It’s Day 2 of the Asian Match Racing Championship and seven teams from across the Asia Pacific are vying for just one precious spot at the Monsoon Cup, the final event on the ISAF 2011 World Match Racing Tour, in Terengganu, Malaysia.
Principal Race officer David Tallis delayed the start until 12:30pm when the north easterly seabreeze off the South China Sea had stabilised. Racing started in five-six knots, direction 090.
The key match of flight seven and the last in the first round robin was New Zealander William Tiller (Full Metal Jacket Racing) versus Western Australian Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing team). Both crews were 4-1 and sat at the top of the points table at close of play last night.
Will Tiller, who came through the very successful RNZYS Match Racing program, is a seasoned campaigner on the youth circuit. He has competed in five Warren Jones regattas, three as crew for Phil Robinson, and then two as a skipper. He dipped his toes in World Match Racing Tour waters sailing at the Danish Open two years ago and this year sailed Match Race Germany.
Tiller started clear ahead and was first to the out flowing river current on the right hand side of the course, the first beat elevator when the sea breeze is working. He led round the top mark and some sloppy spinnaker trim on Nicholas’ boat allowed Tiller to slide to an eight length advantage towards the bottom of the first run. The Kiwi sailed away with the match.
After the completion of the first round robin Tiller was leading 5-1, ahead of Peter Nicholas and David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) who were both 4-2. Then came Maximilian Soh (Send it Sideways) and Chin Yew Seah (Zoke Kiwi Match) 3-3, while Reuben Corbett (AON Racing) was in trouble at 2-4, ahead of Joe Howe (Team JH) 0-6.
David Gilmour on helm - © Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images
In the first match of flight eight it looked like a loss for Gilmour who trailed Soh until the top of the second beat. However down the final run Gilmour rolled into the lead and adding insult to injury, Soh incurred a penalty.
In the third match Chin Yew Seah (Zoke Kiwi Match) rounded the top mark two lengths ahead of Tiller and extended in the softening conditions for a morale boosting eight length win.
By flight nine the wind had lifted to seven knots and in an important match for Rueben Corbett, he led Nicholas from the start, rounded ahead and defended his lead to win by two lengths.
Will Tiller cemented his place atop the leader board in his match against David Gilmour.
Tiller just won the start and led at top mark. Gilmour kept it close down the run but lost on the second beat. Things got worse for Gilmour as he had to luff to avoid a navigation buoy. Tiller was five lengths ahead at the gun.
Dockside Tiller was smiling. ‘Glad to beat David in that last match but I actually think the toughest competition here has got to be Reuben, followed by Gilly. Rueben might be at ‘the back of the bus’ but he will be in the semis and he will be dangerous.’
Peter Nicholas commented ‘Yesterday we stuck to our game plan and backed ourselves in our races and it worked for us. Not quite as good today.
‘This is a pretty tough line up. We have raced these guys a lot before in the past at Warren Jones’ or Australia Cups or whatever, we just have to take each race as it comes.’ Asian Match Racing Championship 2011
Overall after nine flights
William Tiller (Full Metal Jacket Racing) 7-2
David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) 6-3
Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) 6-4
Reuben Corbett (AON Racing) 4-4
Chin Yew Seah (Zoke Kiwi Match) 5-4
Maximilian Soh (Send it Sideways) 3-6
Joe Howe (Team JH) 0-8
For more news and information www.monsooncup.com.my
The 2011 Monsoon Cup (November 22-27) will be sailed at the same venue being used for the Asian Match Racing Championship (October 12-15), the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.