Match Race Germany, first stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour will take place in May at Lake Constance © Photo by Andy Carter / Alpari World Match Racing Tour
Langenargen, Germany - 12th February: The year started dynamically for Match Race Germany with the announcement of new commercial partners and continues to be successful on the sporting side. As the number one ranked match racing skipper and four times World Champion Ian Williams has declared his intention to race in the 2013 edition of Match Race Germany. The 35-year-old from Lymington, will return to Lake Constance after two years absence. In the opening Stage of the German Grand Prix of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour Event Williams and his GAC Pindar team intend to lay the foundation for their fifth World Championship.
But a difficult task lays ahead even for an outstanding skipper like Ian Williams having only ever made it to the semi-finals in Germany. Says Williams, “All the regattas throw up different challenges due to the wide range of conditions and boats that we sail over the year. From the largest boats on the Tour, the Bavaria 40S boats we sail in Germany, down to the much smaller BluSail 26 we sail in St. Moritz, and with the strong currents in Kuala Terengganu, but very little current in the other venues. We are sometimes 5 in a team and sometimes 4, so every event is unique and poses a different challenge to overcome. That is why it is so difficult to perform consistently on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour." There is no doubt though that Williams’ team will be the one to beat.
As the most successful match racer in the world in recent years, Williams also shared his Olympic thoughts about the popular duel discipline of sailing.
“In my view, the best format for the majority of classes in the Olympics is Fleet/Match like we had in the Soling from 1992 – 2000. Why is it not used? You’ll have to ask ISAF that question! But probably because match racing is successful outside of the Olympics and therefore does not rely on the Olympics in the same way that some classes do.”
On the occasion of Match Race Germany, which takes place from May 15 – 20, twelve international teams will fight for around 50,000 U.S. Dollars in prize money and valuable points in the opener of the championship season. For the 16th time the most successful teams of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour will showcase the one on one thrills and spills onboard the Bavaria 40S boats close to the shores of Lake Constance.
This German Pentecost under sail ranges amongst the most famous sporting events in the state of Baden-Württemberg and regularly attracts over 30,000 spectators flocking into the Langenargener Gondelhafen and its race village. During the day, sports, infotainment and partners are at the forefront, in the evening sailors, organizers, partners and fans celebrate together in the marquees, dressed Bavarian style!
The organizers of Match Race Germany, Harald Thierer, Eberhard Magg and Bernd Buck are looking forward to a bright future. 2012 World Championship runner up Bjorn Hansen and his Swedish Mekonomen Sailing Team will also be back. Although regular starters in one of their favourite race venues, Hansen, like Williams, has never managed to win in Germany, progressing only as far as the Quarterfinals. In their quest to finally secure victory, they have developed a new strategy for the tricky German waters.
Says the 47-year-old helmsman and founder of the Stockholm Match Race Center in Mariehamn, "We really like the event with its friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable audience. We have, within our team, discussed a lot around the setup in the Bavaria 40’s and decided to split the tactician’s job from the mainsheet position. With the “German mainsheet system” on the Bavaria 40’s the mainsheet trimmer faces backwards when adjusting the mainsheet and with the often tricky and puffy conditions in Langenargen he is adjusting it a lot. This means he has less time to focus on the wind, tactics and strategy. If we use the pitman as mainsheet trimmer upwind we will release the tactician and let him focus on the tactics. It might just work, but we do know that the result from the change will not be any worse..."
"We will be looking to introduce the majority of our starting field in early April," said Sports Director Eberhard Magg, "but we are extremely happy to know already that the World Champion and his most powerful opponent from last year and will continue their rivalry in Germany. This is great news for our fans, who can not only expect world class sport but also a well rounded infotainment programme for the whole family over the long weekend of Pentecost.“
The 16th edition of Match Race Germany will run 16-20 May 2013 and is the season opener of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Practice racing will be on the 15th with three days of Qualifying running 16-18 May. Quarterfinals and Semifinals will take place on the 19th and the Finals on the afternoon of the 20th May
For more information on Match Race Germany: www.matchrace.de