The ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final 2013 is set to take place in Middelfart, Denmark, from August 7–August 10, 2013. The bi-annual Nations Cup is the showcase event for emerging match racing talent and former winners include Ed Baird, the 2007 America’s Cup winning helmsman. Every second year, the International Sailing Federation ISAF organises the Nations Cup match race.
Action from the ISAF Nations Cup 2011
Across the world, 16 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams qualify for the Grand Final by ranking among the best in qualifying races from February to June in the year of the Nations Cup. The contest culminates in the Grand Final and the races take place on the strait of Fænøsund, off Middelfart Marina. Approximately 200 active participants will attend.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will visit Middelfart Marina during the ISAF Nations Cup 2013 Grand Final. Together with a select crew, including Jesper Bank (Olympic gold medallist, in Barcelona 1992 and in Syndey 2000 in the soling class), Thomas Jacobsen (Olympic gold in soling in 2000), Henrik Blakskjær (Olympic gold medal in the soling in 2000) and Peter Lang (Olympic bronze medal in London in 2012), he will challenge the local top team, Nicolai Sehested and crew, to a match race.
Middelfart will doubtless be a good challenge and all the crews will have to adapt quickly to the conditions in this part of the Triangle Region. The Fænøsund out of Middelfart Marina, with its narrow waters, different and strong currents and localised winds make it unique and exciting for the match race crews and overlooking spectators.
What is a match race?
A match race is a race between two competitors (boats), going head-to-head. The term may be best known as a race between two sailing boats racing around a course. The ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final starts with a round-robin (or all-race-all) tournament followed by knock out stages which ultimately end in the final to decide first and second and a petit-final to decide third and fourth. There will often be a fifth to eighth place sail off to decide those positions. A normal match race lasts about 20 minutes.