London, UK (17 April, 2019) The World Match Racing Tour has announced the skipper line-up for the 2018-2019 WMRT Championship Final from 3-7 July in Marstrand, Sweden hosted by the GKSS Match Cup Sweden. The list of world class sailors features three former match racing world champions including defending champion Torvar Mirsky (AUS), six-time world champion Ian Williams (GBR) and 2016 world champion Phil Robertson (NZL).
The 2018-2019 WMRT Championship Final will conclude the extended 2018 WMRT season as announced last month. The winner of the event will be crowned 2018-2019 Match Racing World Champion as sanctioned by World Sailing, and will have their name engraved on to the WMRT Championship Trophy made by Royal Jewellers Garrard & Co.
Eleven of the top twelve teams from the WMRT leaderboard have accepted invitations to the Championship Final including French multihull maestro Yann Guichard and his Spindrift Racing team. After finishing on the podium at the 2017 WMRT Finals in Shenzhen China, the team have their sights firmly set on a win in Marstrand.
Also with his sights on the podium is Dutch Olympic Finn sailor Pieter-Jan ‘PJ’ Postma and his Sailing Team NL. Currently ranked #11 on the WMRT leaderboard, Postma finished 4th at the 2017 WMRT Finals in Marstrand, a venue which he and his team certainly found their stride as he explained;
“I am hugely excited to be competing at the WMRT Finals in Marstrand. It is a very challenging venue but it suits our sailing style well as a team. We have had a lot of time sailing our own M32 since then, so we are feeling confident for a good finish this year!”
Due to his 49er Olympic commitments, Danish sailor Jonas Warrer, currently ranked #9 on the WMRT leaderboard, is unfortunately unable to make the event and the invitation will be passed to a replacement skipper and team to be announced in the coming weeks.
The five-day WMRT Championship Final will be raced in M32 carbon fibre multihulls on the legendary Marstrand racecourse, a short and technically challenging racing area requiring split decisions by teams at speeds over 25knots. The iconic rocks that flank either side of the course offer the ultimate stadium view of the racing for the tens of thousands of spectators that will flock to the island during the event to enjoy the weeks festivities and lively social scene.
Confirmed skippers for the WMRT Championship Final are as follows;
- Nicklas Dackhammer (SWE) Essiq Racing Team
- Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
- Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift Racing
- Harry Price (AUS) Down Under Racing
- Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Cetilar Mirsky Racing Team
- Mans Holmberg (SWE) Strasys Racing Team
- Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
- Markus Edegran (USA) Team Torrent
- Phil Robertson (NZL) China One Ningbo
- Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Sailing Team NL
- Daniel Björnholt (DEN) Youth Vikings Denmark
- To be announced
Full details of each team including skipper bios and crew lists will be announced in the run up to the July event and made available on the WMRT website.
For more information on WMRT, visit www.wmrt.com and follow us on social media by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.
Current WMRT leaderboard (for full leaderboard, click here)
Main image: Six-time Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams (GBR), Team GAC Pindar Photo: Ian Roman
Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Sailing Team NL
Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing
Iconic rocks of Marstrand
GKSS Match Cup Sweden 2018