Besides the live TV, tens of thousands of spectators, and $300,000 the largest prize money payout to date, competing teams at last week's Korea Match Cup in Gyeonggi, South Korea have also benefited from gaining more points on the World Match Racing Tour leaderboard towards the 2008 World Championship.
On the strength of his runner up finish in Gyeonggi, Ian WILLIAMS
(GBR) and his Team Pindar have extended their lead from a slim one-point margin to a commanding 14 points over the runner-up position, now co-occupied by Paolo CIAN
(ITA) with his Team Shosholoza and Sébastien COL
(FRA) with his K Challenge/French Match Racing Team.
And while WILLIAMS may have slipped ahead, the biggest move through the ranks came for COL, who advanced from 12th to tie for second place, bolstered by the 25-points he earned for his victory in Korea. Another team that made a noticeable advance was one of the youngest on the Tour, Adam MINOPRIO
(NZL) of Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing who marched from 14th to ninth based on his impressive third place performance, the best to date he's had at a Tour event.
Both CIAN and Bjorn HANSEN
(SWE) and his Alandia Sailing Team were disappointed in their results in Korea to have not put more pressure on WILLIAMS' lead, having finished sixth and seventh, respectively. "We had some bad luck but also just didn't get into a good rhythm at this event,"
said CIAN, "but I'm looking forward to having a better regatta in Marstrand."
Marstrand will be the venue for Match Cup Sweden, the next stage on the 2008 World Tour. Unlike the brand-new event just held in Korea, Match Cup Sweden has a long history, offering competitive match race sailing for nearly 20 years. But similar to the event in Gyeonggi, it will also have a large turnout of thousands of spectators to watch all the action in the Marstrand fiord. Co-organized by Brandspot and the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS), the event will feature 12 teams competing in equally-matched DS37s over 30 June-6 July for a total prize money purse of $200,000.
COL, WILLIAMS, CIAN and HANSEN will all be in Marstrand, with HANSEN poised to defend his win last year earned in a spectacular storm-tossed final. Other competitors invited to Match Cup Sweden include: Magnus HOLMBERG
(SWE) of Victory Challenge; Mattias RAHM
(SWE) also of Victory Challenge; Ben AINSLIE
(GBR) of Team Origin, Torvar MIRSKY
(AUS) of the Mirsky Racing Team; Mathieu RICHARD
(FRA) of the French Match Racing Team; Jes GRAM-HANSEN
(DEN) of Trifork Racing; Peter GILMOUR
(AUS) of Team PST; and Match Race Germany winner Damien IEHL
(FRA) of the French Match Racing Team.
In addition to the men's field of 12 teams, there will be an ISAF Grade 1 women's event held concurrently.
World Tour Standings
(After 3 events of 9)
1. Ian WILLIAMS
(GBR) - Team Pindar - 47 points
2. Sébastien COL
(FRA) - K Challenge/French Match Racing Team - 33 points
2. Paolo CIAN
(ITA) - Team Shosholoza - 33 points
4. Bjorn HANSEN
(SWE) - Alandia Sailing Team- 32 points
5. Damien IEHL
(FRA) - Team Sinbad - 25 points
5. Mathieu RICHARD
(FRA) - French Match Racing Team - 25 points
7. Jes GRAM-HANSEN
(DEN) - Trifork Racing - 20 points
8. Adam MINOPRIO
(NZL) - ETNZ/BlackMatch - 15 points
ISAF Match Racing World Championship microsite - www.sailing.org/matchworlds