Opening day of WMRT Final

Sydney, Australia (14 December, 2022) – Spectacular conditions today welcomed the ten teams on the opening day of the 2022 World Match Racing Tour Final on Sydney’s iconic harbour. USA’s Chris Poole leads the opening round undefeated with five straight wins and no losses.

As a brisk and fickle breeze built from 10-25knots from the west in glorious sunshine, PRO Denis Thomson led the fleet to North side of the harbour to set a race course off Bradley’s Head with Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as a backdrop.

Completing six flights of the opening round-robin stage, USA’s Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team of Joachim Aschenbrenner, Mal Parker and Graeme Spence were in strong form winning all five races for the day.

“Sydney Harbour is a breezy venue, but it was exciting racing and we improved each race. Harry Price put up a very strong fight against us but we were fortunate to get far enough ahead to clear our penalty in the last race.” commented Poole.

Jeppe Borch/ Borch Racing DEN (left) and Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing,USA
Jeppe Borch/ Borch Racing DEN (left) and Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing,USA

Following close behind the Riptide Racing team, Denmark’s Jeppe Borch / Borch Racing team, and New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson/ KNOTS Racing finished their opening day with an impressive 4-1 score. Egnot-Johnson is no stranger to the Elliott 7 boats being used at the regatta as he sails the same boats at home in New Zealand. Borch, however, has never sailed the Elliotts before and has had to learn fast;

wmrt day1
Breezy conditions on Day 1 - WMRT Final 2022
Breezy conditions on Day 1 – WMRT Final 2022

“The conditions were super tricky today, we had 25 degrees and everything between 10–30 knots on the course with very shifty conditions. It was important for us to stay fast and really get into the puffs and shifts which we managed to do well” commented Borch.

The umpire team led by Chief Umpire Russell Green were also kept busy on the race course handing out two black flags in separate pre-starts to Mati Sepp (EST) and Dave Hood (USA).

The day finished with an Opening Ceremony for the event hosted in the outdoor race village at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA). Walangari Karntawarra, an Indigenous Australian group officially opened the event with a traditional welcome to country and smoking ceremony. This was followed by an introduction to the ten skippers and welcome comments from CYCA Commodore Arthur Lane and WMRT’s Executive Director James Pleasance.

Walangari Karntawarra perform at the Opening Ceremony
Walangari Karntawarra perform at the Opening Ceremony

Racing starts tomorrow at 1200 AEST.

Results after Day 1

wmrt day1 results

ABOUT 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 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 Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR). 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. As a founding signatory of World Sailing’s 2030 Sustainability Charter, the tour is committed to supporting worldwide sustainability initiatives focused on reducing the use of single use materials, and ensuring the protection and health of our oceans. www.wmrt.com

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