by Adam Tanous
World Match Racing Tour 2011 consisted of nine races which kicked off in Marseille with Match Race France on 10th May and concluded with the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia on 27th November.
Team GAC Pindar skipper Ian Williams with Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish - World Match Racing Tour 2011
Sailing and soccer came together last night when Team GAC Pindar skipper and three-time world champion Ian Williams was presented with the World Match Racing Trophy at Selhurst Park, home ground of Crystal Palace FC.
The trophy - which was crafted by the Royal jewellers, Garrard - was handed to the three-time world champion by Steve Parish, Chairman of the GAC-sponsored club, in front of a home crowd ahead of their game against Birmingham City FC.
Williams clinched his third International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Match Racing title after Team GAC Pindar's win in the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia last month. He was at Selhurst Park on the day GAC announced their continued sponsorship of the South London club until 2014. The agreement now represents a decade-long uninterrupted relationship between Crystal Palace and the global shipping, logistics and marine services provider.
'It's great to be at Selhurst Park for the announcement of GAC's continuing sponsorship of the team,' he said. 'Sponsorship is important for sport, as I well know. Without GAC's support, winning the World Match Racing Tour Championship this year would not have been possible, so I can imagine how important GAC's continued backing is for Crystal Palace FC.'
Andrew Pindar, Team Principal of Team GAC Pindar, added: 'GAC enjoys using a variety of sports to promote itself, ranging from golf, American football and Formula 1 motor racing to the very best of competitive sailing. The passion and commitment that the sportsmen we support display matches the values and ambitions of GAC to be the best at what we do. We're proud to welcome our newly crowned, three-time world champion sailor Ian Williams to join us at Selhurst Park. The pursuit of victory, glory and silverware is a part of our proud history of support for Crystal Palace, and in a season where we are again enjoying some fabulous on-field success, we're delighted to see Ian and his trophy at the ground.'
GAC sponsors a portfolio of sports including sailing, football, golf and basketball.
Team GAC Pindar website