Kiwimatch 2 - World Match Racing Tour
New Zealand match racing team, Kiwi Match, have become one of only nine teams internationally to have qualified for a World Match Racing Tour Card.
Team Kiwimatch join fellow New Zealanders, Waka Racing, in the fight to become the World Match Racing Champions, following in the wake of past New Zealand champions Russell Coutts, Chris Dickson, Dean Barker and most recently Adam Minoprio.
Hard work and perseverance have finally paid off for the team, who have been steadily climbing the world rankings over the last few years. Success in 2011 in the USA, winning both the Nations Cup and the USA Grand Slam saw Kiwimatch climb into the top 10 of the ISAF world rankings for the first time and into contention for a highly sought-after tour card.
Last years World Tour Champion, Ian Williams from Great Britian is once again on the list of nine skippers to have secured a Tour Card for the 2012 season. Selected by the Tour, the list of Tour Card Holders include a mix of current and former World Champions, Olympic and America’s Cup campaigners, as well as a new exciting breed of promising young teams, which includes Team Kiwimatch.
Coinciding with this week’s announcement of the 2012 Tour Card holders, the tour also unveiled a new event, the Chicago Match Cup in the US, to complement the other regattas in Germany, Korea, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Bermuda and Malaysia.
Kiwimatch 1 - World Match Racing Tour
'This really is an exciting opportunity for Team Kiwimatch', says skipper Laurie Jury. 'We’ve worked hard as a team over the last 3 years to get to this point, so it’s encouraging to see that hard work pay off. To finally be at the level to compete against the best skippers, and the best teams in the world is great. Hopefully we can match the success other New Zealand teams have had on the World Match Racing Tour'.
As with most young teams, half the challenge is being in a position to actually get to the start line. With events spread right around the world, the cost of competing doesn’t always come cheap. 'It’s always a constant battle to be able to afford to get to a lot of these events', explains Jury. 'Fitting training sessions between work commitments and always having to watch costs makes it hard when competing against fully professional teams. We’re currently in the process of finding sponsorship to help us compete on a more level playing field.'
More news about the team can be found on their website www.kiwimatch-sailing.com and on the official World Match Racing Tour website www.worldmatchracingtour.com.