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St. Moritz Match Race - World's best head to Switzerland

by Bernard Schopfer on 23 Aug 2011
St Moritz Match Race 2010 Loris von Siebenthal/myimage/WMRT
The St. Moritz Match Race will take place from the 30 August to the 4 September. The World Match Race Tour competitors are traveling to Switzerland this coming week for the ninth edition of the of the race where they will be joined on the water by two Swiss teams with everything to gain – including the 150,000 CHF purse for the winner!

St. Moritz Match Race is the sixth stage of the World Match Race Tour, a professional series that spans eight stages and concludes in November in Malaysia with an official world championship. Nine out of the world's top ten match racers (Australian Peter Gilmour is unable to attend) will join two Swiss teams in the Grison Alps: Eric Monnin, an event veteran and Jérôme Clerc with his crew from the Geneva Training Centre.

'Last year we came to learn about the World Match Race Tour and at the time we ranked lower than 200th in the world,' said Clerc. 'This year we have got a bit more experience. We currently rank among the top 100 crews in the world and winning the Swiss Championship against the Monnin brothers helped boost our confidence. Having said that, match racing isn't our priority. We have never won a match against one of the top ten teams, but we will be aiming to this year. We feel a little bit like a low ranked tennis player facing a Masters tournament... A sizeable and motivating challenge! We can't wait!'

Eric Monnin and his Okalys Corum Team have a different approach. Ranked 16th in the world and with a third place at the 2007 edition of the St. Moritz Match Race, Monnin will be looking for any opportunity to break into the top ten.

'We have been training hard and finished third at two Grade 1 events this year, in Pornichet, France and Sopot, Poland. We also raced the European match race championship. We are outsiders at this event and are happy with that status. If we are on form, we know we can go far. We have raced the semi-finals in St. Moritz before and it goes without saying that our goal is to do better.'

The competition will be fierce with names such as Francesco Bruni, who is currently leading the World Match Race Tour and Ian Williams, who is ranked third in the world, racing for dominance. Jesper Radich from Denmark is currently ranked fourth, he explains that he has been doing a lot of sailing on other boats: 'My current goal is to get back into match racing. This will be my first St. Moritz Match Race so the guys that know the boats well will have a small advantage over us, but that doesn't worry me.'

Swedish match racer, Johnie Berntsson is also highly motivated going into the St. Moritz stage. He would like to remedy his disappointing results from earlier in the season. 'We have raced St. Moritz before and we are delighted to be back. We hope to get some good results.'

Don't miss the live online coverage of the St. Moritz Match Race from 13:00 each day on the St. Mortiz Match Race website and catch up on results and match previews during the morning show. As has become the norm in St. Moritz, spectators will have privileged access to the racing and to competitors and can enjoy a ringside view of the fight for the annual match racing title, the 150,000 CHF purse and most importantly of all, the prestigious title of 'King of the Mountain'!

Entry list for St. Moritz Match Race 2011

Francesco Bruni (ITA), Pierluigi de Felice, Tom Burmhan, Matteo Auguadro
Ian Williams (GBR), Bill Hardesty, Gerry Mitchell, Matt Cassidy
Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Kyle Langford, Graeme Spence, Kinley Fowler
Jepser Radich (DEN), Rasmus Kostner, David Swete, Nick Black
Damien Iehl (FRA), Fred Guilmin, Devan Le Bihan,Francois Verdier
Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Andres Jönssen, Philip Kai Guhle, Mathias Bredin
Mathieu Richard (FRA), Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, TBA
Phil Robertson (NZL), Garth Ellingham, Sam Bell, TBA
Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Johan Berne, Oscar Angervall, Anders Dahlsjö
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), Cédric Chateau, Mathieu Renault, Steven Liorzou
Eric Monnin (SUI), Marc Monnin, Jean-Claude Monnin, Julien Falxa
Jerome Clerc (SUI), Denis Girardet, Elodie Mettraux, Bryan Mettraux

2011 ISAF World Match Race Tour – ranking after five stages

1 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing – 81pts
2 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing – 74pts
3 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar – 71pts
4 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners – 59pts
5 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat – 59pts
6 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team – 57pts
7 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 57pts
8 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team – 53pts
9 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 39pts
10 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team – St. Moritz Match Race World Match Racing Tour website
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