(Photo: Ian Williams and his Team GAC Pindar secures a Tour Card fro next year © Henrik Ljungqvist | Info: Provided by Sail Newport)
Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport has announced that the world’s best match racing sailors will compete in Newport, RI as part of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) in late May and early June of 2016.
“Since the Volvo Ocean Race Newport and the worldwide press about the enhanced facilities at Fort Adams State Park, major sailing event organizers are increasingly setting their sights on Newport and Rhode Island as the premiere sailing venue in the United States,” Read says.
The facility at Fort Adams has a new 200′ deep water pier which was completed in May was designed to host these types of large marine events,” Read added.
“Volvo Ocean Race is coming back in May of 2018 but we also have a very busy next couple of years due to new events that have been attracted to the Ocean State,” he said.
The WMRT Newport event will be the last stop in the world tour before the finals are decided in Marstrand, Sweden, July 4-9, 2016. Prior to Newport, the event will have visited Fremantle, Perth Australia (March 2-7) Long Beach, CA (April 5-10) and Copenhagen, Denmark (May 9-14). One other stop on the tour is as yet unannounced.
“There is probably no place in the world with a sailboat racing history like Newport, RI and it is with great pride that we welcome the American sailing hot spot to the WMRT 2016,” organizers announced.
The professional sailing event will be similar to the America’s Cup World Series in 2012 where a race course will be set within yards of the shoreline for optimal spectator viewing. Both the start and finish line will be located in front of the public area. Live narration will be provided onshore following the action. The event will be open to the public with no admission fee.
Boats used in the event will be M32s (Marstrom 32s) which are Swedish-built and designed 32′ high-speed catamarans. A local fleet of the “racing machines” sail out of Sail Newport currently with local skippers and crews who actively race during the sailing season.
“The races will be extraordinary close and action-packed as the best pro teams duel one-on-one in several laps of maneuvering,” Read adds. “The event will be thrilling for the public to watch because it will be like Nascar racing-only on the water. The high speed carbon fibre futuristic boats fly around at 40-50 knot speeds – all within feet of each other and with the best athletes found in the sport today. A true spectacle!” he said.