Vem följer matchracing?

Elaine Bunting på Yachting World undrar. Är det bara här vi tycker att det är en viktig del av sporten? Eller är det bara när stjärnorna kommer till Marstrand eller Lysekil som det är intressant.

Who follows match racing? Is there some country or region in the world where this highly specialised area of the sport is closely followed?

The thought crosses my mind every time I get a press release about a match racing regatta or contest. Last week, for example, I received one about the victory of top French sailor Mathieu Richard in the French Match Racing Championships.

Maybe in France it’s a bit thing, but somehow I doubt it.

World Championships and world rankings are the big trophies in match racing and make this tiny niche of the sport sound like it’s not merely a FA Cup Final or Super Bowl, but the FIFA World Cup.

Yet in all my years in sailing and in the yachting media, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone discuss or debate match racing or chat about the sailors or ins and outs of their performance. It’s sailing’s most specialised and obscure corner, far removed from everyday racing practiced by 99.9% of yachtsmen.