After a couple of spendy years under the ownership of Swedish ultra-enthusiast Hakan Svensson, the World Match Racing Tour is back on the block, currently under contract to new owners the C Shine Financial Corporation. Svensson rescued the Tour from death just a few short years ago, transforming it into a truly high-performance tool to develop the skills of young racers from around the world while still attracting the likes of ultra-high profile teams like Spindrift and GAC Pindar. Alumni of the past few years of WMRT action now fill the rosters of Olympic Nacras, GC32s, Gunboats, and every other fast multihull out there, and most of them will tell you that the best series they’ve ever sailed was the 2016 World Tour…
Unfortunately, a grip of circumstances prevented the series from getting back to the kind of sustainability it enjoyed back in the mid 2000s: Poor market research for the M32’s sales potential, an inconsistent sales and marketing effort both for Tour sponsorship and the M32 cat, and personal issues in Svensson’s life that came at a crucial point for the WMRT – these obstacles became too much for Svensson to overcome, and we’re glad to hear he’s moved on to hopefully less stressful things. How stressful? From an excellent interview in Yachtracing Life:
I think we have paid the sailors about 3,000,000 US Dollars over the last three years. We have spent 6,000,000 USD on boats, and each regatta had an average cost of 850,000 USD.
In total I am sure the total spend is around 20,000,000 USD.
Holy shit! We knew he spent a lot, but holy shit!
Even though it is depressing to see this always-positive, generous, humble guy have his passion for the sport beaten out of him by life and the establishment, it’s a good, honest look at what really happened to the Tour and why. Read it here.