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Monsoon Cup Qualifiers - Malaysian Match Racing title defender leads

Malaysian Qualifiers ahead of Monsoon Cup  Subzero Images Monsoon Cup
The Monsoon Cup venue, the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa in Kuala Terengganu, is currently hosting the sixth edition of the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) where four Malaysian teams have reached the semi-finals, fighting to take the single Malaysian berth at the Monsoon Cup.

Principal Race Officer David Tallis had an easier day today than he did yesterday; the seabreeze came in after 11am and it held above eight knots all afternoon.

Defending MMRC champion Jeremy Koo had his 'mojo' back today. He had plenty of boat speed again and good crew work for most of the time, with key wins against both Masyuri Rahmat and Mohd Romzi.

After losing his title to Koo and finishing in third place last year, 2009 MMRC champion Hazwan Hazim climbed into second place on the leader board today, with his new tactician Nik Ashraf Qaedi coming into his own.

For some a hint of inconsistency appeared, with crews tiring over the twelve match round robin.

Mohd Romzi had a a very close call against one of the lower ranked crews, finishing his match just four seconds ahead of Zaidi Md Amin.

Nurul Ain won over Masyuri Rahmat by four seconds and took out Masyuri Rahmat with a black flag. Then Mohd Afendy Abdullah beat Nurul Ain by six seconds in a crash and bash match.

It was the scare of the day for Koo when 90 seconds ahead of Afendy, who is the tail gunner in this Championship fleet, Koo's big trimmer went overboard. The crew was having trouble getting him as the umpires came to the assistance of the waterlogged sailor, holding him until Koo and crew came back to pick him up. Suddenly the fight was on but Koo recovered and won the match by just four seconds.

The crews came ashore for the semi-final draw with the 2010 Champion Jeremy Koo choosing Masyuri Rahmat, while the 2009 winner Hazwan Hazim was matched against Mohd Romzi.

In the first semi-final matches, Koo beat Masyuri and Romzi took out Hazwan.

Dockside Koo looked relieved. ‘This Championship battle is the toughest we've been involved in. We have had a good start to the semis, we are one up against Masyuri and we saw Romzi beat Hazwan so the stage is set for an exciting day tomorrow.'

Leader board at the end of the two Round Robins:

Jeremy Koo – Koo Racing Team (Selangor) 10-2
Hazwan Hazim – Permai Hotel Match Racing Team (Perak) 9-3
Masyuri Rahmat – MAF2 (TLDM) 8-4
Mohd Romzi Muhammad – Putra Sailing Team (Malaysian Yachting Association) 7-5
Nurul Ain Md. Isa – Ri-Yaz Heritage Sailing Team (Perak) 4-8
M. Zaidi Pardi Mat Amin – MAF1 (TLDM) 3-9
Mohd Afendy Abdullah – Team Afendy (Kedah) 1-11

The Asian Match Racing Championship will follow the Malaysian Match Racing Championship from 12th–15th October, with the winner of both events securing a berth at the Monsoon Cup, the prestigious final event of the 2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour which is being held from 22nd–27th November at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.


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