NEWS

Match races get new sponsor

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Match racing has quietly become a natural part of our lives. It seems that only recently we were surprised to hear new words: «round-robin», «flyt», «empire» - and now we ourselves already conduct match races at a very different level: from blogger cup to regattas of the first ISAF Grade.

And what about in the world? And there is a very serious and prestigious series in the world World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), which today - after the transition of the America's Cup to multihull racing - has become the only professional match racing series on monohulls in the world.

The WMRT currently consists of 9 individual regattas in three continents of the planet, so it really is a World Series with a very serious prize pool of up to $1.5 million.

The points tally is tallied up and the team with the most points wins the ISAF Match Race World Championship at the end of the season.
Interestingly enough, one of the qualifying races for this series is our regatta Sails of White Nights - Cup of Congress Palace, which is regularly held in St. Petersburg at the beginning of June every year. And it should be noted that many of the participants of this year series, invited by the organizers themselves, one may say, got their feet on our, Neva River waters as well. For example, Italian Simone Ferrarese and Frenchman Damien Iehl.
But this year there was a worrying question - how will regattas series be held? The thing is the crisis, as you know. The crisis forced to close even such series as Audi MedCup which was held in two classes at once although Audi announced recently that it would support the MedCup for three years at once. Clouds were gathering over match-racing series WMRT, but...
But an important sponsor Alpari has come forward - a financial company (or rather a group of companies) that promises title sponsorship for as long as five years. And it allows us to suppose that hopes of Jim O'Toole, the series CEO, to prolong the series up to 15 regattas are not groundless.
Against this background we feel sorry for organizers of such regattas. More precisely it is a pity that Russian business still doesn't see in sailing a good promo platform that would let them inform a wide audience about their business. However, it is a complicated chain of interaction between promoters of Russian regattas and our mass media - which also, if to exclude several specialized editions for the whole country, are not able and not ready to popularize sailing among Russian citizens.



But a sail is probably the most evident embodiment of a healthy way of life. Healthy in all senses.

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