A match race is a race between two competitors, going head-to-head.
In sailboat racing it is differentiated from a fleet race, which almost always involves three or more competitors competing against each other, and team racing where teams consisting of 2, 3 or 4 boats compete together in a team race, with their results being combined.
The Match Racing Association promotes the sport of sailing to the public through match racing around the world at all levels of the sport. It supports and advances member match racing events and the sailors who compete in them.
The goal of the MRA is to promote the sport of match race sailing globally by fostering the highest quality competitions and providing access to all sailors. The MRA was established in 1985 in Long Beach, CA. when representatives of five founding member events organized the first match race sailing series in the world. This action was precipitated by interest from America’s Cup teams that were looking for a forum to match race in an annual series of events leading up to the classic monohull America’s Cup match races.
The MRA has evolved into the international organization that is the voice for all match racing events from new events hoping to offer march racing competition for developing competitors at local or regional events to events which have qualified for the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Events are graded from “World” for Tour events to ISAF Grade 5 for local events and from Grace 4 up to 1 for events inviting international competitors of the highest ISAF Open ranking sailors and their teams. The Tour competition is the ISAF World Championship of Match Race Sailing and the MRA is a major stakeholder in the series.