Swedish company Aston Harald AB has completed its sale of the World Match Racing Tour to a group of investors behind C Shine Financial Corporation. The sale was initially announced last month in an interview by Aston Harald CEO, Häkan Svensson. The new owners have taken over the management of the Tour effective immediately, including its registered offices in London and Bermuda.
The purchase of the WMRT follows C Shine’s hosting of the Shenzhen Match Cup and Match Racing World Championship in Shenzhen, China in November 2017. When Aston Harald AB expressed interest in selling the Tour at the end of the 2017 Tour season, negotiations between the two companies started earlier this year.
As one of only eight officially sanctioned World Sailing ‘Special Events’ – including the America’s Cup and The Ocean Race – WMRT is also the longest running global professional sailing series in the sport. Previous Tour Champions include six-time world champion Ian Williams (GBR), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Phil Robertson (NZL), Taylor Canfield (ISV) and defending Champion Torvay Mirsky from Australia.
The World Match Racing Tour has long been regarded by professional sailors as a pathway to the America’s Cup and as an opportunity for teams to hone their match racing skills at the highest level. Since 2000, the WMRT has been a match racing series for monohull match racing, however this was changed in 2015 following the introduction of the M32 multihulls to the Tour. Following the recent change in the America’s Cup to foiling monohulls for the 36th edition of the Cup in 2021 in Auckland, it is expected the WMRT will continue to include events in both monohulls and multihulls starting in 2019.
The Tour’s new owners are in the process of appointing a new management team to structure the 2019 WMRT season and format, as well as the World Sailing Match Racing World Championship. Former WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance has been appointed to form the Tour’s management and operations team. Pleasance has been involved with the Tour since 2002 and as Executive Director from 2012-2016.
Further announcements will be made in January 2019.
Happy Holidays from the new WMRT team!
For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, visit www.wmrt.com
Main image: WMRT Hall of Fame selection
Top row (left to right) Magnus Holmberg 2001, Phil Robertson 2016, Jesper Radich 2003. Middle row (left to right) Ben Ainslie 2009, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 2017, Ian Williams (GBR) 2015. Bottom row (left to right) Taylor Canfield (ISV) 2014, Adam Minoprio (NZL) 2009, Peter Gilmour (AUS) 2004