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.
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.'
|Chris DICKSON will head the
line up in San Francisco
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)
|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||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
|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.