It’s a critical morning ahead on day 3 of the Monsoon Cup 2011, as three former ISAF World Match Racing Champions and the current ISAF Match Race Rankings leader fight for a place in the quarter finals at this final event of the 2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour, being sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia and its likely one of them will miss the cut.
The Overall Tour leader on 106 points is Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, twice the World Match Racing Tour World Champion. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing Team lies second on 100 points, followed by Western Australian Torvar Mirsky, The Wave Muscat on 99.8 points. Mirsky is number one on the ISAF Match Racing rankings list.
In fourth place is Yanmar Racing’s Peter Gilmour, five times the ISAF Match Racing World Champion, with 79 points.
In the Monsoon Cup round robin, the top eight crews will go through to fight in the quarter finals, with four crews being excused from further racing.
Right now four very highly regarded teams are fighting to ensure they are in the top eight after the 11 qualifying matches.
The 2007, 2008 World Champion Ian Williams is currently 4-3, the 2003 World Champion Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners is 4-3, Peter Gilmour is 4-4 and Torvar Mirsky is 3-4.
Yanmar Racing’s Peter Gilmour was looking determined ahead of the final battle this morning. ‘We certainly have a fight on our hands going into today. This is a windy Monsoon Cup, although 2007 was pretty fresh.
‘The boys, Simon Shaw (GBR) Yanmar Racing’s Main Sail Trimmer/Tactician, Yasuhiro Yaji (JPN) our Pitman, Kazuhiko Sofuku (JPN) our Bowman and Thierry Douillard (FRA) our Head Sail Trimmer have been sailing really well but we have just got to win those starts.
‘It is often different when you have the gennaker on or the jib. Conditions sometimes just change a little and if you come out on the water after a break to sail against teams that have been sailing for the last hour, you often lose a bit of your rhythm and I think we have probably suffered a little from that.
‘In the last race yesterday Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team) just cleaned us up at the start. He did a better job than us and beat us right there. I guess the frustration of the day was the loss we had to Phil Robertson (Waka Racing) when he passed us on the run. It is one match that we should not have lost.
‘We have three more races and two more we have to win. Got to do it.'
Simon Shaw, Yanmar Racing's tactician, looked back at what could have been ahead of the big battles today.
‘Yesterday we made a couple of mistakes, small mistakes that ended up resulting in costly losses.
‘We took our foot off Phil Robertson’s throat at the top of the course in our first match.
‘In the last race against Mathieu Richard, Mathieu had decided to lead back and we thought that move was a touch early and we were following him down to the pin.
‘But we ended up working low of the lay line, fighting to get to the left side of him and with the benefit of hindsight, it just wasn’t the right thing to do. We ended up boxed out to the left of the pin and that was the boat race.
‘In this qualifying round it is more important that we, assuming that we go through, learn lessons. We hope that we can come back today and get through qualifying, then all it is is a knockout competition and our actual position doesn’t really matter too much.
‘Today we have to sail against an in form Francesco Bruni, Torvar Mirsky and young William Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing, who is currently on top of the list.
‘We have to win two out of three matches to be sure of our spot.’ Results to date:
Skipper Win Loss Points
Will Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing 6-2
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 5-2
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 5-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 5-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) Team China powered by WAKA Racing 5-3
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 4-3
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 4-3
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 4-4
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 3-4
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-5
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 2-5
Jeremy Koo (MAS) Abdullah Chan/KRT 0-9
The seventh annual Monsoon Cup, the final event of the 2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour is being sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia from December 22-27 and will decide the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.
Monsoon Cup website www.monsooncup.com.my
World Match Racing Tour www.wmrt.com