As the world’s best sailors arrived on their Volvo Ocean 65s into Alicante, some of sailing’s top match racing talent set sail to compete in a World Match Racing Tour qualifier event in front of bustling crowds on a public holiday at the Volvo Ocean Race Race Village on Thursday.
As part of a long term strategy of collaboration with other leading events in the professional sailing world, inclusion of the World Match Racing Tour brings additional entertainment to the crowds in the Race Village, connects the Volvo Ocean Race with the sport’s other ecosystems and disciplines, and helps to create pathways for sailors and supporters to offshore sailing’s pinnacle event.
Racing on the World Match Racing Tour takes place in high-performance M32 catamarans, the same boats the Volvo Ocean Race is using for its exclusive “Guest Speed Experience” programme aimed at giving guests a small ‘taster’ of what high performance sailing is all about.
Other Tour events may be run at later stopovers of this Volvo Ocean Race.
“As one of the iconic ocean races in our sport, we are always looking for opportunities to work with other events where there is a good fit for our stakeholders,” said Phil Lawrence, Race Director of the Volvo Ocean Race.
“Our Race Village should be a celebration of all things sailing, so this is a good test to see how this works for our fans and for the World Match Racing Tour. Our intention is to build on this and do it again at some of our other stopovers.”
Robert Magnusson, CEO of the World Match Racing Tour, said: “The Alicante Match Cup is a fantastic showcase for the World Match Racing Tour and the M32 class.
“The eyes of the sailing world are firmly fixed on Alicante at the moment, so what better place for us to show sports fans the kind of high-speed, action-packed racing we enjoy on our own circuits in these speed machines.”
Several of the most accomplished sailors on the World Match Racing Tour will compete in Alicante, which is a qualifier for the opening event on the 2018 Tour. Racing runs from today, Thursday, through to the finals on Sunday.
by Volvo Ocean Race