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3 March 2010

OMEGA Auckland Match Racing Regatta opens at Waitemata Harbour

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The opening day of the OMEGA Auckland Match Racing Regatta saw shifting winds and strong tides at Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour which created dramatic challenges for the competing teams made up of some of the world’s best sailors.

The leaderboard after the first day was topped by Ben Ainslie of Great Britain with a 6-2 score followed by Dean Barker and Adam Minoprio of New Zealand and Betrand Pace of France who were tied at 5-3 each. 

The list of skippers who are competing in the OMEGA Auckland Match Racing Regatta includes some of the sports biggest names: Dean Barker (New Zealand, Emirates Team New Zealand); Ben Ainslie (Great Britain, Team Origin); Francesco Bruni (Italy, Azzurra Sailing Team); Sebastian Col (France, former Areva Challenge); Karol Jablonski (Poland, former Desafio Espanol); Magnus Holmberg (Sweden, former Victory Challenge); Chris Dickson (New Zealand, former BMW ORACLE Racing); Bertrand Pac (France, former BMW ORACLE Racing); Adam Minoprio (New Zealand, BlackMatch Racing);  andTorvar Mirsky (Australia, Mirsky Racing Team).

Racing takes place under the auspices of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in identical Farr-designed MRX yachts and comprises a double round robin, semi-final and final. Weather permitting, the semi-finals and finals will be decided by the first skipper to win three matches.

Commenting on his brand’s title sponsorship of the event, OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart said, ““There has been a strong link between sailing and timekeeping since sailors started to rely on high-precision marine chronometers for navigation. OMEGA is the only company ever to have produced a wristwatch that received marine chronometer certification and we are happy to maintain our long nautical tradition with our support of the OMEGA Auckland Match Race Regatta. The Auckland City Festival of Sail promises to be one of the highlights of the sailing year and we look forward to seeing our old friends from the world of sailing and to making new ones.”

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