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World Match Racing Tour announces 2024 championship season

by WMRT 14 Feb 09:39 PST
World Match Racing Tour announces 2024 championship season © World Match Racing Tour

The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) today announced its 2024 championship season with a fifteen-event schedule across ten countries, concluding at the WMRT Final Shenzhen Baoan, China in December.

This year marks the 24th consecutive year of WMRT, the world's longest running professional sailing series and Special Event of World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport.

The 2024 world tour will kick off in April with back-to-back events in Long Beach, California at the Ficker Cup and the 59th edition of The Congressional Cup, a founding event of WMRT hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. The Congressional Cup is the oldest continuously held sailing match race regatta in the world.

Two other founding WMRT events return for 2024 with the 30th edition of GKSS Match Cup in Marstrand, Sweden (1-6 July), and the 72nd edition of the Bermuda Gold Cup (29 Oct - 3 Nov). The King Edward VII Gold Cup awarded at the Bermuda event is one of the most coveted match racing trophies in the world, won by many of sailing's great names including Chris Dickson (NZL), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Russell Coutts (NZL), Eddie Warden-Owen (GBR), James Spithill (AUS), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Ian Williams (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and Francesco Bruni (ITA).

The WMRT season comprises of 'World Tour' events and 'World Championship' events, each event organised under official World Sailing rules as Open match racing events, allowing both men and women skippers to compete, as well as mixed teams. 'World Championship' level events award higher points to the annual WMRT leaderboard.

"We are delighted to announce another exciting year of world class match racing events for the 2024 WMRT season" commented WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance. "Last year, 72 teams and over 280 sailors competed across the Tour which is testament to the popularity and growth of match racing as one of the most accessible and affordable disciplines of the sport."

The 2024 schedule will take teams to events in Porto Montenegro and Helsinki in May, Italy's Lake Ledro in June, and to Sweden and France in July. In August, four back-to-back World Tour events in the USA will again make up the US Grand Slam, inviting teams to travel between Oyster Bay in New York (Oakcliff International and Thompson Cup) to the Chicago Grand Slam and the Detroit Cup.

The DBS Marina Bay Cup in Singapore also re-joins the tour this year from 20-22 September, sailed in Match 40's in the heart of Marina Bay in central Singapore. The event will take place the same weekend as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.

Following its debut in 2023, the WMRT season finale will return to the Baoan District of Shenzhen in China as part of a multi-year agreement host agreement. At the 2023 final in December, Great Britain's Ian Williams (ChinaOne.Ningbo) mastered challenging conditions to secure a record seventh match racing world championship title in a thrilling final against New Zealand's Gavin Brady (True Blue Racing USA). New Zealand's Megan Thomson and her 2.0 Racing team finished third, making her the first female skipper to ever podium at a WMRT Final.

2024 World Match Racing Tour Schedule

1. Ficker Cup, Long Beach, CA, USA, 13-16 April
2. *Congressional Cup, Long Beach, CA, 24-28 April
3. Porto Montenegro Match Race, 10-12 May
4. NJK Open Spring Cup, Finland, 24-26 May
5. OM International Ledro Match Race, Italy, 21-23 June
6. *GKSS Match Cup Sweden, Marstrand 1-6 July
7. Internationaux France Match Race, Pornichet, France, 19-21 Jul
8. Oakcliff International, Oyster Bay NY, USA, 3-6 August
9. Thompson Cup, Oyster Bay NY, USA, 8-11 August
10. Chicago Grand Slam, USA, 16-18 August
11. Detroit Cup, USA, 22-25 August
12. DBS Marina Bay Cup, Singapore 20-22 September
13. Szczecin Match Race, Poland, 18-20 Oct
14. *Bermuda Gold Cup, 29 Oct - 3 Nov
15. WMRT Final Shenzhen Bao'an, China, 10-15 December

*World Championship Events
**Race Days published

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