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2 April 2010, 02:21 pm
World Match Racing Tour Release Match Race France Skipper Line Up
Adam Minoprio holds the ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy aloft
Reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Adam Minoprio will begin his title defence in Marseille next week

World Match Racing Tour 2010
Marseille, France

The 2010 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), the annual series whose winner is crowned the ISAF Match Racing World Champion, has announced the skipper line up for the first event of the season which kicks off in Marseille, France next week.
'Match Race France' takes place from 6 - 11 April at Yacht Club Pointe Rouge. This is the second time Marseille has hosted the WMRT, the area is blessed with excellent match racing courses and is a much loved destination for the global stars of the sailing world. The diverse range of competitors including; young hot shot Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team racing legend Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing and WMRT top standing regular Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team provides the Tour with some lively personalities.

Marseille will be catering to the local Tour fans as well as the general public; the racing will be free to view from just 50 metres off Escale Borely Beach and depending on weather conditions the boats will be within touching distance of the break water.

Dimitri Deruelle, Off-shore Commission YCPR and match racing coach, "New for 2010 we will have the finals weekend dedicated to an entertainment village at Escale Borely Beach, the public will have a range of onshore activities available from remote control boats to a knots workshop and free access to a spectator boat as well as being able to follow the match racing duels live on the giant outdoor screen as 3D virtual images with commentary by professional match racers. The daily action will be rounded off by a public press conference with the racing skippers so everyone can really understand firsthand the thrills of on the water wins and losses".

Match Race France's competitor line up includes 12 skippers from 6 different nations. The racing will be intense with the current top five 2009 WMRT standing skippers attending as well as others such as Francesco Bruni from Italy who will be racing fresh from his recent win at the Congressional Cup and is a hot favourite for Marseille. The unique strength of the Tour is that it involves match racers from across the spectrum of the sport introducing the new generation to the highs of racing against the seasoned pros.

Match Race France, Official Skipper Line Up:
Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Sébastien Col (FRA) ALL4ONE
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia
Philippe Presti (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Gian Luca Perris (MON)

Some new faces that Tour fans will be keen to get to know during the series running from April through to December include Western Australia's Torvar Mirsky, at just 24 years old and from a non-sailing family, Torvar has already achieved Junior Mirror World Champion position and has more recently dedicated himself to the discipline of 'boat on boat' quick thinking match racing action. Adam Minoprio, current ISAF Match Racing World Champion appreciates the power of the Tour for international match racing virgins, "the Tour is a great springboard for all sailors but as they say, you first have to walk before you run, and it is this entrance opportunity that is incredibly rare in the elite match racing world that is very much advocated through annual wild cards offered to those who deserve to experience certain events and show their skills."

Peter Gilmour, Acting President of World Match Racing Tour commented, "The World Match Racing Tour has already developed considerably since the start of 2010, we now have a new Asian based ownership, an adjusted Tour Card entry system, an additional event venue in Vietnam, improved website and an annual awards programme dedicated to not only the sailors but all the organisers that make WMRT events possible. We are all now keen to get Match Race France started this April and are looking forward to how the Tour will be the topic of conversation for the next 9 months across 10 events in the world. I wish each team the best of luck for their 2010 racing and may the very best team win!".

2010 Tour Card Holders:

Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch - 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champion
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team - finished second in 2009
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin - finished third in 2009
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzura
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team
Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar

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.

Yvonne Reid
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