Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC) - Fresh from competing at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda which ended on October 9th, Datuk Peter Gilmour is happy to be back in Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu, home of the Monsoon Cup. The four-time World Match Racing Tour champion managed to catch a few exciting matches during the AMRC held at Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa.
Race Advisor to the Monsoon Cup, Gilmour said, 'Just from watching the teams sail, I can see they’re making the right tactical moves. The quality of this year’s teams has improved because by looking at the number of regattas they’ve been involved in, you know they’ve been doing a huge amount of training. Likewise, for the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) to go down to five matches indicates the depth and psychology of the race. There’s no better place to go to than the AMRC to feel the challenge.'
The AMRC and MMRC are two qualifying events for the Monsoon Cup, which takes place from 22nd to 27th November 2011 in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu. Last year, the AMRC allowed the inclusion of sailors from around the world under the age of 25 to encourage the development of match racing. 'The AMRC is an outstanding breeding ground for young talent. It’s managed to increase the standards of sailors because they get the opportunity to sail with world-class sailors and it’s opened up their eyes to how far they are to becoming world champions. Adam Minoprio who found his way to the Monsoon Cup and eventually the World Match Racing Tour via the AMRC is the best example of how the AMRC fast-tracked his career,' said Gilmour.
Since the inception of AMRC in 2006, the Kiwi’s have been enjoying a winning streak aside from 2008 when Aussie Keith Swinton interrupted the tradition. This year, Gilmour thinks the Hongkong team might throw a spanner in the works after they managed to climb from sixth to third place on the second day of the 4-day championships. He said, 'I’m quite impressed with Seah Chin Yew’s performance. He’s obviously done very well and I can see a team other than one from Australia or New Zealand in the championship either now or in the near future.'
Even Gilmour wasn’t safe from the clutches of the newcomers when he lost one of his qualifying matches at the Argo Group Gold Cup recently to Kiwi Reuben Corbett (AON Racing Team). He explained, 'Reuben just did a very good job shutting us out at the start. The thing with the rookies is they can sail a good race and win.'
The four-time World Match Racing Tour champion was frank about his chances of winning his fifth title. 'So far, we’ve had a couple of seconds, fourths and sevenths. And we were quite shocked to be knocked out of Bermuda early. But you’ve just got to take the good with the bad. It’ll be difficult for us to win the championship but we can certainly get up on the podium. It would be fun to get up there,' said Gilmour with a smile. Monsoon Cup website