Marstrand, Sweden (3rd July 2016): The ISAF-sanctioned World Match Racing Tour today announced the biggest ever prize purse in the history of the sport, a staggering US $1 million cash bonus to be awarded to the ISAF Match Racing World Champion from 2016. The announcement follows last week’s news of Swedish Company Aston Harald AB acquiring the World Tour. The World Match Racing Tour is the longest running global professional sailing series, now in it’s 16th consecutive season with 19 global events including seven World Championship events.
A press conference was held by the World Match Racing Tour and Aston Harald AB on the island of Marstrand, venue of this week’s Stena Match Cup Sweden event as part of the World Tour. The new owner of the World Match Racing Tour and CEO of Aston Harald AB, Håkan Svensson commented;
“We are committed to creating a strong and financially rewarding career path for professional sailors on the World Match Racing Tour. The US $1 million bonus will hopefully encourage skippers and teams to compete on the Tour at the highest level of racing.”
A further announcement made at today’s press conference was that the final event of the World Match Racing Tour will return to the island of Marstrand, Sweden from 2016. The current 2015 Tour season will finish at the Monsoon Cup, Malaysia at the end of January 2016, after which there will be a short season created for the 2016 World Championship to conclude in Sweden in late June/ early July.
“The World Match Racing Tour has previously finished at Marstrand until 2004 when the final was moved to Malaysia” added James Pleasance, WMRT Executive Director. “However the Stena Match Cup Sweden has always been a flagship event of the World Tour and therefore it is fitting to move the Finals back to Marstrand again.”
In addition to the Championship final moving to Marstrand in 2016, it was also announced the 2016 Stena Match Cup Sweden will be sailed in M32 multihulls, replacing the highly popular but now ageing DS37. This is the first World Match Racing Tour event to be announced to be sailed in M32 multihulls since Aston Harald’s acquisition of the Tour.
Further details about the 2016 World Match Racing season will be announced over the next few months.