The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) announced its 2021 World Championship season with a 17 event schedule across 11 countries, including the inaugural WMRT Final in Shenzhen, China from 15-19 December.
The 2021 season announcement has been made later than planned this year following the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and recovery, and the necessary re-scheduling of some events, as WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance explains;
“Last year was challenging for all international sports. We were very fortunate to be able to award the WMRT championship in Bermuda in October (won by Taylor Canfield and Stars + Stripes USA) due to the fantastic efforts of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. We are very hopeful 2021 will allow for a full tour season however, understandably, organisers and sailors are cautious of ongoing restrictions, which is why we have set the tour schedule not to start before the end of April.”
As last year, the 2021 WMRT season will comprise of ‘World Tour’ events and ‘World Championship’ events, opening with the Szczecin Match Race, Poland, 30 April-2 May. All events are organised under World Sailing rules as Open match racing events, allowing both men and women skippers, as well as mixed teams to compete. ‘World Championship’ level events award higher points to the WMRT leader-board, and prize money of at least USD75,000.
Skippers will count their best four results from the tour towards the WMRT 2021 leader-board. The top 10-12 skippers on the leader-board after the penultimate event will qualify to compete at the new WMRT Final hosted by the Shenzhen Bao’an Match Cup in China, 15-19 December. The WMRT Final will carry a points multiplier of x1.5 points and an event purse of USD200,000. The skipper with the highest number of points on the leader-board after the WMRT Final will be crowned WMRT Match Racing World Champion.
“WMRT is a great platform for sailors and fans to experience the best match racing competition globally. The Tour has done a fantastic job creating a racing schedule in the US, Europe, and Asia. We are excited for 2021 and our team and partners are looking forward to defending the World Championship title this year.”Taylor Canfield, Defending Two-Time World Match Racing Champion
Canfield will face strong competition from six-time world champion Ian Williams (GBR), two-time world champion Phil Robertson (NZL), and recently announced 2021 Tour Card skippers Eric Monnin (SUI), Maxime Mesnil (FRA) and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL).
2021 World Match Racing Tour Schedule
- Szczecin Match Race, Poland, 30 April – 2 May
- Porto Montenegro Match Race, 7-9 May
- NJK Open Spring Cup, Finland, 21-23 May
- GKKS Spring Cup, Gothenburg, Sweden, 29-30 May
- GKSS MATCH CUP MARSTRAND*, Marstrand, Sweden, 6-10 July
- Internationaux de France Match Racing, Pornichet, 29 July – 4 August
- The Chicago Cup, 6-8 August
- International Match Race for the Detroit Cup, 19-22 August
- Baltic Match Race, Estonia, 25-29 August
- Oakcliff International, Oyster Bay NY, 27-30 August
- Thompson Cup, Oyster Bay NY, 1-4 September
- Ficker Cup, Long Beach USA, 9-12 September
- Match Race Germany, Lake Constance, 8-12 September
- THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP REGATTA*, Long Beach USA, 14-19 September
- DBS Marina Bay Cup, Singapore 30 Sept-3 Oct
- BERMUDA GOLD CUP*, 27 Sept – 2 Oct
- SHENZHEN BAO’AN MATCH CUP, WMRT FINAL* Shenzhen, China, 15-19 December
*WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS
About the World Match Racing Tour
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. 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 (ISV), 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.
Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors.
More information at www.wmrt.com.