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28 February 2006, 03:56 pm
Stars Prepare For Marseille
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Marseille International Match Race 2006
Marseille, France

The fourth edition of the ISAF Grade 1 Marseilles International Match Race is lining up to be the toughest yet, with some of the world's top match racing stars lining up to do battle in France from 22-26 March. The event is again hosted by the Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge (YCPR) and sees four America's Cup teams take on some of the match racing world's most exciting young talent.
Although last year's winner Ed BAIRD (USA) will not be back in Marseilles to defend his title, the American has a more than able deputy, with fellow Alinghi skipper Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) looking to build on his victory at the ISAF Grade 1 PTPortugal Match Cup last July as he continues his rise back up the ISAF World Match Race Rankings.

Home Challenge

Four French sailors will be battling for honours on their home waters, lead by last year's runner up and World number six Mathieu RICHARD (FRA). Meanwhile young French star Sébastien COL will be representing the home America's Cup team K-Challenge, whilst Philippe PRESTI (FRA) will be looking for success with his Luna Rossa team. Former 49er sailor Dimitri DERUELLE (FRA) will also be adding to the home charge.

World numbers seven and ten, respectively Paolo CIAN (ITA) and Eugeny NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), further add to the prestige of the event. Meanwhile at number eleven and twelve in the Rankings, Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) and Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA) will be looking for results to lift them up into the World top ten when the ISAF World Match Race Rankings are next released on 28 March. Completing the line up is another America's Cup sailor, Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Team's Jes GRAM-HANSEN (DEN).

Marseille International Match Race Entrants
(Team, - ISAF World Match Race Ranking)

ISAF (source: Emilie AUDOLY). Image, Dimitri DERUELLE and Mathieu RICHARD face off in last year's event:© YCPR
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