St. Moritz Match Race 2011 preview

St. Moritz Match Race 2010
Loris von Siebenthal/myimage/WMRT
St. Moritz Match Race 2011, the sixth stage of the World Match Racing Tour 2011, runs from 30th August until 4th September in Engadine, Switzerland.

The event is in its ninth consecutive year and remains the only professional sailing challenge in Switzerland. The 2011 edition has attracted 12 teams from seven nations, among them eight of the world's top ten match racers.

The current World Match Race Tour leader, Italian Francesco Bruni, will be among the favourites following his recent win in Germany and his two second places in Korea and Portugal. Ian Williams from the UK is also one to watch, he was third in Korea and won the Portugal stage. Other professional racers, such as French sailors Damien Iehl and Mathieu Richard, who won in St. Moritz last year, will also have their eye on the prize...

Eight of the twelve teams competing in the St. Moritz Match Race were selected by the World Match Race Tour; they are card holders that have raced every event of the Tour. Two teams were selected by winning qualifiers: Jérôme Clerc from Geneva won the Volvo Match Race Cup (the Swiss Match Race Championship) with his Race Training Centre crew while Pierre-Antoine Morvan came second at the Spanish Open in Calpe with his Extreme Team Morbihan crew. Finally two wild cards were distributed, one to Eric Monnin (Swiss Match Race Team) and the other to Björn Hansen (Mekonomen Sailing Team).

Switzerland's Eric Monnin and his team have raced every edition of the St. Moritz Match Race, they ranked an impressive third place in 2007. This will be Jérôme Clerc's second consecutive event with his team from the Race Training Centre. They have had an excellent start to the season and despite being the underdogs, might have a few surprises up their sleeves.

'The fleet is very high quality, well balanced and consistent,' said Christian Scherrer, organising committee president. 'We are delighted to organise the ninth consecutive St. Moritz Match Race and to host a high quality event for the public and event partners. The St. Moritz region usually enjoys very good wind conditions and the countryside is breathtaking; the competitors love coming here.'

Jim O'Toole, World Match Race Tour CEO, added his voice: 'The St Moritz Race sits at the business end of the 2011 World Match Racing Tour and as we head to the Swiss Alps, the race to be crowned World Champion hangs firmly in the balance. While Francesco Bruni’s team tops the standings following some consistent performances, no single team has dominated the racing and it’s still anyone’s game.

Lake St Moritz is one of the favoured events for the Tour teams and spectators alike and it’s easy to see why. The stunning landscape creates a natural arena in which crowds are able to get up-close to the action and really experience what match racing is all about which is two teams going head-to-head in a gladiatorial, winner takes all stake.'

St. Moritz Match Race 2011 – Teams:
Francesco Bruni (ITA) - Team: Azzurra Audi
Ian Williams (GBR) - Team: Team GAC Pindar
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) - Team: The Wave Muscat Sailing Team
Jesper Radich (DEN) - Team: Adrian Lee & Partners
Damien Iehl (FRA) - Team: Wind 2 Win Sailing Team
Björn Hansen (SWE) - Team: Mekonomen Sailing Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) - Team : French Match Racing Team
Phil Robertson (AUS) - Team: WAKA Racing Team
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) - Team: Berntsson Sailing Team
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) - Team: Extreme Team Morbihan
Eric Monnin (SUI) - Team: Swiss Match Race Team
Jérôme Clerc (SUI) - Team: Team CER

St. Moritz Match Race website
World Match Race Tour website