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19 October 2006, 08:58 am
ELLISON And World Championship Leader WILLIAMS Enter
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Allianz Cup 2006
San Francisco, USA

Past match racing World Champions Chris DICKSON (NZL) and Peter GILMOUR (AUS), along with BMW ORACLE Racing team founder and owner Larry ELLISON (USA), are among the entrants for the first ISAF Grade WC Allianz Cup Presented by Oracle, stage five of the 2006-2007 World Match Racing Tour.
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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.

Three-Time World Champ Prepares

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 Also Set To Star

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
(After Stage Four of Fifteen)
Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World
Match Race
Ranking
Team Pts
1 Ian WILLIAMS GBR 7 Williams Sail Racing 35
2 Mathieu RICHARD FRA 5 Saba Sailing Team 30
3

Sébastien COL

FRA 1 Areva Challenge 29
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 Ed BAIRD USA 10 Alinghi 20
8 Jesper BANK DEN 56 United Internet Team Germany 20
8 Magnus HOLMBERG SWE 41 Victory Challenge 20

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 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.

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

Sean MCNEILL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Four-time World Champion Peter GILMOUR lines up in San Francisco:© Richard WALCH/World Match Racing Tour
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