 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 28 November-3 December 2006
Stage 7 Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany 23-28 May 2007
Stage 8 GKSS Match Race Marstrand, Sweden 2-8 July 2007
Stage 9 Portugal Match Cup Cascais, Portugal 24-25 July 2007
Stage 10 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 8-12 August 2007
Stage 11 St. Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland 14-19 August 2007
Stage 12 Latium Match Cup Fiumicino, Italy 11-16 September 2007
Stage 13 Locman Cup - Elba Island Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy 25-30 September 2007
Stage 14 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 9-14 October 2007
Stage 15 Brasil Sailing Cup Angra dos Reis, Brazil 23-28 October 2007
Stage 16 Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia 28 November-2 December 2007

The World Match Racing Tour is an ISAF Special Event. Skippers earn points towards the World Championship at the nine events of the World Tour and the highest scoring skipper at the end of the season is the ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

The World Tour Partner and Official Car is BMW AG (Munich, Germany). World Tour sponsors include Sebago (Rockford, USA), the Official Footwear Supplier, Travel Places (West Sussex, Great Britain), the Official Travel Partner and Wedgwood (Cheshire, Great Britain) the Official Trophy Supplier.

For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, its competitors and events, visit the official World Tour website - World Match Racing Tour television programmes may be viewed on demand by clicking on the television icon on the home page of the website.

For all the news on the World Match Racing Tour CLICK HERE.

World Match Racing Tour (As Amended By ISAF), Bjorn HANSEN recent winner at Match Cup Sweden: © Dan Ljungsvik
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