After yesterday's training day the seventh edition of St. Moritz Match Race 2009 started this morning with the first race. From September 2 to 6 Engadine will be the centre of the sailing world. The St. Moritz Match Race is one of nine events of the World Match Racing Tour and belongs as such to the official ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Match racing is certainly one of the most exciting competitions in sailing. Two teams compete directly against each other. The St. Moritz Match Race will be sailed with the blu26. This four-man sportboat (8 m. long and 2,2 m. wide) conceived by the Swiss Bluboats, is perfectly adapted to match racing.
On the sponsor side, contracts with the three existing partners – AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding, UBS and Badrutt’s Palace Hotel – have been renewed. These companies will be supporting this top sailing event in Switzerland this year as main partners.
Once again the St. Moritz Match Race has attracted the world’s best Match Race skippers to the Engadin Valley. Twelve teams representing eight nations have been selected for this regatta. Mathieu Richard (FRA), the current leader of the world ranking will sail amongst others against his fellow competitor Sébastien Col (5), the helmsman of K-Challenge’s America’s Cup team. Ian Williams (UK, 2) of Team Pindar and Adam Minoprio (NZL, 3) and his BlackMatch crew are amongst the faourites. Surprise guest of the event, Peter Gilmour (AUS, 7) of YANMAR Racing is a veteran of five America’s Cups and quadruple winner of the world match racing title. Currently seventh of the world ranking, he is one of the event’s outsiders. He won the prestigious title in Marstrand last month, and is respected by all the competitors. A prize purse of approximately 100’000 Euros will be distributed to the best teams.
The races will take place on Lake St. Moritz, a natural amphitheater that provides a perfect and natural viewing platform from the shore. The local Maloja thermal breeze blows daily from 8 to 20 knots and with a little help from the sun the breeze picks up, guaranteeing a fantastic show to the numerous spectators who flock to see their sailing heroes in action.
St. Moritz is located on the mountain side of the Engadine facing south at 1856 metres above sea level. The spa resort originally gained its significance from its mineral springs, which had been known for their curative effects for some 3,000 years already. Nowadays is one of the most renowned holiday resorts of the world.