World Match Racing Tour - Asian Qualifiers- Another Younger Gun?

David Gilmour, son of four times ISAF World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour, leads the Asian Match Racing Championship after Day One. Photo: by Brendon O’Hagan
In 2007 a young New Zealand sailor Adam Minoprio won the Asian Match Racing Championship, one of the qualifying events for the Monsoon Cup, the final event in each season's ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).

For Minoprio that was the key to the door, his first World Match Racing Tour event. Just 25 months later Minoprio and his Emirates NZL Black Match team won the 2009 World Match Tour.


West Australian Torvar Mirsky, another young gun, was second in 2009 and now a host of young match racers from around the world are taking the sport very seriously indeed.

After all it is serious, the World Match Racing Tour prize money is rapidly rising.

The Monsoon Cup prize money is US$475,000 and WMRT bonuses are now up to US$500,000 for the 2011 season.
So the qualifying events before the Monsoon Cup are harder fought than ever before.

Today was the first round of the 2010 Asian Match Racing Championship and thee young guns have assembled at the Riz-Yaz Resort and Spa, on the Terengganu River, Terengganu in Malaysia.

The favourite this morning was New Zealander Phil Robertson (Waka Racing). In 2009 he won the Asian Match Racing title and picked up some big name scalps in the Monsoon Cup and across the season, at some of the key World Match Racing Tour events.

This season, fellow New Zealander Reuben Corbett (Blacksheep Racing) has been on the rise; he won the Knickerbocker Cup then had a hot streak in Bermuda at the Argo Group Gold Cup and is looking to catapult himself into the Monsoon Cup with a winning performance at the Asian titles.

And here comes another name … and this one is familiar - Gilmour.

As a four-time Match Racing World Champion, West Australian Peter Gilmour is the best known match racer in sailing history; however his 19 year old son David is a rapidly emerging talent.

In 2010 David won the Australian University Games title, was third at the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta and was fourth at the Colin Mullins Youth Match Racing Regatta. Then he won the Western Australia State Match Racing Championship, the Match Cup Swan River and then came second at the ISAF Team Racing World Championship.

Today David Gilmour and his Team Gilmour crew swept the course finishing at 5-0 and at the top of the board, having beaten both his main rivals.

Dockside the 20 year old sailor said 'Today the current was very important. There were two really critical matches for us today.

'Against Rueben Corbett we got a good start into the current first and that was the race. Mind you we were very impressed with Reuben, he had a young Malaysian crew and they will improve rapidly.

'Against Phil Robertson we were penalised in the prestart but we were on the pin and fast. We found a good combination of wind and current on the left. We sailed away and washed off our penalty on the second upwind and extended for a good win.

'It was really great to have such a good start to this important event. But we have double round robins and so there is a long way to go.'

No tips yet from Dad, twice the Monsoon Cup champion, about the Terengganu course?

David Gilmour said 'Unfortunately he has not given me any tips (on how to tackle this course) yet and now I don’t think he will' (especially as father and son might be battling each other in a few weeks time on this very same race course.)

'Anyway we’ve figured it out and we’ve got to just take every match as it comes. This is a very tough qualifying event, with no reward for coming second.'

Does that sound like the 'old gun' talking?

Asian Match Racing Championship - The Leader Board

David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) AUS 5-0
Phil Robertson (Waka Racing) NZL 4-1
Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing) NZL 3-1
Wataru Sakamoto (Team Siesta) JPN 3-1
Mark Lees (Team ECHO) GBR 2-2
Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) AUS 2-3
Tan Wearn Haw (SINYIDAI) SIN 1-4
Graeme Sutherland (Team Hermes) HKG 1-4
Neil Semple (Capital TV) THA 0-4

Results Asian Match Racing Championship Round Robin 1

Round Robin Flight 1:
Match 1 - Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing) defeated Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) by 48s.
AMRC Match 2 - David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) AUS v Mark Lees (Team Echo) GBR - RAF.
Match 3 - Wataru Sakamoto (Team Siesta) JPN defeated Graeme Sutherland (Team Hermes) AUS by 1m12s.
Match 4 - Tan Wearn Haw (Sinydai) SIN vs Neil Semple (Capital TV) THA - RAF.

Round Robin Flight 2:
Match 1 - Wataru Sakamoto (Tean Siesta) JPN defeated Tan Wearn Haw (SINYIDAI) SIN by 15s.
Match 2 - Graeme Sutherland (Team Hermes) HKG defeated Mark Lees (Team ECHO) GBR by 21s.
Match 3 - Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing Team) NZL defeated Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) AUS by 10s.
Match 4 - David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) AUS defeated Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing) NZL by 25s.

Round Robin Flight 3:
Match 1 - Mark Lees (Team ECHO) GBR defeated Tan Wearn Haw (SINYIDAI) SIN by 44s
Match 2 - Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing) NZL defeated Neil Semple (Capital TV) THA. Semple black flag.
Match 3 - David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) AUS defeated Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) AUS by 19s
Match 4 - Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing) NZL defeated Graeme Sutherland (Team Hermes) HKG by 5s.

Round Robin Flight 4:
Match 1 - David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) defeats Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing) by 1m01s
Match 2 - Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) defeated Graeme Sutherland (Team Hermes) by 11s
Match 3 - Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing Team) defeated Tan Wearn Haw (SINYIDAI) by 41s.
Match 4 - Wataru Sakamoto (Team Siesta) defeated Neil Semple (Capital TV) by 58s

Round Robin Flight 5:
Match 1 - Peter Nicholas (Freshie Racing Team) defeated Tan Wearn Haw (SINYIDAI) by 1m02s
Match 2 - Mark Lees (Team ECHO) defeated Neil Semple (Capital TV) by 1m09s.
Match 3 - Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing Team) defeated Wataru Sakamoto (Team Siesta) by 3s.
Match 4 - David Gilmour (Team Gilmour) defeated Graeme Sutherland (Team Hermes) by 51s.


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