Sixteen teams are entered in the $100,000 Allianz Cup, scheduled from 25-29 October at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The winner earns $25,000. The teams represent a mix of America's Cup syndicates and the next generation of match race sailors.
'We think we've assembled an outstanding field for our first event in the USA,' said World Tour President Scott MACLEOD. 'There are eight teams representing Cup syndicates and it'll be fun to see whether the younger sailors can upset the Cup veterans.'
The Cup sailors include ELLISON and DICKSON. ELLISON, CEO of Oracle, the world's largest enterprise software company, is a member of the BMW ORACLE Racing afterguard and is competing in his first World Tour event as a skipper. In the past three years he has won the Owner/Driver series at the Moët Cup and UBS Trophy, both America's Cup Class regattas. He's also a five-time maxi yacht champion.
DICKSON is the skipper and CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing. DICKSON won the season opening ISAF Grade WC Portugal Match Cup in July for his first career Tour victory. He is a three-time winner of the ISAF Match Racing World Championship (1988, 1989 and 1991) and is in his fifth America's Cup syndicate.
'The World Match Racing Tour events provide a superb tuning ground for the hand to hand combat we face in the America's Cup boats,' said DICKSON. 'Sailed in smaller boats, the often aggressive sailing at these events fine tunes not only our starts, crew manoeuvres and boat handling, but we also learn more about rules and on the water umpire calls.'
The defence syndicate for the America's Cup, Alinghi, also has two teams entered, represented by Ed BAIRD (USA) and Peter HOLMBERG (ISV). BAIRD, a three-time Match Racing World Champion, is the only skipper who has finished in the Championship 8 of every World Tour season, and HOLMBERG is a past champion (2001-2002).
GILMOUR (AUS) is the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion. He won his fourth World title this year when he won his third consecutive World Match Racing Tour championship. GILMOUR holds the record for most Tour victories with eleven. For the second year running he is one of the shortlisted nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.
Other America's Cup skippers include Olympic gold medallist Ben AINSLIE (GBR) of Emirates Team New Zealand and Jesper BANK (GER) of United Internet Team Germany, as well as Cameron DUNN (NZL) of Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia, and Paolo CIAN (ITA), of Team Shosholoza and Team Viano Mercedes Benz.
The young guns are represented by Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), finalists in last week's stage four, the ISAF Grade WC Bermuda Gold Cup. WILLIAMS, 29, defeated RICHARD, 30, 3-1 to win his first World Tour event. The win thrust WILLIAMS into the lead for the World Championship with the high score of 35 points, five points ahead of RICHARD.
'The Allianz Cup's going to be a fantastic event,' said WILLIAMS. 'It's a great line up that's been put together. It'll be pretty tough for sure, but we go in as Tour leader and hopefully we can come out as Tour leader.'
The event website was launched this week and can be viewed at www.allianzcup.com.
During Thursday and Friday of the regatta catch aerobatic champion and Team Oracle pilot Sean D. TUCKER as he flies the Oracle Challenger over San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. TUCKER was named as one of the 25 'Living Legends of Flight' by the Smithsonian Institute.
The Allianz Cup is sponsored by Allianz. The Presenting Sponsor is Oracle and the Main Partners are BMW, Fireman's Fund, Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, NetApp, Pindar Graphics and Alphagraphics.World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard
|1||Ian WILLIAMS||GBR||7||Williams Sail Racing||35|
|2||Mathieu RICHARD||FRA||5||Saba Sailing Team||30|
|4||Jes GRAM-HANSEN||DEN||16||Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia||27|
|5||Paolo CIAN||ITA||2||Team Viano Mercedes Benz||25|
|5||Chris DICKSON||NZL||4||BMW ORACLE Racing||25|
|7||Staffan LINDBERG||FIN||11||Alandia Sailing Team||16|
|8||Jesper BANK||DEN||56||United Internet Team Germany||20|
|8||Magnus HOLMBERG||SWE||41||Victory Challenge||20|
World Match Racing Tour Schedule
|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||Portugal Match Cup||Cascais, Portugal||July 2007|
|Stage 9||Danish Open||Copenhagen, Denmark||August 2007|
|Stage 10||St. Moritz Match Race||St. Moritz, Switzerland||August 2007|
|Stage 11||ACI Adris Match Race Cup||Rovinj, Croatia||September 2007|
|Stage 12||Locman Cup - Elba Island||Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy||September 2007|
|Stage 13||Brasil Sailing Cup||Angra dos Reis, Brazil||October 2007|
|Stage 14||Bermuda Gold Cup||Hamilton, Bermuda||October 2007|
|Stage 15||Monsoon Cup||Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia||20 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 - www.WorldMatchRacingTour.com. World Match Racing Tour television programmes may be viewed on demand by clicking on the television icon on the home page of the website.
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