Nurul Ain Md. Isa, Champion of the Malaysian Match Racing Championship 2008 is making a comeback in the sixth edition of the national match racing championship to be held on 7-10 October at Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu.
She makes it a total of 3 past champions of the event vying for the title of Malaysian Match Racing Champion 2011. The winner earns an automatic entry to the Monsoon Cup, the final leg of the World Match Racing Tour.
The 26 year old Perak lass is the skipper of Ri-Yaz Heritage Sailing Team, a team made up of Mohd Fairuz Mat Daud, the F&B Manager at Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Mohd Izzaq Amir, an executive of the resort and Abdul Rahim Mohd Zan with Mohd Saifullah Mohd Esa, who was the bowman on Tiffany Koo’s team, reaching the final of the MMRC last year.
Nurul won the MMRC back in 2008 with Hazwan Hazim, winner of the MMRC in 2009 as a crew member. She has not competed in the event since her last victory. 'I took some time off to concentrate on completing my studies back in 2009 and once I graduated, I went on to assist my brother in his marine business in Lumut,' said Nurul.
When asked the reason behind her comeback, she only had Mr. Abdul Shaheed Yusof, General Manager of Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa to thank for. 'He was very enthusiastic and urged me to return to this Championship. He felt that being the only female skipper in this regatta added a new dimension to the Ri-Yaz Heritage Sailing Team' enthused Nurul.
'We encourage our staff to participate in various sporting activities like football, badminton and futsal. Naturally, it only made sense that we had a sailing team in the MMRC as well' said Shaheed when asked on his decision to participate in the MMRC.
'We felt there was a great opportunity that we could capitalize on, having the boats and being the host venue. The Ri-Yaz sailing team has been participating in the past few editions of the Heritage Bay Cup, and winning one of the editions was all the push we needed to put together a team for the MMRC. Nurul has a good track record in this game and we are very excited that she has come onboard as the skipper of the team. It will definitely be an advantage having a past champion as the skipper' added Shaheed.
Although Nurul has been sailing since she was 11 years old, she added that some of her crew members are fairly new to match racing and needed as much help as possible to be equipped with the skills and understand the technicalities required to compete with the more experienced teams like Koo Racing Team and Hazwan’s Permai Hotel Sailing Team. 'We have not trained together since forming the team. The match racing clinic that begins tomorrow will really help us with our preparations for the regatta' added Nurul.
The Asian Match Racing Championship will follow the Malaysian Match Racing Championship on 12-15 October, with both winners automatically gaining a spot to compete in the Monsoon Cup, which is the final leg of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour circuit being held on 22-27 November, at the same venue in Terengganu.