by Jo Gregory
WMRT Korea Match Cup is being held in the Gyeonggi Province from 29th May to 3rd June. GAC Pindar skipper and reigning ISAF World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams has set his sights once again on another Match Racing win next week.
Ian Williams and the GAC Pindar World Match Racing Sailing Team - WMRT 2012
Williams will lead the GAC Pindar crew consisting of Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bill Hardesty (Tactician), experienced Farr 40 sailor Matt Cassidy (Bowman), America's Cup sailor Mal Parker (Headsail Trimmer) and professional sailor Gerard Mitchell (Mainsail Trimmer). The GAC Pindar sailing team is already in a strong position at the start of the Match Racing season with one win already under their belt after taking first place at the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, California.
Williams has competed on the World Match Racing Tour for the last seven years. In 2007, he entered the history books by becoming the first ever British sailor to win the World Match Racing Championship – a feat that he went on to repeat not only a year later but also in 2011. With the pre-season buzz that the GAC Pindar skipper could well take the title for a fourth year, the pressure is indeed on for Williams and his crew. If the British skipper is successful in his 2012 campaign, he will equal that of Australian Peter Gilmour's record four titles.
Commenting on the news, Williams says: 'GAC Pindar are very much looking forward to the Korea Match Cup and starting the new Alpari World Match Racing Tour season. We are missing Match Race Germany so will be playing catch up in the overall standings, but Korea has been a strong event for us in the past so it will be good opportunity to make our mark on the World Championship circuit. The preparation event in Long Beach could not have gone better, including integrating Nick Blackman into the team, so now we cannot wait to get started!'
Andrew Pindar, Team Principal of GAC Pindar adds: '2012 is going to be an incredibly exciting year for Ian and the GAC Pindar crew in the World Match Racing Tour. Earlier this year, Ian and his crew were victorious in the iconic invitational Congressional Cup match race event in Long Beach, California. Though not a World Tour event, the 'Con Cup' is seen as a curtain raiser on the match-racing year and is a pretty good form guide for the season.
For GAC Pindar, our WMRT year kicks off in Korea and we know that Ian and the guys will be looking to maintain the exceptionally high standard that they set themselves and that winning here demands as they endeavour to repeat previous success in the waters off the Gyeonggi Province.'
The 2012 Tour promises to be as competitive as ever, featuring some of the best match racers in the world, including four-time World Champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, Sweden's Johnie Berntsson and New Zealand's Laurie Jury and Phil Robertson.
GAC Pindar website