Italian sailor Simone Ferrarese has secured a Tour Card for this season’s Alpari World Match Racing Tour, the world’s leading professional sailing series. Ferrarese will go head-to-head against a stellar list of other teams to compete for the coveted ISAF Match Racing World Championship. At 23 years-old, Ferrarese is one of the youngest skippers in the top 20 of the ISAF Match Racing World Rankings, where he is currently 17th and the youngest Italian team to ever participate on the Tour. Twice runner-up in the Italian Match Racing Championships, Ferrarese follows fellow Italian Francesco Bruni who competed on the Tour last season and finished in second place behind three-time World Champion Ian Williams.
Commenting on his Tour Card, which guarantees an invitation to five Tour stages, Ferrarese said: “We are honoured to succeed a big name and sailor such as Francesco Bruni and to now represent Italy on the world’s leading professional match racing circuit. We will approach it with a clear and positive spirit without feeling too much pressure – we know we have time to achieve our goals. “We have chosen to maintain our young team without big changes and it may take 5 years to achieve the ultimate goal, we don’t know. What we do know is that we want to be competitive, to be the first Italian team to win the Championship and we want to do it together.”
Defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion, Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar is also on the list of nine Tour Card Holders for 2012 and believes he faces a tough task to emulate his success last season: “Competing and winning on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is one of the toughest tests in sailing – unlike other forms of professional sailing, everyone has the same equipment so teams have to win on merit. With the likes of Pierre-Antoine and former World Champions, Olympic and America’s Cup campaigners all competing, defending our title will be very difficult.”
2012 is set to be a landmark year for the series, in which teams compete for the largest prize purse in world sailing (US$1.75million). Today’s Tour Card Holder announcement coincides with the unveiling of a new five-year title partnership with Alpari, as well as the 2012 Tour Calendar which now includes a new event, the Chicago Match Cup in the US, to complement the other regattas in Germany, Korea, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Bermuda and Malaysia.