As the China Cup moves into its second decade, the World Match Racing Tour, with the high performance M32 catamarans at its core, will assist in raising the profile of the event. As the sailing world’s eyes turn to the WMRT Finals in October, Shenzhen and the China Cup will play host to the conclusion to the 2017 match racing season.
The M32 catamarans being at the China Cup marks a big step for the event, aligning itself with many other high profile sailing regattas looking to high-performance classes to keep public interest up and to attract the world’s greatest sailors who are making the move to apparent-wind and multihull sailing. “Taking the World Match Racing Tour to China for the first time in its history is a huge step which we are very excited to be announcing today,” said Robert Magnusson, CEO at the World Match Racing Tour. “We are delighted to be taking the finals of the WMRT to the China Cup because we see a fantastic value for the Tour and for the China Cup itself. In our attempts to help grow the sport we see this move as a tool to strengthen the link between Chinese sailing and the international sailing scene.”
David Zhong, Deputy Secretary General of China Cup International Regatta Organizing Committee, commented, “I’d like to thank Robert Magnusson, CEO of the World Match Racing Tour and Chris Lee, founder of this project to bring the World Match Racing Tour to China and warmly welcome all teams of the Tour to join the 11th China Cup International Regatta held in the waters of Daya Bay, Shenzhen, China. The debut of the fantastic teams and boats of the WMRT at the China Cup will be making history in terms of the first ever catamaran class with high-calibre international sailors to race in the South China Sea.”
Match Racing in China is still in a junior stage, but with the WMRT partnering with China Cup, the ambition is to change this. Zhong continues, “We chose WMRT because it is not only a professional racing event but also behind it there are very systematic and professional resources like M32 Academy, which is able to provide new opportunities for sailors interested in match racing and create a new career pathway for them. WMRT brings with it top international sailors and international level race management.”
Racing for the event will take place outside the New Sport Ocean Sports Centre which is located at Daya Bay on the east coast of Shenzhen. With temperatures 20-25?C and average winds of 10-15 knots, this event is shaping up to be an idyllic climax to the season. The sheltered waters of Daya Bay provide flat waters for the M32 catamarans to race in, and will allow the course to be set close to the shoreline, directly outside the race village.
The China Cup International Regatta is a well-established event in China. With new nationalities, new competition and a new class of boat for 2017, both WMRT and China Cup hope to see the number of participants grow as world-class match racing talent is showcased for the first time. As in St. Petersburg at Match Cup Russia, the M32 catamarans will be drawn up on the beach every evening, giving visitors the opportunity to access these hi-tech carbon fibre speed machines.[To be fair, the New Sport Ocean Sports Centre at Daya Bay is not exactly in the middle of Shenzhen – it’s about 65km from ‘downtown’, and 35km from the main social/accommodation center of the regatta at Da Mei Sha. Ed]
Invitation to the WMRT Match Racing World Championship will be given to the top 18 teams on the World Match Racing Tour leaderboard after the final event preceding the finals in China, with each team being allowed one discard.
The WMRT Match Racing World Championship will take place 24-29th October in Shenzhen’s Daya Bay. Build up to the event will continue via wmrt.com as the final places for this competition are decided.