Last night in Gothenburg Sweden, Aston Harald Sports the new owners of the World Match Racing Tour announced that Bathers Beach Fremantle will be the first venue to host the opening of the 2016 season of the World Match Racing Tour. This season opener will be running for six days from 2nd – 7th March 2016 and will offer $270,000 in prize money.
The World Match Racing Tour is the longest running global professional sailing series. Now in its 17th consecutive season, the event will be running under a new format using the M32 high-performance catamarans. This new venue will also award championship points into the new season's leader board. The finals of the World Match Racing Tour Championship will be concluded in Marstrand, Sweden with a staggering US$1,000,000 million cash bonus to be awarded to the ISAF Match Racing World Champion in July 2016.
This exciting development now opens a new doorway for sailors who are aspiring to join America’s Cup teams to train, race and hone their match racing skills on the M32 catamaran in preparation for the historic and prestigious yacht racing trophy, the “Auld Mug”.
M32 Australasia, the company importing these formula one racing catamarans has opened up an office in Mews Rd, Fremantle in preparation for the arrival of the first four of eight M32 high-performance catamarans to be home based here in Perth coming January.
“The intention is to start sailing these M32s from local clubs giving established teams and potential owners the opportunity to sail on these relatively easy to learn racing catamarans,” says David Mills, one of the Directors of M32 Australasia and Race Director for the World Match Racing Tour event at Bathers Beach.
Mills is certainly excited by the prospect of seeing West Australia teams race against the world best on their own turf.
He added, “It’s been far too long since Western Australia has had a World Match Racing event of their own.”
Western Australia has had its fair share of champions in the sport of match racing. Retired match racing legend and four-times World Match Racing Tour Champion Peter Gilmour will now have the opportunity to see one of his son’s sail in front of a home crowd.
South of Perth Yacht Club will be well represented with Keith Swinton, who is currently fourth on the 2015 World Match Racing Tour leader board and possibly up and rising star Matt Jerwood, who is gunning to win a qualifying place into this Championship event.
Two qualifiers have been picked for this World Championship event. Both Warren Jones Youth Regatta, 2nd – 5th February 2016 and the South of Perth Yacht Club Regatta, 23-25th February will offer six spots to join the remaining 14 places bringing the world’s best sailors together here at Bathers Beach Fremantle, 2-7 March 2016.
– Fremantle Sailing Club