MATCH RACING – Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia – 02 December, 2012: The Alpari World Match Racing Tour Trophy arrived in Malaysia today in front of a legion of sailing fans who have already started to arrive in Kuala Terengganu for the season finale, the Monsoon Cup. If any of the 12 competing teams undergoing final preparations on the water today still needed something to focus the mind, the arrival of the coveted trophy, was it.
The trophy, made by Garrard – the world’s oldest jewellers – was first awarded in 2011 to Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar. No less than eight teams can still mathematically win it this week and each of them will have made their pre-event computations of the leader board. They know each race is a potential Championship game-changer.
Tomorrow will conclude all the pre-event ceremonial duties with racing due to get underway on Tuesday. Speaking about the pressure the teams will need to handle, AWMRT Tour Director, Craig Mitchell, said: “Every match is a battle in this sport but at the Monsoon Cup, things are ramped up to another level. You only have to look back over the last couple of year when Mathieu Richard and then Torvar Mirsky were eliminated in the qualifying stage, despite having expectations to challenge for the overall Tour title.
“It will be close. The likelihood is that we’ll have a big multiway tie after Qualifying and there will be a count back to determine some of the teams progressing to the Quarter Final. Once the teams manage to book their slot in the knockout rounds, it is a very different beast. All of the teams will leave the dock, aiming for that 6 point score line that should see them through to the knockout rounds, that’ll be the key focus.”
Referring to the battle for overall Tour victory, Mitchell continued: “Bjorn [Hansen] got his points on the board early this year and he’s never had a better chance to take his first title. Having said that, there isn’t such a breakaway group this season and all of the other guys, right down to Johnie Berntsson in eighth can win it mathematically if the stars align.
“For the fans that have followed the battle between the top two all season, the dream final would be Hansen vs. Williams and that would be an amazing match, with the highest possible stakes. Either way, the standard of sailing on show will be unparalleled here in Malaysia.”
Looking forward to the first Qualifying Session on Tuesday 4th December, Mitchell said: “I think the early story of the event will be the big casualties that don’t progress to the Quarter Final. There aren’t any weak teams.”
The Monsoon Cup, Malaysia’s second biggest sports event of the year, will take place on 3-8 December at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu.
For a taster of the upcoming action, visit: http://www.youtube.com/worldmrt
Monsoon Cup action will be broadcast live on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December at 1500-1700 local time.
Racing will also be available online from 4th to 8th December throughout the day. Follow it live athttp://www.wmrt.com/live.html.
Monsoon Cup – Competing Teams:
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Alpari Racing Team
Taylor Canfield (USVI) USone
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour
Jeremy Koo (MYS) KFC Malaysia/KRT