Swedish manufacturer Aston Harald AB has completed the acquisition of sailing’s World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).
The agreement will see the M32 Catamaran boat manufacturer and organiser of the M32 Series take over operations of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) approved tour from 1st July.
Aston Harald has acquired the WMRT from Bermuda-based Pro Match Tour Ltd and will construct a series of identical M32 Catamarans which will be based in the USA, Europe and Asia for use at future WMRT events.
Håkan Svensson, the chief executive and owner of Aston Harald, said: “Conquering the WMRT has proved one of the sport’s toughest challenges. 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 WMRT.”
James Pleasance, the executive director of the WMRT added: “The acquisition is a very exciting development for the tour. 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.”
As part of the deal, Aston Harald AB has formed a new management board for the WMRT, which includes the current core team of executive director James Pleasance, tour director Craig Mitchell and Ivan Tuen, the brand and marketing director.
Former Swedish America’s Cup sailor and WMRT champion Magnus Holmberg has also joined Aston Harald AB as its sporting director. Holmberg will work with the M32 Series, and the WMRT, which he helped create in 1999. The team will maintain its office in London and establish a new office at Aston Harald AB on the Island of Hönö, Sweden.
The WMRT is a match racing series in which identical single-hull boats compete in competitions around the world. The next event on the tour is the Stena Match Cup race in Sweden from 29th June to 4th July.