Switzerland has one top sporting event. The St. Moritz Match Race became part of the only worldwide professional match race series, the Swedish Match Tour 2005/06 for the first time. The America’s Cup stars have to adjust to the Trapeze boat class Streamline, which is unfamiliar to them.
Alinghi sports director Jochen Schümann analyzed the 2004 St. Moritz Match Race, which was won by the American Mark Mendelblatt in front of Alinghi helmsman Peter Holmberg. Nevertheless, the third edition of the St. Moritz Match Race will top the successful regatt from last year in several ways:
First, the St. Moritz Match Race is part of the eight series Swedish Match Tour 2005/06. Second, the ISAF upgraded the regatt to a Grade 1 event. Third, the prize money was doubled to 150,000 Swiss francs (96,000 euros).
"Admission to the Swedish Match Tour is very important for the event from a sporting point of view," says OK member and America’s Cup winner Christian Scherrer. "For us this is synonymous with the inclusion of the Gstaad tennis tournament in the ATP tour a few years ago!" In addition, the organizing sailing club St. Moritz was able to extend the contract with the main sponsor UBS for a further three years.
In order for the event to fit into the tour plan, the event was postponed by a month. "That also has meteorological advantages," said Scherrer. "We expect more Maloja wind and thus even more attractive duels." As in previous years, twelve crews - including two Alinghi teams - compete against the international competition. From August 16 to 21, 2005, sailing will take place on the open and fast three-man keel yachts Streamline.
The national qualification regatt for the St. Moritz Match Race is the Zurich event of the UBS Alinghi Swiss Tour from May 14th to 16th, 2005. The first two will get a starting place in St. Moritz.
Facts about the Swedish Match Tour
- The tour is the world's leading sailing series in which America’s Cup skippers, world champions and Olympic champions sail against each other in a direct duel.
- The tour was founded in 2000 to host the world's best match race events under one label.
- The tour offers a total of more than one million euros in prize money, including the 170,000 euros that will be distributed among the top eight in the tour rating.
- The tour takes place in water stadiums or in the immediate vicinity of the shore in order to offer spectators and media perfect and unique conditions.
- The tour produces more than 155 hours of television coverage, reaching around 426 million households worldwide.