The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), the annual series whose winner is crowned the ISAF Match Racing World Champion, today announced the names of the nine Tour Card Holders for the 2010 season.
After developing the invite policy introduced in 2009, the WMRT has allocated the Tour Cards for 2010 to:
(NZL) BlackMatch - 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champion
(AUS) Mirsky Racing Team - finished second in 2009
(GBR) Team Origin - finished third in 2009
(ITA) Team Azzura
(AUS) YANMAR Racing
(SWE) Hansen Global Team
(FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
(FRA) French Match Racing Team
(GBR) Team Pindar
"Last year, we had a great season. This year, we have received a tremendous response from the teams and believe that the 2010 series will be an even bigger and more significant series for the WMRT, the skippers and teams, as well as for everyone following the action on-site at the events or through the media," said Tour Director Craig Mitchell.
The Tour Invite Policy, first introduced in 2009, will guarantee the Tour Card holders invites to six of the first nine events but they can compete in more events if they are able to secure wild card invites from the individual event promoters.
For teams that did not receive a Tour Card, there are still opportunities to race on the WMRT through event wild cards or through the events that make up the Tour Qualifying Series that feed into the World Tour events.
"We see the level of professionalism amongst the skippers and teams going up each year and 2010 will be no exception. We are looking forward to another great series of events and crowning a worthy champion. It is going to be fiercely competitive from the first race in France, in April, all the way through to the last race in Malaysia, in December," Mitchell enthused.
from Team Azzura of Italy said, "I am extremely happy to be part of such an important and prestigious circuit. I am also very proud to have the opportunity to compete for the Match Race World Title wearing the Team Azzurra uniform!"
from the French Match Racing Team also shared the same excitement. "I am very glad to have a Tour card, and I am looking forward to taking part to a fantastic 2010 championship!
The 2010 field is very exciting, with an interesting mixed of three generations of skippers - young guns like Adam Minoprio
(NZL), and Torvar Mirsky
(AUS), veterans with Peter Gilmour
(AUS) and Bertrand Pacé
(FRA), and skippers of my generation."
2009 ISAF Match Racing World Championship - Final Standings
(Top eight teams after Stage 9 of 9 of the World Match Racing Tour)
1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, 138 Points
2. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 97 Points
3. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin, 95 Points
4. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR, 93 Points
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team Racing, 79 Points
6. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 75 Points
7. Sébastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 55 Points
8. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 48 Points
The winner of the annual World Match Racing Tour is crowned as ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Find out more at www.sailing.org/matchworlds.