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MR.CLEAN

WMRT goes multihull

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As many of you know I've been in Sweden working on both VOR stuff and the M32 cat racing series. What I couldn't tell you was that I was helping out with some strategy for something with the potential to be a game-changer.

 

There's still a lot I am sworn to secrecy about, but it's a very exciting day for those of us who have been bored to tears by monohull match racing for a long, long time, and for young sailors looking for a pathway to greatness in an age where full professional racing is now dominated by multihulls.

 

SA story here: http://sailinganarchy.com/2015/06/25/the-new-normal-2/

 

 

Press Release here:

 

London, 25 June 2015: Today marked a historic day for sailing's longest-running professional series with the purchase by Sweden's Aston Harald AB of the iconic World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). Pro Match Tour Ltd, the Bermuda-based owner of the Tour and Aston Harald, manufacturer of the M32 racing catamaran and organizer of the M32 Series, concluded the sale at Aston Harald's new manufacturing and technology centre on the island of Hönö, near Gothenburg, Sweden. Aston Harald will take over the operations of the Tour from 1 July.

The acquisition marks a major step forward for the ISAF sanctioned World Match Racing Tour, as Aston Harald also announced plans to construct a series of identical M32 catamarans to be based in the USA, Europe and Asia to be used at future World Match Racing Tour events.

Håkan Svensson, CEO and Owner of Aston Harald commented; "Conquering the World Match Racing Tour has proved one of the sport's toughest challenges. With the rapid innovation of top-level sailboat racing and the growing popularity in multihull racing, we're now in a position to help talented young sailors work toward a career at the highest level of the sport through the M32 Series and now the World Match Racing Tour."

James Pleasance, Executive Director of the World Match Racing Tour added, "The acquisition is a very exciting development for the Tour. Over the last year, we have been looking at ways to bring multihull racing into the WMRT and the M32s by Aston Harald are the perfect solution to take the Tour to the next level of professional match racing."

Aston Harald AB has formed a new Management Board for the World Match Racing Tour including the current core team of James Pleasance (Executive Director), Craig Mitchell (Tour Director) and Ivan Tuen (Brand and Marketing Director). Legendary Swedish America's Cup sailor and former World Match Racing Tour Champion Magnus Holmberg also joins Aston Harald AB as Sporting Director and will work with the M32 Series and the World Match Racing Tour, which he helped create in 1999. The team will maintain its office in London and establish a new office at Aston Harald AB on the Island of Hönö, Sweden.

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M32 Seri​es Gothe​nburg Te​am US On​e

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Magnus H​olmberg

More details of the purchase and the future of the World Match Racing Tour will be provided at a press conference during the Stena Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand on Friday, July 3 2015.

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Nice! If the AC continues with multis this will be a good conduit for sailors looking to get into that playing field. And it should just be a lot of fun to watch.

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Very exciting.

 

How does this change the total cost each team faces for the whole series or even individual events? Will prize purses increase with the inevitable cost increases?

 

Trucking their own fleet around to each venue has to be be substantially more money than just using a venues own fleet.

 

Is there's some big new sponsor or something?

 

Cheers,

 

Murphness

 

Disclaimer: I only skimmed through the presser. Please ignore me if some of my questions were answered within it. Will re read when I'm not on my phone...

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Awesome move for the tour, My only concern is the impact this will have on the feeder events and qualifiers. In order to get a tour card you have to move yourself up to the top 10 in the world. After that to fill out some events there are qualifiers held in advance to fill out the rest of the field. I guess events now will only be limited to the ten tour card holders (could be more spots on the tour now, we don't have that information). But this has changed all of match racing, How do people work there way up the Isaf rankings and then make the jump from match 40's or catilina 36's or j80's to M32? It also changes the alot of the intrigue to match racing, you have to be a good all around sailor to do well because there are different boats at every venue. I'm not saying the best sailors won't be in the tour because clearly they are the best, but i don;t think the fundamental match racing will be on the same level that it has been.

 

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out...

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Big step forward for the WMRT.

 

Relatively less problem if you're a Scandinavian club with a club match racing program to switch to multi hull.

Equally this just halved or more the equipment cost of setting up a club match racing program. But on the other hand tricky if you have a club run match racing program with boats used for fleet racing, adult sail training , corporate stuff etc.

 

Difficult call for the Gold Cup? Surely a no brainier for the Congressional Cup et. al.

 

In terms of a platform to the AC ... how soon with the M32 be foiling?

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Although I like the direction they're taking, I hope that they would somehow improve the tacking capabilities of the boats, as at least from what I saw from the last event, it seemed quite hard to get them up to speed again

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Fleet racing at a match racing event too/ the most interesting racing is usually in the round robin.

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These changes might just finally drag the rest of the world with them!

 

Massive gamble for the sport because fast boats aint good for mass participation.

 

If I was setting up a club match racing program now it would be ditch the J80s and get 4-6 Nacra somethings.

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Are both an M32 WMRT and the ESS sustainable or will there be cannibalisation going on between the two?

 

Also didn't the Swedish Match Cup guys just order a new design to replace their old boats? Can't imagine they're too chuffed right now.

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32 has positioned it's self as the poor mans Ess IMHO. Smaller boats bringing the cost with owner sponsor and trustfund kids reach.

 

Ess going foiling will keep it in the million+ bracket.

 

For now that makes the Ess the step off to the AC. Where as the M32 with March racing semis and final Word tour will provide the plaform for none Olympians to make the grade.

 

That's the roll the match racing scene used to provide anyway.

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And the WMRT will have a pretty unbelievable new motivational tool - let's just say the prize for the overall winner just got very, very interesting, and has never been seen before in sailing. Actually, it has been seen before, but was never given out...

 

can't say more, but it will be worth watching the press conference, which I'm told will be moved to Friday next.

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And the WMRT will have a pretty unbelievable new motivational tool - let's just say the prize for the overall winner just got very, very interesting, and has never been seen before in sailing. Actually, it has been seen before, but was never given out...

 

can't say more, but it will be worth watching the press conference, which I'm told will be moved to Friday next.

 

Hookers and blow?

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Can they add jibs to the M32s? Will the starts be AC style reaching BS or proper start lines?

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Can they add jibs to the M32s? Will the starts be AC style reaching BS or proper start lines?

Apparently the designer was very much against the jib, but I guess we'll see...

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Hmm. I reckon that this is all thoroughly bad news.

 

Match racing is all about tactics, not boatspeed. It's about two identical boats in close proximity engaged in a duel like a chess match, jostling within the rules for marginal advantage. The best match-racing has traditionally been in boats some distance back from the bleeding edge of speed, where a competent crew can drive each boat at a consistently similar speed and victory goes to the skipper who plays the best mind game.

 

OTOH, hi-tech monohulls are about absolute speed. Great stuff in its own way, and great theatre, but it's about as far removed from the core of match-racing as a 100m sprint is removed from a clash of chess grand masters.

 

Offering a huge fat pot of prize money doesn't develop the sport of sailing. It just further develops the small pool of highly professional sailors who rely on massive sponsorship to participate in an ever-more-expensive sport with a rapidly diminishing number of participants behind this elite corps.

 

I think I understand where Mr Clean is coming from. If I read him right, he seems to see a developed sport as one where big money funds dedicated professional athletes to create an expensive spectacle which attracts television audiences who pay to cover the event. In the end, this model is all about money: the "sport" is a commercial product, driving revenue to broadcasters and creating advertising for sponsors.

 

I think that this is a move in entirely the wrong direction. Money is choking the lifeblood out of sailboat racing, as even relatively modest one-design classes are dominated by those with the cash.

 

To my mind, the most exciting development in sailboat racing for a long time has been the Australian PD racers. Boats that are cheap as chips, a tiny fraction of the cost of a similarly-sized Optimist dinghy. They allow lots of people to get out on the water even on very low incomes, so the actual sport grows rapidly, and many many more people learn boat handling skills and racing tactics.

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So close tactical match racing in keelboats, an area of the sport many have enjoyed watching and some have enjoyed doing, is rapidly being killed off in favour of something which practically nobody finds appealing to watch, which is match racing in small multihulls. Match racing was minimised in the ACWS towards the close of the AC34 cycle because it was dull to watch compared to fleet racing. AC is different, the buzz comes from the intrigue and build-up.

 

Then again, if the rumours that the WMRT was close to broke were true, maybe we've not lost anything that wasn't going away anyway.

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I agree

Moving to multihulls divorces it from all matchracing at lower levels.

Oh and Clean, I can't think of anything more boring than multihull match racing. Stop - Go -Taaaaaaaaaaccccccccccckkkkkkkkk .Yaaaawwwwwwnnnnn

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If I was setting up a club match racing program now it would be ditch the J80s and get 4-6 Nacra somethings.

 

The kinds of clubs that run fleets of J80s for team and match racing aren't suddenly going into Nacras instead. It isn't the kind of sailing they do or want to do.

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I have a feeling match racing is going to become a much smaller part of the WMRT.

 

At the top end of the sport, No one wants to do it, no one wants to watch it, and no one wants to pay for it, and without this change, the WMRT had maybe one more year before it disappeared.

 

Why? It is a dead end.

 

Great for clubs that want to do it, but from now on, monohull match racing will be a club thing

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I have a feeling match racing is going to become a much smaller part of the WMRT.

 

At the top end of the sport, No one wants to do it, no one wants to watch it, and no one wants to pay for it, and without this change, the WMRT had maybe one more year before it disappeared.

 

Why? It is a dead end.

 

Great for clubs that want to do it, but from now on, monohull match racing will be a club thing

 

In what way would that disappearance be a matter of regret for anyone other than a very small set of people with a commercial interest in that particular circuit?

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If I was setting up a club match racing program now it would be ditch the J80s and get 4-6 Nacra somethings.

 

The kinds of clubs that run fleets of J80s for team and match racing aren't suddenly going into Nacras instead. It isn't the kind of sailing they do or want to do.

 

IMO it will all depend what the objectives are for those programs are.

 

Team racing, particularly 2 boat team racing? Different thing and f' all to do with this discussion. It's a oddity unto it's self and not seen as part of a progression onto other things as match racing has been in the past.

 

Can't think of any club that runs a fleet of keel boats explicitly for team racing. Can think of 1 that has a fleet that it has a much wider range of uses for where there has been an abortive attempt to use them for a team racing competition (with out any grass roots activity). Where there is grass root demand for that then yeh they will stay keelboat.

 

But then again a lot of match racing programs aren't driven by that. They are part of wider youth development programs driven by the demand from Cadets/yoofs for programs that will bolster their CV's to get glamor rides. If the onward progression is moving over to multihulls the more progressive programs (I'm thinking the likes of the RNzYS, Perth, RSrN) I suspect wont think twice. The only real question is how fast.

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I have a feeling match racing is going to become a much smaller part of the WMRT.

 

At the top end of the sport, No one wants to do it, no one wants to watch it, and no one wants to pay for it, and without this change, the WMRT had maybe one more year before it disappeared.

 

Why? It is a dead end.

 

Great for clubs that want to do it, but from now on, monohull match racing will be a club thing

No one wants to do it because their ego's can't stand being held to the actual rules! No one wants to pay for it because they are resistant to sailing moving away from an owner/sailor dominated sport to one when the owners put the money in and watch from the sidelines. That's as sailing as a pro sport problem rather than a match racing one. Match racing can actually be run quite cheeply where there is a will.

 

A lot of clubs that want a club level sociable thing have transitioned to 2 boat keelboat team racing. Mandatory female and oldie participation bla bla bla.

 

Will be interesting to see what happens in the Scandinavian club scene and in Poland and Chicago.

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This will be cool to see. However it remains to be seen if multis can ever produce boat to boat match racing as good as monos.

 

This is as good as it gets:

 

I don't care about TV jobs, broadcaster jobs, media jobs… I care about good sailing and don't care if others don't understand good sailing. But I'm not a sponsor or a media person who cares about sponsors.

 

San Fran was fast and awesome with lots of lead changes but lacked good boat on boat and the dumbed down start was just plain embarrassing. But for the target market it made no difference because they don't understand. Lowest common denominator kind of stuff. Meh.

 

I'm addicted so I'll watch but it can be so much better. Safer? Likely not at the speeds considered.

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And the WMRT will have a pretty unbelievable new motivational tool - let's just say the prize for the overall winner just got very, very interesting, and has never been seen before in sailing. Actually, it has been seen before, but was never given out...

 

I assume you're referring to the $1 million winner's cheque that wasn't handed out as the winning prize for the Oryx quest.

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And the WMRT will have a pretty unbelievable new motivational tool - let's just say the prize for the overall winner just got very, very interesting, and has never been seen before in sailing. Actually, it has been seen before, but was never given out...

 

I assume you're referring to the $1 million winner's cheque that wasn't handed out as the winning prize for the Oryx quest.

 

Smart cookie!

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This will be cool to see. However it remains to be seen if multis can ever produce boat to boat match racing as good as monos.

 

This is as good as it gets:

 

I don't care about TV jobs, broadcaster jobs, media jobs… I care about good sailing and don't care if others don't understand good sailing. But I'm not a sponsor or a media person who cares about sponsors.

 

San Fran was fast and awesome with lots of lead changes but lacked good boat on boat and the dumbed down start was just plain embarrassing. But for the target market it made no difference because they don't understand. Lowest common denominator kind of stuff. Meh.

 

I'm addicted so I'll watch but it can be so much better. Safer? Likely not at the speeds considered.

I watched the whole video. At one time I would have agreed with " as good as it gets ". But no longer. Now it seemed like two dinosaurs in sloooow motion!

Not too exciting watching them come together and sit there running down the clock.

Time has marched on. Cats, foils etc. Fast and exciting stuff.

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Yes it's slow but it's high stakes sailing with boat handling as good as it gets. The slow is what's really so special as it's such a difficult skill to develop. There's very little in racing as much fun for me as a great pre start when you're sailing with a tight team. It's a different chess game every time.

 

I agree, it's not for everyone but for me I see a lot of excellence there and am fascinated by it. The trimming and helming on Lunna Rosa is perfect. Perfect.

 

Again, San fran was amazing and I was on the great sound in Bda the first day Oracle was out foiling on the modified 45 early May and it's beyond awesome up close. it's just a different kind of racing entirely.

 

I watch all the WMRT live stream stuff as well as all the M32 stuff. All good. Just different. I'm not the one they have to convince to tune in.

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Perfect? In the end they we're gifted the penalty by a school boy error from oracle.

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Perfect? In the end they we're gifted the penalty by a school boy error from oracle.

It was two penalties, the second was the school boy error, the first was through excellent boat handling. I loved JS reminding the umps that there were two penalties.

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That was more fun than anything we saw in AC34. OK, one person in 1000 might understand what was going on. I don't care.

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I found the first prestart of AC33 to be more thrilling than that. When oracle beamed it down line line and visibly shit alingi up that was a real 'holley fook' moment. 98% of the actual racing was tedium personified but the same can be said for Ac32. The most consistently entertaining on course action was AC 34 for my money as the separation put the boats in different breeze even though their speed meant in reality they where still neck and neck

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