Growing the Tour tenfold

Peter Gilmour shares his vision of the World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour is set to undergo a metamorphosis over the next few seasons following the sale in September of the majority stake in its parent company to a group of investors based in the Far East. To wind the clock back a little - the World Match Racing Tour in its present guise is a group of independent match racing events around the world that over the years have been brought together to form a championship in the form of the Tour. From 2000, when it was created, until 2005 it was sponsored by Swedish Match and known as the Swedish Match Tour. Up until March 2004 the series was run by sports marketing giant Octagon, but after this it was taken over by Scott Macleod’s company Force 10 Marketing, essentially the Octagon employees who worked on it making the jump to the new firm. Traditionally the Tour itself has been owned by the company ProMatch Tour Ltd of which Force 10 held a 60% stake with the remainder held by the Match Racing Association, a co-operative of the events on the Tour, but also including a few others such as the Congressional Cup and the Knickerbocker Cup. In terms of its status, in past years the World Match Racing Tour was independent, operating outside of the ISAF umbrella, but in January 2006 this changed when an agreement between Force 10 and ISAF was finally signed, giving the Tour ISAF ‘Special Event’ status. With this came a name change to the ‘World Match Racing Tour’, and the winner of the Tour could officially be crowned ISAF World Match Racing Champion (previously ISAF held their own match racing world championship separate from the Tour). In September this year, Force 10 Holdings, sold their stake in the World Match