The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has 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,” Canfield said. “We are excited for 2021 and our team and partners are looking forward to defending the World Championship title this year.”
The reigning champion skipper 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