The St. Moritz Match Race will start tomorrow in the Swiss Alps. Part of the Match Racing World Championship, the event will give the opportunity to twelve teams to fight for the coveted title of “King of the Mountain”. Eight members of the world's top ten are confirmed.
The 20 kilograms ‘King of the Mountain' Trophy will be awarded to the best team. Mathieu Richard (FRA), the current leader of the World Championship ranking and second in the ISAF ranking, is the current “Defender”. He won the 2008 edition of the event ahead of Ian Williams (UK).
The Swiss World Match Race Tour stopover is a Grade W event (W stands for World Championship); it is also an integral part of the ISAF Match Racing World Championship since 2005 and is therefore essential to the attribution of the world champion title. Prize money of approximately 100'000 Euros will be distributed to the best teams.
The races will take place on Lake St. Moritz; a true sailing stadium that provides a perfect and natural viewing platform from the shore. The local Maloja thermal breeze blows daily from 8 to 20 knots. All it needs is the sun to shine to start blowing around noon, guaranteeing a fantastic show to the numerous public.
Twelve teams representing eight nations have been selected for this regatta. Matthieu Richard (FRA) is an obvious favourite for the title although he just got taken over in the ISAF ranking by Adam Minoprio (NZL). His fellow competitor Sébastien Col – helmsman of K-Challenge's America's Cup team – will also compete in St. Moritz, alongside Ian Williams and Adam Minoprio. Peter Gilmour (AUS), a veteran of five America's Cups and quadruple winner of the World Match Racing title, is also one of the event's favourites. Last but not least, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) has just confirmed his participation.
Eric Monnin, from Switzerland, will be the local sailor of the event. Eighth last year, Monnin and his pals finished 3rd in 2007 and 6th in 2004. They know the lake inside out.
The St. Moritz match race will once again take place on Blu26 one-design sailing boats. Conceived by the Swiss Bluboats, the Blu26 are 8 m. long and 2,2 m. wide. They are perfectly adapted to match racing.
AFG, UBS and the Badrutt's Palace Hotel have confirmed their support to the event as main partners.
For more information:
Name of skipper, team (World Tour Ranking), nationality, ISAF ranking
Black Match / Team New Zealand (2)
French Match Racing Team (1)
French Match Racing Team / K-Challenge (8)
Team Pindar (5)
Mirsky Racing Team (4)
French Match Racing Team (11)
Berntsson Sailing Team (15)
OnBoard Saling Team (10)
Yanmar Racing Team (3)
Seth Sailing Team (-)
Swiss Match Race Team (-)
Joe Fly Match Race (14)
Tuesday September 1, 11 :00 AM – 5 :00 PM : practice races
Wednesday September 2, 10 :00 AM : skipper briefing. 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM : round robin A
Thursday September 3, 10 :00 AM : skipper briefing. 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM : round robin A
Friday September 4, 10:00 AM : skipper briefing. 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM : round robin B. 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM : quarter finals
Satuday September 5: 10:00 AM : skipper briefing. 11 :00 AM – 6 :00 PM : quarter finals
Sunday September 6 , 10 :00 AM : skipper briefing. 11 :00 AM – 1 :00 PM : semi-finals. 1 :00 PM – 4 :00 PM : Finales. 4:30 PM : Price giving.