Portimão, Portugal - Portimão Portugal Match Cup, Stage 4 of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), has welcomed multi-national teams to the Algarve’s shores, for five days of elite level America’s Cup style match racing. With the sun already shining and clear skies looking positive for daily prime sea breeze conditions, the Tour’s twelve teams are hopeful for high action matches.
President of Portugal, Cavaco Silva, is committed to the progression of sport in his nation and perceives that the ISAF World Match Racing Tour is an important maritime sporting element in continuing the modernisation momentum. Today, he praised the accomplishment of the event touching on how the sea was an integral feature to Portugal’s past and will guide the Portuguese into the future. “It’s such initiatives, of international dimension,that enhance our condition as a country placed by the sea. The Portuguese hospitality grants the proper environment to welcome all lovers of nautical activities. Portimão has all the elements for spectators to intensely experience the event through this unique sporting practice connected to the sea that will take the Portugal name further afield”.
The spectator friendly boat on boat style racing on the Tour will be a completely different discipline of racing to what the residents of Portimão have already experienced. Events to have already graced the stunning azure waters of Portimão Bay have been large racing yachts with offshore fleet racing scenarios. This meant that spectators and fans could not follow the racing as action took place out of eyesight. The WMRT will be a radical and welcome change to viewing a marine based sport with its commitment to inshore race course set ups.
New to this leg of the WMRT is the Russian team entry joining this year’s professional sailing series through a wild card entry. Eugeny Neugodnikov (RUS) Team Synergy started sailing in 1992 and was enrolled into the Russian Youth Team the following year. Neugodnikov is familiar with the World Match Racing Tour programme having previously raced in four of the events and understands the supreme level of skippers that this ISAF sanctioned series annually commands.
The Tour card holders will all take note of Neugodnikov as he has already achieved a top ten finish at this year’s Congressional Cup, won by Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra and secured 2nd in the ‘Sails of White Nights Qualifier’ in St-Petersburg, Russia.
Portimão will now host the World Match Racing Tour for three consecutive years and will provide all the teams with world class match racing conditions backed up by the experienced and dedicated Portimão Portugal Match Cup organising committee.