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World Match Racing Tour heads to St Moritz

by Bernard Schopfer on 23 Aug 2012
St Moritz Match Race 2011 Loris von Siebenthal/St Moritz Match Race
Alpari World Match Racing Tour fifth leg, the St Moritz Match Race, gets underway next week at the prestigious Segel-Club, St Moritz from August 28 to September 2, 2012. The event will celebrate its tenth edition and the winner will be crowned 'King of the Mountain'.

Leading international sailors will take part, including Ian Williams (UK), reigning world champion, Björn Hansen (SWE) and Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), who are currently co-leading the world rankings, and a host of specialists from the Southern Hemisphere, led by veteran Peter Gilmour, a sailing legend and former international competitor of the America's Cup. There are also four crews from New Zealand, including Phil Robertson, Laurie Jury, Keith Swinton and Josh Junior, as well as French skipper Mathieu Richard, winner in 2008 and 2010. In short – it’s going to be an epic event.

Switzerland’s top two teams will compete against the world’s best and try to shake the hierarchy. Eric Monnin’s Okalys-Corum Team hasen’t missed a single edition of the event yet, whilst Jérôme Clerc and his 'Geneva Traing Centre' qualified last weekend by winning the Swiss Championships in Romanshorn.

In recent years, the Swiss crews have struggled to compete against the world’s best. Eric Monnin, the best Swiss skipper, finished tenth in the past three years, while Jérôme Clerc ranked twelfth in 2010 and 2011.

According to Eric Monnin, 'the world's best are beatable, but you have to be ready to be humbled. They sail year round in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour so we can’t argue that it’ll be tough. Our role is that of the underdog. But I remain convinced, we do have a role to play, and we can shake the hierarchy.'

Jérôme Clerc said meanwhile that the weight of the crew is a key element. 'Participants in the World Tour weigh on average 87 kilos. For comparison, we missed 50 kilos last year, more than half a teammate, it's huge!' The new Swiss Match Race champion is confident he can beat the best. He is actively looking for a jib trimmer to replace his usual one, unfortunately not available next week. This replacement should, in an ideal world, weigh 120 kilos...!

St. Moritz Match Race will once again benefit from the support of Volvo Cars Switzerland and Badrutt's Palace Hotel as key partners. Companies Romano and Christen, BDO, LGT and Flyer will also be at the heart of the action as 'Boat Partners'. Finally, Engadin St. Moritz and Tourism St. Moritz will again be local partners of the event.

St. Moritz Match Race 2012 Teams:
Mekonomen Sailing Team
Skipper : Björn Hansen
Crew : Magnus Woxén, Phillip Kai Guhle, Mathias Bredin

Team GAC Pindar
Skipper : Ian Williams
Crew : Bill Hardesty, Gerry Mitchell, Matt Cassidy

Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
Skipper : Pierre-Antoine Morvan
Crew : Steven Liorzou, Mathieu Renault, Cédric Chateau

Waka Racing Team
Skipper : Phil Robertson
Crew : James Williamson, Garth Ellingham, Adam Martin

Yanmar Racing
Skipper : Peter Gilmour
Crew : Yasuhiro Yaji, Thierry Douillard, Fred Guilmin

Black Swan Racing
Skipper : Keith Swinton
Crew : Olof Lundgren, Jakob Gustafsson, Ricky McGarvie

Kiwi Match Sailing
Skipper : Laurie Jury
Crew : Brad Farrand, Logan Fraser, Michael Fraser

Berntsson Sailing Team
Skipper : Johnie Berntsson
Crew : Johan Bame, Oscar Angervall, Anders Dahlsjö

Team Okalys-Corum
Skipper : Eric Monnin
Crew : Marc Monnin, Julien Falxa, Simon Brügger

Loire Atlantique Sailing Team
?Skipper : Mathieu Richard
Crew : Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, François Verdier?

Wellington Spirit
Skipper : Josh Junior
Crew : Matthew Steven, Chris Jones, James Sandall

Centre d’Entraînement à la Régate
Skipper : Jérôme Clerc
Crew : Bryan Mettraux, Denis St Moritz Match Race WMRT website

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