Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - Worldwide Support

ISAF World Match Racing Tour poised for major growth

by Rob Kothe on 22 Nov 2011
The Today Show with Hannah White, along with all other multimedia content, is available through the World Match Racing Tour’s iTunes vodcast site. © Chris Davies/AWMRT
‘Internet TV is watch it where you want, when you want, download it … and it has become very significant for the sport of sailing’ says World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) Chief Executive Officer Jim O'Toole.

Over the last five years the sport has gone from having small clips like the Volvo Ocean Race starts, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart start and the America’s Cup, to being viewable 24 hours a day on the internet via YouTube channels and a selection of IPTV platforms. The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has developed a unique package to deliver content to its ever-growing fan base.


O’Toole explains. ‘The WMRT IPTV coverage of racing is built around two hours of programming each day - the WMRT Morning Show and the WMRT Today Show, our daily magazine programmes.

‘The shows have proved to be very popular, not just with audiences but also with the sailors, the event promoters and with sponsors.

‘They increase our digital footprint and reaffirm the World Match Racing Tour as a leader in providing multimedia content for fans.

‘In media terms, our commitment to the wireless mesh that we have created for taking images off the water, has been I think our big achievement this year.

‘This is an exciting sport and we have to be able to get better pictures off the water. Now WMRT create our own wireless network on the water by using wireless nodes positioned around the race course, on committee boats, on pursuit boats and in fixed positions and these basically suck up the imagery, which is then sent to the editing suite on the land. This vision can then go straight out to the internet or to a live broadcaster.

‘We started off with three extra cameras in France and in Germany we improved the technique a little more. By the time we got to St Moritz, with the light and the air that you have there it was just stunning, absolutely beautiful imagery coming off the water… and I am proud of that.

‘‘That was a big step towards us being able to move towards regular live television as well as live IPTV.

‘Presently you are right in the heart of the action and the next stage is to increase the on-board audio, which we have tried for some of this year and we’ve had a great reaction to it.

‘It’s now a case of ‘how do we build in the ability for fans to listen to sailors actually talking to each other on the boat’?

I am really pleased with the audience numbers and the feedback we are receiving. It will be an ever improving process - some people want more sailing in these shows while some people want more background. Our fans have been able to follow the events through stories and blogs but they want to see the action.

‘There is no other way, unless the event has a sufficient TV budget to go to live TV, like the Monsoon Cup this week.

‘The Monsoon Cup is going to have 14 live broadcasters around the world. It’s just a phenomenal performance. The Korea Match Cup also had a large TV budget but we are pleased that the IPTV products are now significant for all the other events on the Tour.

‘However, our media package is just one part of our overall offering.

‘WMRT are well placed as we are a well-funded, well-supported business.

‘We have an owner that has a very clear vision and strategy and the WMRT will be unveiling some major developments before the start of the 2012 season.

‘We have modified our Tour Prize Bonus pool to assist the young rookies while providing greater certainty for Tour Card holders and this allows them to sign three year sponsorship packages and build a brand, together with their sponsors.

‘We continue to see a lot of talented youngsters coming through the ranks. I have been really encouraged by the young talent coming through, such as Keith Swinton, Reuben Corbett and we may see more British teams.

‘One of things we did this season was to change the point system so that there was a smaller differential between first, second, third, fourth and fifth etc and it rewarded the mid field. If you are consistent, if you are finishing fifth and sixth all the time, then you are getting good decent points and you can build up your points and prizes.

’I am pleased with the commercial developments, with the Garrard deal and with another global deal that will be announced just after Christmas.

‘We have made good progress on the sponsorship front in a competitive market place but we have done the hard yards with a lot of research, in terms of creating the product and polishing the product.

‘I am also very pleased with the relationship with promoters. When we took over the business two years ago you can imagine there was a little of ‘who are these guys and how can they tell us to run our own events?’ but that relationship has solidified. The new venue acquisition process will yield some very positive benefits over the next two seasons.

‘We have also launched our own magazine - Match Race 360.

‘We are building a community of match race fans around the world.
‘The process we launched in October 2010 has thrown up some great potential host partners around the world. We will be making some very positive announcements about new venues soon.

‘This week here at the Monsoon Cup, the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion will be crowned.

‘The World Tour offers over US$1.75million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the ISAF Match Racing World Champion’.

‘Next season all teams competing on the Tour will have an added incentive to reach the season finale where the US$500,000 bonus prize pool will be awarded across a more even spread from first to ninth place, with the ISAF Match Racing World Champion pocketing US$75,000.

‘Our Tour Card Holders are our single biggest asset – throughout the season they are the headline acts that attract live spectators, TV and IPTV viewers around the world to watch our Championship events. The new WMRT Invite Policy is designed not only to safeguard that asset but also to reward our Card Holders for their performances on the water and professionalism off it.’


The Monsoon Cup will be sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia from 22-27 November. This final event of the World Match Racing Tour will decide the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

Related Articles

Peter Gilmour and YANMAR Racing look forward to 2012
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, faced Jesper Radich (DEN) in the Petit Final of the 2011 Monsoon Cup. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, five times the ISAF Match Racing World Champion and twice the Monsoon Cup winner, faced Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners in the Petit Final of the 2011 Monsoon Cup.
Posted on 29 Nov 2011
WMRT Monsoon Cup - Real-time coaching makes debut in Malaysia
Monsoon Cup - Real-time coaching made its debut in the Quarter-Finals. Coaches were allowed to give advice via radio WMRT Monsoon Cup - Borrowing from the motor sports world, where the driver is in constant contact with his crew via radio comms, real-time coaching made its debut in the Quarter-Finals yesterday. Rule 41 of the Racing Rules of Sailing which normally prohibits ‘outside assistance’ has been amended here, so that coaches have been allowed to give advice and insight to their team via radio.
Posted on 28 Nov 2011
WMRT Monsoon Cup - Real-time coaching makes debut in Malaysia
Monsoon Cup - Real-time coaching made its debut in the Quarter-Finals. Coaches were allowed to give advice via radio WMRT Monsoon Cup - Borrowing from the motor sports world, where the driver is in constant contact with his crew via radio comms, real-time coaching made its debut in the Quarter-Finals yesterday. Rule 41 of the Racing Rules of Sailing which normally prohibits ‘outside assistance’ has been amended here, so that coaches have been allowed to give advice and insight to their team via radio.
Posted on 28 Nov 2011
WMRT Monsoon Cup – Williams defeats Berntsson in dramatic final
WMRT Monsoon Cup - Ian Williams has added the Monsoon Cup to his third ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown WMRT Monsoon Cup - Ian Williams has added the Monsoon Cup to his third ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown after the British sailor defeated Johnie Berntsson 3-1. The double is a feat Williams first achieved in 2007 and is the second consecutive year a British sailor has won both the Monsoon Cup and the World Championship after Ben Ainslie in 2010.
Posted on 27 Nov 2011
WMRT Monsoon Cup – Williams defeats Berntsson in dramatic final
WMRT Monsoon Cup - Ian Williams has added the Monsoon Cup to his third ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown WMRT Monsoon Cup - Ian Williams has added the Monsoon Cup to his third ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown after the British sailor defeated Johnie Berntsson 3-1. The double is a feat Williams first achieved in 2007 and is the second consecutive year a British sailor has won both the Monsoon Cup and the World Championship after Ben Ainslie in 2010.
Posted on 27 Nov 2011
Triple World Champion Ian Williams wins Monsoon Cup 2011
Most of the Tour skippers rate Williams' ability to defend a lead amongst the best on the scene ... British sailor Ian Williams, now a triple ISAF Match Racing World Champion, won the Monsoon Cup in 2007 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, the year he won the World Match Racing Tour for the first time.
Posted on 27 Nov 2011
Triple World Champion Ian Williams wins Monsoon Cup 2011
Most of the Tour skippers rate Williams' ability to defend a lead amongst the best on the scene ... British sailor Ian Williams, now a triple ISAF Match Racing World Champion, won the Monsoon Cup in 2007 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, the year he won the World Match Racing Tour for the first time.
Posted on 27 Nov 2011
Yanmar Racing fight for third on 2011 World Match Racing Tour
YANMAR Racing are into the Petite Final of the Monsoon Cup and have the opportunity to finish third on this year's WMRT YANMAR Racing are into the Petite Final of the Monsoon Cup and could finish third on this year's ISAF World Match Racing Tour. Preparing for racing today YANMAR Racing's skipper Peter Gilmour was positive. ‘Generally we have sailed well over the last couple of days. We have the Petite Final this morning so we will keep working till the end.'
Posted on 27 Nov 2011
WMRT Monsoon Cup day 4 images by Gareth Cooke
WMRT Monsoon Cup day 4 images by Gareth Cooke WMRT Monsoon Cup day 4 images by photographer Gareth Cooke from Subzero Images.
Posted on 26 Nov 2011
WMRT Monsoon Cup - Ian Williams new ISAF Match Racing World Champion
The quarter-finals of this year's Monsoon Cup became the 2011 World Match Racing Tour Championship showdown The quarter-finals of this year's Monsoon Cup became the 2011 World Match Racing Tour Championship showdown when Tour leader and twice World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar (106 points) and second placed Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing Team (100 points), faced each other in a first to three wins playoff.
Posted on 26 Nov 2011
Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1Bakewell-White Yacht DesignLancer Inflatables - BJ