Tuesday, 8 June 2010

WMRT: Sponsors and VIPs Race with Pros at Korea Match Cup Pro-Am Race

Gilmour Wins Pro-Am Korea Match Cup Race with Hyundai Motors

Mr Moon-Soo Kim, Governor Gyeonggi Province Republic of Korea races with Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia, © Subzero Images 2010.

by Cailah Leask

High profile sponsors and VIPs of Korea Match Cup, Stage 3 of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing (WMRT), were the stars of today’s Pro-Am race. The esteemed guests including; the Governor Gyeonggi Province Republic of Korea, Mr Moon-Soo Kim - Director, R&D General Affairs Group HYUNDAI-KIA MOTORS and Euan Chan Lee – Korea Match Cup Event Promoter, Mr Dong Young Kim were among the officials welcomed in an open air greeting ceremony before setting sail.

Euan Chan Lee, Director, R&D General Affairs Group HYUNDAI-KIA MOTORS races to victory with Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing © Subzero Images 2010.

The VIPs were teamed to race with Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing winner of the 2010 WMRT Stage 2, Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia who won last year’s Korea Match Cup, Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing who has been part of the global Tour since 2000 and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, twice ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

Korea Match Cup Pro-Am racers were flanked by hoards of press boats and fans as they completed three fleet races using simple upwind /downwind style courses very close to Jeongok Marina which hosts the land based events for the first Asian leg of the Tour.

Mr Dong Young Kim, Korea Match Cup Event Promoter enjoys the Pro-Am Race, © Subzero Images 2010.

Korea Match Cup Event Promoter, Dong Young Kim, has put his previous Laser racing skills to good use during the Pro-Am race, returning to the shore reinvigorated from on the water action with the pros, he commented, “Today’s Pro-Am race was the start of the Korea Match Cup. We are proud to have let some of our top sponsors and VIPs of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour take to the water and race with the most elite match racing skippers in the World. The Pro-Am race has been an excellent addition to Stage 3 of the Tour as we had the best race course and wind today which enabled the guests to helm the KM36 yachts themselves”.

Korea Match Cup is one of the highest profiled international events on the 2010 Tour attracting top class sponsors to attend customised events. Eun Chan Lee, Director, R&D General Affairs Group HYUNDAI-KIA MOTORS, was extremely pleased with his on the water experience today, after winning the overall Pro-Am. He said, “It was such a unique experience to be able to race as part of Korea Match Cup Pro-Am Race. I crewed for Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing who has won four World Championships. It was interesting to see the America’s Cup helms up close in action and understand what it takes to win a race in this professional sailing series. I wish all the Tour teams the best of luck this week”.

After registration and weigh in, the 12 Korea Match Cup teams hit the water for their allotted training sessions in the tidal waters of South Korea. Amongst the entries this year is Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, winner of the recent Korea Match Cup Qualifier, which secured his wild card entry to Stage 3. “The race course conditions here are trickiest for the race committee, it’s hard for them to keep track of setting high quality courses as there is limited space for them to work with”. Robertson continued, “I’m really lucky to have sailed here back in May and feel that having experienced this venue recently with my team will be a huge advantage.”

Media enjoy the Pro-am Race at Korea Match Cup, © Ian Roman, Subzero Images.

The skippers are now gearing up for tomorrow’s Korea Match Cup opening ceremony which will see 3,000 guests attending the celebration for the first day of Korea’s biggest sporting event. Stage 3 of the Tour also parallels with the start of Korea’s largest marine industry event, the ‘3rd Korea International Boat Show’. Heralded as the, ‘number 1 gateway of the marine leisure industry’, the Gyeonggi Province is effectively using marine based commerce to develop the region and with an extensive consumer market of 24 million it is sufficiently capable of becoming the largest industrial centre in Northeast Asia.

Korea Match Cup 2010 Skipper List:
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team

Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing

Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar

Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Gill Global Team 

Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team

Park Gunwoo (KOR) Busan Match

Korea Match Cup
World Match Racing Tour