Marstrand delivers on opening day of WMRT championship final
Marstrand, Sweden (3 July 2019) The island of Marstrand on the west coast of Sweden today proved why it is one of the best sailing venues in the world, as the twelve teams competing in the World Match Racing Tour championship finals revelled in spectacular conditions for fleet race Qualifying of the five day event. 2016 Match Racing World Champion Phil Robertson (NZL) and his China One Ningbo team finished the day on top of the fleet leaderboard with a solid 2-1-2-1 performance.
Sailing under a single reef in a 20-22 knot WNW breeze with gusts to 30 knots at the windward gate in the afternoon, the trio of Match Racing World Champions – Phil Robertson (China One Ningbo), Ian Williams (GAC Pindar) and Taylor Canfield (US One) were quick to post scores on the board, along with last year’s GKSS Match Cup Sweden winner Yann Guichard (Spindrift Racing). Defending World Match Racing Champion Torvar Mirsky (Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team) had a more disappointing day lying 8th after Day 1.
After two 3rd place finishes, Australian Harry Price (Down Under Racing) found his boat without a rig while practising for his third race. ‘We were just bearing away during the practise between races and the rig just fell forward’ said a surprised Price after the incident. Fortunately, the rig remained fully in tact during its fall and, despite having to take average points for the race, Price and team were quick to retrieve the rig with the on-water support team.
The GKSS Match Cup Sweden event this celebrates its 25th year in 2019, a long term flagship event of the World Match Racing Tour since its inception in 2000, then named the Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour. Spectators arrived in their thousands to the island today ahead of what promises to be a thrilling finale to the 2018-2019 World Match Racing Tour season. Amongst the crowd was former Swedish Match Tour champion and local match racing celebrity Magnus Holmberg, proudly supporting his son Måns sailing in the event.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for strong winds ahead of clearer conditions for Friday and the weekend. Racing is scheduled to start at 10am.
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NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organised and officially sanctioned match racing events. Teams accumulate points from each of the events towards an overall WMRT global ranking, the top twelve teams from which compete in the WMRT Championship Finals at the end of the season.
The WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion. Previous Champions include Bertrand Pace (FRA), Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Jesper Radich (DEN), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ian Williams (GBR), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Taylor Canfield (ISV), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS).
The WMRT is a match racing competition with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which change for each event and which place a firm focus on teamwork, strategy and skill. Racing takes place close to shore to create stadium-style viewing for spectators.