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Wednesday 19, December | #9

Dear supporters, partners and friends,


elcome to St. Moritz Match Race’s Newsletter. In this edition we look back at a formidable match race season, and its culminating event: St. Moritz Match Race. We also pay tribute to one of the Tour’s legend, Peter Gilmour, a veteran of four editions of St. Moritz Match Race. We show you Lake St. Moritz as you’ve never seen it. Last but not least, we learn more about one of St. Moritz Match Race’s most important – yet discreet actors: Annalis Suter. We hope you enjoy reading this Newsletter, and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here are today’s topics • Sailing high wasn’t enough to bring Williams to the summit • Bye bye Gillie • Lake St. Moritz as sailors have never seen it • Annalis Suter, faithful since day 1


St. Moritz Match Race Newsletter #9

© Loris von Siebenthal/MyImage/St.Moritz Match Race

St. Moritz Match Race: 27 August - 1 September 2013

Ian Williams, world champion for the fourth time

Sailing high wasn’t enough to bring Williams to the summit


012 is coming to an end; we can look back happily at the last edition of St. Moritz Match race and – most important – start thinking about the next edition of Switzerland’s biggest professional sailing regatta. The tenth edition of St. Moritz Match Race held all its promises: great racing, fantastic atmosphere, beautiful scenery, the sun, warmth and cold, and even some snow… The event closed its doors with a fantastic final battle between two-time event winner Mathieu Richard and Keith Swinton, with an unexpected victory from the Australian rookie. Some of the favourites had a hard time: Ian Williams finished eighth and Björn Hansen seventh; both were leading the world ranking at this stage of the Tour, and had to wait until the Monsoon Cup to reach the summit! Indeed, Ian Williams got crowned World Champion for the fourth time in Malaysia whilst Björn Hansen finished the season as world’s n°2.

The World Match Race Tour is now on hibernation mode until next year; Lake St. Moritz is frozen and people’s thoughts are on other, white, summits…

Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2012 - Final Leaderboard: 1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar - 130 points 2. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team - 125.25 3. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing – 103 4. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing – 101 5. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing - 100.25 6. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team – 83 7. Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone – 79 8. Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing Team - 73.25 9. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team - 68.25 10. Will Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing - 37


St. Moritz Match Race Newsletter #9

Bye bye Gillie


ollowing a last appearance at St. Moritz Match race, and a respectable fourth place at the Monsoon Cup 2012, four-time ISAF Match Racing World Champion and multiple America’s Cup campaigner Peter Gilmour announced his retirement from professional match racing.

Peter Gilmour competed for the fourth time in St. Moritz last summer. Despite never winning the event, he always loved sailing in the Swiss Alps, and was equally joyful on the lake as in the Badrutts Palace. We are ready to bet that he might be missed on the water but that he will surely be back at the Palace!

© Loris von Siebenthal/MyImage/St. Moritz Match Race

“I just realised that I’ve got to that point in my life. I’m not as athletic as I used to be and I used to win one or two events per year, and we haven’t won an event for a few years now. The other teams aren’t necessarily

getting that much better, I’m probably just slipping a bit. It’s good to finish while I’m still at the pinnacle of the sport.”

Ian Williams and his team will surely once again be the team to beat in St. Moritz this summer.


ake St. Moritz sits beside its namesake resort town in the Engadine valley of the Graubünden region, Switzerland. The highest summit in the Eastern Alps, Piz Bernina, is just a few kilometres south of the town. Lake St. Moritz has a surface area of just 0.78 km², which dictates a smaller sailing area and encourages tight, closeproximity sailing at the St. Moritz Match Race.

Outside of sailing, the frozen lake also hosts sport in January and early February. Polo matches are held annually and contrast to traditional field polo, using larger and lighter red balls which are more easily visible in the snow. Since 1907, horse races called «White Turf» have been held, attracting wealthy tourists to the area for the unique sporting spectacle.


Lake St. Moritz as sailors have never seen it

During these years, sports enthusiasts also invented the sport of skijoring in the region. In this type of race, thoroughbred horses compete with skiers in tow. More traditional sports have also visited St. Moritz over the years,

the first ice cricket tournament having taken place on the frozen lake in 1988. English cricketer David Gower featured in the 1990 event, parking his rental car on the ice overnight. He returned to find that it had broken through the ice and sunk.


St. Moritz Match Race Newsletter #9

Annalis Suter, faithful since day 1


he is one of the event’s most familiar and friendly faces: Annalis Suter started working on the event alongside the late Ronnie Pieper, as her assistant. “My role has evolved since those days”, she says. “I have taken on more responsibilities, and become more independent. But my enthusiasm remains the same.” Annalis saw it all happening in front of her eyes: The Alinghi years, with Jochen Schuemann, Ed Baird or Peter Holmberg, the rise of Mathieu Richard and Ian Williams, the attempts by the best Swiss sailors to defeat the world’s best sailors, and so much more.

Annalis has witnessed races held under the snow, with no wind or stormy gusts. “However I have never received any critics. Deep down the sailors love to sail here, despite the sometimes difficult conditions. They find it exquisite, different and spectacular.” Her role is to make sure that everything runs smoothly, but sometimes it goes beyond: “Last year, I found out that Johnie Berntsson was celebrating his wedding anniversary, and he had invited his wife. I organised a bottle of champagne in their room at Badrutt’s Palace. It was a special moment.” Annalis celebrated St. Moritz Match Race’s tenth anniversary in 2012, alongside the tenth anniversary of her involvement with the event. “I am ready for ten more years”, she laughs.

© Loris von Siebenthal/MyImage/St.Moritz Match Race

“What’s always struck me is the kindness of the great champions”, she says. “Throughout the years, I have got to know them all. Now, when they arrive in St. Moritz, they all come to say hello, very naturally, and this is something that touches me. Some sailors have really impressed me, for example Mathieu Richard, especially for his human qualities. He is very calm and discreet,

polite and always thankful. Ian Williams is also a very nice man.”

Annalis Suter: One of the event’s most familiar and friendly faces

Contacts Media & Communication MaxComm Communication Tel: +41 22 735 55 30

Bernard SCHOPFER M: +41 79 332 11 76

St. Moritz Match Race Match Race Schweiz AG Bergstrasse 23 8953 Dietikon

T: +41 44 745 72 00

SMMR - Newsletter #9  
SMMR - Newsletter #9  

_Sailing high wasn’t enough to bring Williams to the summit _Bye bye Gillie _Lake St. Moritz as sailors have never seen it _Annalis Suter, f...