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31 August 2006, 04:50 am
World Tour To Visit San Francisco Bay
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World Match Racing Tour
San Francisco, USA

Professional sailing comes to San Francisco Bay, USA when the Allianz Cup, the only American event of the World Match Racing Tour, visits the St. Francis Yacht Club for stage five of the 2006-2007 World Championship season.
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The match racing regatta is scheduled 24-29 October. The line up features 16 teams, many representing America's Cup syndicates, and will be sailed in J/105 one design yachts (35 feet long).

The global financial services company Allianz Group - through its North American operations Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialties and Allianz Life - is the title sponsor of the event that will award a $100,000 prize purse. The champion earns $25,000. The addition of the Allianz Cup increases the number of stages to 15 in ten countries on the 2006-2007 World Tour schedule.

Allianz, a leading global financial services company specializing in Asset Management, Insurance and Banking, is fast becoming synonymous with high profile, high impact global sports sponsorship.

Allianz has a strong association in Formula One, a successful partnership with Europe's leading sporting arena in Munich and is the main sponsor of the BMW ORACLE Racing team, the only USA challenger for the America's Cup.

Sponsors Excited

Jan CARENDI, NAFTA board member for Allianz Group, commented, 'After the success of the Rockefeller Centre sailing exhibit in New York this summer, it is good to highlight and support another sailing event in the US. With all the America's Cup racing in 2007 taking place in Europe, it's great to be able to bring some of the thrill and excitement of this race to America, and encourage local support for the US team during their quest to bring the Cup home.

'The Allianz Cup in San Francisco, a city known for its sailing heritage, will be a really exciting event for the city and great way of conveying the excitement that is synonymous with the America's Cup whilst providing a great opportunity for Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialties and Allianz Life, three of our North American operations,' CARENDI said.

'We're very grateful to Allianz for its support in helping us bring a stage of the World Tour to the US,' said World Tour President Scott J. Macleod. 'The Tour awards the Match Racing World Championship, and with all the Cup teams entered in San Francisco the racing will be tight and furious.'

DICKSON Heads The Line Up

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Chris DICKSON will head the
line up in San Francisco
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Heading the line up is New Zealander Chris DICKSON, skipper and CEO of the San Francisco based BMW ORACLE Racing team, the Challenger of Record for next year's 32nd America's Cup. DICKSON is ranked third in the World Championship standings after winning in July his first stage of the World Tour, the season opening ISAF Grade 1 Portugal Match Cup.

Other confirmed entrants include Ed BAIRD (USA) and Peter HOLMBERG (ISV), two of the helmsmen for Alinghi, the defence syndicate for the America's Cup. BAIRD is tied for fifth in the World Championship standings and HOLMBERG is a past Tour Champion (2001-2002).

The current leader of the World Championship and number one in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Frenchman Sébastien COL, is also entered. The helmsman for France's Areva Challenge won stage two, the ISAF Grade 1 Danish Open, in August.

'With an impressive line up of America's Cup skippers, we can expect some tough racing on San Francisco Bay at the Allianz Cup,' said DICKSON. 'We last raced in San Francisco three years ago at the Moët Cup and experienced great conditions and a terrific turnout of sailing fans along the foreshore of the Bay to watch the racing. BMW ORACLE Racing represents Golden Gate Yacht Club so it's a bonus for us to have the chance to race in our home waters. It will be great to race in the USA against top America's Cup crews only several months out from the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup.'

World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard
(After Stage Three)

Pos Skipper Nation ISAF World
Match Race
Ranking
Team Pts
1 Sébastien COL FRA 1 Areva Challenge 29
2 Jes GRAM-HANSEN DEN 30 Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia 27
3 Paolo CIAN ITA 3 Team Viano Mercedes Benz 25
3 Chris DICKSON NZL 8 BMW ORACLE Racing 25
5 Ed BAIRD USA 10 Alinghi 20
5 Jesper BANK DEN 63 United Internet Team Germany 20
5 Magnus HOLMBERG SWE 45 Victory Challenge 20
8 Staffan LINDBERG FIN 12 Alandia Sailing Team 16

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 01/07/2007
Stage 9 Danish Open Copenhagen, Denmark 01/08/2007
Stage 10 St. Moritz Match Race St. Moritz, Switzerland 01/08/2007
Stage 11 ACI Adris Match Race Cup Rovinj, Croatia 01/09/2007
Stage 12 Locman Cup - Elba Island Porto Azzurro, Elba Island, Italy 01/09/2007
Stage 13 Brasil Sailing Cup Angra dos Reis, Brazil 01/10/2007
Stage 14 Bermuda Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda 01/10/2007
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)
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