With the final preparations over and all the formalities completed, racing for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship begins tomorrow in Riva del Garda.
Following the opening ceremony, which took place this evening on the shores of lake Garda, the world's top ranked Match Racing Skippers and crews, along with the winning skipper of the 2003 America's Cup Russell COUTTS, will battle for the prestigious title of ISAF World Match Racing Champion.
The final entry list is confirmed as follows:
1. Russell Coutts, New Zealand - 161st in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings (published on July 8, 2003)
2. Karol Jablonski, Poland - 1st
3. Jesper Radich, Denmark - 2nd
4. Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark - 3rd
5. Ed Baird, USA - 4th
6. James Spithill, Australia - 5th
7. Bjorn Hansen, Sweden - 7th
8. Mathieu Richard, France - 8th
9. Staffan Lindberg, Finland - 9th
10. Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden - 10th
11. Ian Williams, UK - 11th
12. Paolo Cian, Italy - 12th
The event will run with the following format:
First of all will be a double round robin, where all skippers sail each other twice, followed by a semi semifinal, where the top four skippers from the round robins race against each other in a best-of-three knock out series.
Following the semi final, the two losers of those matches will race in a petite final, in a best-of-three series, to determine third and fourth placing.
Then follows the Grand Final, where the two remaining skippers and crews will race to determine this year's world champion, and runner up in a best of three series.
Races will run on a windward-leeward course.
The competitors will rotate on 10 BLUSail 24 Sport, the one design chosen as official boat for this event, designed and built in Italy.
Full results, as they happen, will be published on the ISAF website, and on the event website at the address below.