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Women’s World Match Racing Tour Announces 2023 Season Line-Up

16th January 2023
The Women's Match Racing Series in San Francisco, USA
The Women's Match Racing Series in San Francisco, USA Credit: Gerard Sheridan

The Women’s World Match Racing Tour has announced four events for its 2023 season, including San Francisco, Annapolis, Le Havre, and Copenhagen.

The Tour is the world’s only professional sailing series for women designed to promote and grow female participation in professional sailing.

Following the successful first season for the women’s tour launched last year, the 2023 season will kick off in April at the inaugural Casa Vela Cup at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco from 24 - 28 April. Teams will compete in matched J/22 boats over 4 days racing directly in front of the Club with its impressive backdrop of San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

“In line with our commitment to developing women skippers and crew, the St. Francis Yacht Club is delighted to have been selected to host the opening stage of the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour, and it is our intention for this to be an annual event,” commented Regatta Chair Bruce Stone.

Straight after San Francisco, teams will head to the US East Coast for Stage 2 of the Tour and the return of the popular Santa Maria Cup at Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, MD from 30 April – 4 May. The Santa Maria Cup has been a premier match racing event for women for over 20 years. After a ten-year hiatus, it now makes its long-awaited comeback as part of the WWMRT. The event will be sailed in J/22s on the Severn River in Annapolis.

“Eastport Yacht Club is thrilled to be part of the Women’s World Match Racing Tour for 2023” commented Event Director Jeff Borland. “We are looking forward to hosting the top women’s match racing teams in Annapolis again for the Santa Maria Cup.”

Eastport Yacht Club, Annapolis, MDEastport Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD

The Tour will then head to Europe for the Normandy Match Cup in Le Havre, France from 26-29 May, sailed in First 7.5 keelboats. Last year’s Normandy event was won by defending champion Pauline Courtois and her Match in Pink Normandy Elite Team who went on to win the overall 2022 Women’s World Match Racing Tour title at the Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

Megan Thomson (NZL) at the 2022 Normandy Match Cup, Le Havre, FranceMegan Thomson (NZL) at the 2022 Normandy Match Cup, Le Havre, France

Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour will see the teams return to Skovshoved Harbour in Copenhagen, Denmark from 21-24 Sept for the second edition of the KDY Women’s Match Race Denmark hosted by the Royal Danish Yacht Club. Won last year by former World Champion Anna Östling and her Wings Match Racing Team from Sweden, the Danish Tour stage will test the physical limits of teams in the bigger and heavier DS37 yachts with up to six crew.

Anna Östling (SWE) and the Wings Sailing Team at the 2022 KDY Women's Match RaceAnna Östling (SWE) and the Wings Sailing Team at the 2022 KDY Women's Match Race=

“We are very excited to announce the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour season today so teams can start planning their campaigns,” commented WWMRT Executive Director James Pleasance. “After the success of last year’s Tour, we are speaking to a number of host venues, and we also hope to add a fifth tour stage this year for 2023 which would be a great addition.” Team

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About Match Racing

A match race is a race between two competitors, going head-to-head.

In yacht racing, it is differentiated from a fleet race, which almost always involves three or more competitors competing against each other, and team racing where teams consisting of 2, 3 or 4 boats compete together in a team race, with their results being combined.

A match race consists of two identical boats racing against each other. With effective boat handling and clever use of wind and currents, a trailing boat can escape the grasp of the leader and pass. The leader uses blocking techniques to hold the other boat back. This one-on-one duel is a game of strategy and tactics.

About the World Match Racing Tour

Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion. Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR). Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors