The ISAF World Match Racing Tour heads to Denmark this week, with a new venue, Bornholm, an island on the Baltic Sea. Denmark has been a happy hunting ground for Danish match racing in the past eight years with no less than six victories recorded by Denmark's leading sailors.
This year, the likes of Mathieu Richard
(FRA) French Match Racing Team and Adam Minoprio
(NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing will head a pack of teams keen to redress the balance.
With the Danish Open being one of just two remaining events for teams to qualify for the Championship deciding Monsoon Cup, the 2010 Danish Open has all the hallmarks to be one of the most competitive and fiercely fought match racing contests of the year so far. Last year, the action was peppered with penalties and upsets, with the fierce race between Peter Gilmour
(AUS) YANMAR Racing and Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) Trifork Racing in the semi-final epitomising the heated nature of match racing.
Gilmour, reflected: "The rivalries, the contentious decisions and moves in the heat of the moment, the bragging rights, up close action... they're what make match racing unique and the Danish Open so memorable! I've got scores to settle this year and I'll be looking to crank up our output in Bornholm to push YANMAR Racing up the Tour rankings."
In 2010, the Danish Open will shift location from the city of Aarhus to the 'Bright Green Island' of Bornholm where a melting pot of talent will compete for the honours from the 8 to 12 September. Six of the top seven teams in the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Championship are on the entry list, including current Tour leader, Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, defending World Match Racing Champion Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team and Ben Ainslie
(GBR) TEAMORIGIN - the triple Olympic gold medallist and skipper of Britain's America's Cup Challenger team. Four-time World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour
(AUS) YANMAR Racing, former World Champion Bertrand Pacé
(FRA) Aleph Sailing Team, Torvar Mirsky
(AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, Francesco Bruni
(ITA) Azzurra, Bjorn Hansen
(SWE) Hansen Global Team complete the group of Tour Card Holders set to compete.
An exciting crop of Wildcard entries is headed up by local match racer, Mads Ebler
(DEN) Ebler Match Racing Team, the young 20-year old William Tiller
(NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing Team, Susanne Ward
(DEN) Team Ward and Michael Buckley
(USA) MB Sailing.
The ISAF World Match Racing Tour is renowned for being the career pathway of the world's best match racers, many of whom have and will go on to compete in the America's Cup. The Danish Open comes off the back of the St. Moritz Match Race and is the 7th Stage in the epic 9 event Tour which includes races in France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Korea and Bermuda, culminating in November/December 2010 with the high-profile Monsoon Cup in Malaysia.
2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After Stage 6 of 9)
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 96 Points
2. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 72 Points
3. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 69 Points
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 60 Points
5. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 57 Points
6. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 45 Points
7. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 43 Points
8. Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team 40 Points
9. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Sigma Racing Team 29 Points
10. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 23 Points
2010 Tour Card Holders:
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar
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