Top line up for Match Race Germany

Sean McNeall looks ahead at the form for this World Match Tour event

Monday May 8th 2006, Author: Sean McNeill, Location: none selected
Match Race Germany is one of three events that has been part of every World Match Racing Tour schedule, and this year’s event, scheduled 1-5 June, marks the 10th anniversary of the regatta raced on Lake Constance in southwest Germany.

Held off the promenade at Langenargen, Match Race Germany is marked by its village atmosphere and the sweetest strawberries in the world. Keeping with the anniversary theme, Match Race Germany celebrates its 10th anniversary one week after the ACI Cup holds its 20th anniversary in Croatia.

Although this is the 10th anniversary of Match Race Germany, it is the ninth running. The 1999 event had to be canceled when the combination of heavy rain and an unusually large quantity of snowmelt in the Alps led to major flooding along the Bodensee, or Lake Constance, which borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“When we started the event 10 years ago we had to overcome some of the biggest hurdles. We had to be creative and innovative to attract sponsors to a sport that at the time hadn’t been in the limelight of public and media in Germany,” said Eberhard Magg, founder of Match Race Germany.

“Today we are, thanks to our great competitors, partners, team members, clubs and enthusiastic fans, an event with a rich tradition that is well known throughout the country,” Magg said. “Combined with the strongly rising interest in the America’s Cup we are growing every year. We look forward to another moving edition this year!”

The line-up for 2006 features the finalists from last year’s event. Peter Gilmour defeated Denmark’s Jesper Bank, 2-1, for his second consecutive Match Race Germany championship. Gilmour, the leader of the World Tour after the first five stages, defeated France’s Bertrand Pacé in 2004.

Gilmour is a fan favorite in Germany, but Bank will have local support on his side. The three-time Olympic medalist is the skipper of Germany’s first America’s Cup syndicate, United Internet Team Germany.

The entry list also features Staffan Lindberg of Finland and Ian Williams of England, two rising skippers on the World Tour. There’s Ian Ainslie of South Africa’s Team Shosholoza Cup challenger, and Denmark’s Sten Mohr, representing BMW Oracle Racing. Sweden’s Björn Hansen and Frenchman Mathieu Richard are highly capable spoilers.

Similar to last year, Match Race Germany ends on Monday, June 5, in honor of the Whit Sunday and Whit Monday holidays, the German’s celebration of Pentecost.

After Match Race Germany the World Tour concludes its seventh season at the Toscana Elba Cup - Trofeo Locman, July 11-16, on Elba Island off the Tuscany region of Italy.


Match Race Germany Entrants

Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Shosholoza – Helmsman for South Africa’s America’s Cup challenger
Jesper Bank (DEN) United Internet Team Germany – Placed 2nd at Match Race Germany ’05; skipper of America’s Cup challenger
Tino Ellegast (GER) – Placed 8th at Match Race Germany ’04
Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST – Aiming for third consecutive Match Race Germany championship
Björn Hansen (SWE) – Placed 3rd at Monsoon Cup last December
Michael Hestbaek (DEN) United Internet Team Germany – Strategist for America’s Cup challenger Team Germany
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team – Placed 8th at Match Race Germany ’05
Sten Mohr (DEN) – Placed 6th at Match Race Germany ’05
Eric Monnin (SUI) – Ranked 31st on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) – Ranked 9th on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Mathieu Richard (FRA) – Ranked 8th on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Ian Williams (GBR) Williams Sail Racing – Placed 7th at Match Race Germany ’05

World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After 5 of 8 Stages)
1. Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST, 48 points
2. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Emirates Team New Zealand, 45 points
3. Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 37 points
4. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 32 points
4= Gavin Brady (NZL), 32 points
6. Peter Holmberg (ISV) Alinghi, 29 points
7. James Spithill (AUS) Luna Rossa, 25 points
7= Jesper Bank (DEN) United Internet Team Germany, 25 points
7= Dean Barker (NZL) Team NZ, 25 points

The World Tour is sanctioned by ISAF, the world governing body for sailing. BMW AG is a Partner of the World Tour and the Official Car.

The World Tour champion will be recognized as the ISAF Match Racing World Champion, will win a BMX X3 3.0i (valued at $45,000), awarded by BMW, and a $30,000 cash prize from the World Tour.

World Tour sponsors include Sebago (Rockford, Mich.), the Official Footwear Supplier, Travel Places (West Sussex, England), the Official Travel Partner, and Musto (Essex, England), the Official Clothing Supplier.

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