The first official World Tour Qualifier event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour is set to take place this weekend, 17-18 May, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Volvo Spring Cup, organised by the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS), is one of eleven International Sailing Federation (ISAF) graded match racing events that qualify for the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Szczecin Grade 2 is the World Tour qualifier event to Sopot Match Race
Each of the World Tour Qualifier events award the winners entry to one of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour events in Germany, Sweden, Poland, Chicago, Bermuda and Malaysia. The qualifying skippers will then have the opportunity to sail against the world’s highest ranked match racing teams, as well as earn prize money and points towards the World Championship. The winning team and the best Swedish youth team at the Volvo Spring Cup this weekend will qualify for the Stena Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary.
With over 1,000 match racing sailors on the ISAF world ranking, the road to becoming ISAF Match Racing World Champion is arguably one of the toughest in the sport. As Alpari World Match Racing Tour Executive Director James Pleasance explains;
'The World Tour Qualifier events provide a hugely valuable pathway for up-and-coming match racing sailors to earn their place on the world stage. It is crucial for any sport to have a strong structure in place to help promote new talent and this is something we work very closely with ISAF to achieve with the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and our event partners'
As well as the qualifier events to the World Tour, there are also a number of active match racing centres and academies around the world which provide training courses and events of their own. These include the highly successful Chicago Match Race Centre (Chicago Match Race) and Malaysia’s ‘Belia Belayar’ program run by the organisers of the Monsoon Cup to introduce youth to sailing and match racing in Malaysia.'
Teams interested in entering any of the World Tour Qualifier events can contact the events directly or via the Tour office for more information (WMRT website).
2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour Qualifier Events
May 17 – 18: Volvo Spring Cup, Gothenburg, SWE
(Qualifier for Stena Match Cup Sweden)
May 30 – Jun 1: Szczecin Grade 2, Szczecin, POL
Jul 18 – 20: Kamien Pomorski G3, Kamien, POL
(Qualifier for Sopot Match Race)
Jun 13 – 15: Chicago Match Cup Qualifier Chicago, USA
Aug 2013: 2014 US Grand Slam Series Winner, USA*
(Qualifier for Chicago Match Cup)
* 2015 event
Aug 27 – 31: Knickerbocker Cup New York, USA
September: Bermuda Championship, Hamilton, BER
(Qualifier for Argo Group Gold Cup)
Oct 9 – 12: German MR Championship, Konstanz, GER
November: Berlin Match Race (TBC), GER
(Qualifier for Match Race Germany 2015)
November: Liga Layar Malaysia, K. Terengganu, MAS
(Qualifier for Monsoon Cup)