Published: Friday, 26 June 2015

M32 racing catamaran manufacturer Aston Harald AB announces the purchase of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) from Pro Match Tour Ltd.

The sale was concluded at Aston Harald’s manufacturing and technology centre on the island of Hönö, near Gotherburg, Sweden. Aston Harald will take over operations of the Tour from July 1.

Aston Harald Ab Aquires World Match Racing Tour 2

(Executive Director of World Match Racing Tour James Pleasance and CEO of AB Håkan Svensson)

This marks a major step forward for the International Sailing Federation sanctioned WMRT. Aston Harald also announced plans to construct a series of identical M32 catamarans to be used at future World Match Racing Tour events. 

“The acquisition is a very exciting development for the Tour,” says World Match Racing Tour Executive Director James Pleasance. “Over the last year, we have been looking at ways to bring multihull racing into the WMRT and the M32's by Aston Harald are the perfect solution to take the Tour to the next level of professional match racing.”

Aston Harald Ab Aquires World Match Racing Tour 1

(The M32 catamaran)

Aston Harald AB has formed a new management board for the WMRT. The board will include the core team of James Pleasance as Executive Director, Craig Mitchell as Tour Director and Ivan Tuen as Brand and Marketing Director. Swedish America’s Cup sailor and former WMRT Champion Magnus Holmberg joins the board as Sporting Director.

“Conquering the World Match Racing Tour has proved one of the sport’s toughest challenges,” says Aston Harald Owner and CEO Håkan Svensson. “With the rapid innovation of top-level sailboat racing and the growing popularity in multihull racing, we’re now in a position to help talented young sailors work toward a career at the highest level of the sport through the M32 Series and now the World Match Racing Tour.”

Aston Harald Ab Aquires World Match Racing Tour

(Magnus Holmberg, former World Match Racing Tour Champion)

The WMRT is the world’s longest running professional sailing series featuring over 20 events annually across the globe.

Malaysia will hold two World Tour events this year. The Monsoon Cup Terengganu will take place November 20-22. The Liga Layar Malaysia taking place in Johor Bahru will be held Dec 18-20. Both events will award lower points towards the WMRT Championship.