Monsoon Cup wildcard Adam Minoprio has confirmed that he will lead the newly-formed Alpari Racing Team at the final event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour next month, and expects his team to be back to their Championship-winning best, seven years after their first outing in Malaysia.
Minoprio (NZL) Alpari Racing Team won the Tour in 2009 and has since embarked on a Volvo Ocean Race with CAMPER Team New Zealand, returning this year for two Tour events. An invite to compete at the Monsoon Cup was a welcome surprise for Minoprio, who has now reformed his old crew. He said, "It's great for the guys to be back together and competing as the Alpari Racing team for the Monsoon Cup. We've all been apart for two years, fighting to make it at our own projects but it's great to be back at an event we first cut our teeth at seven years ago.
"Everyone has moved along in different directions in their sailing careers so whilst it's a challenge to reunite, we'll work hard to get back to the top level as quickly as possible and I'm sure we'll have more fun out there than anybody. First and foremost we're good friends and I'm stoked that we can get back together and take on the world's best at the Monsoon Cup."
One of the key factors in Minoprio's previous Championship success, as is the case for so many teams, was a consistent crew. He was missing his full team at the recent Match Race France and ARGO Group Gold Cup in Bermuda, where he finished 11th and fifth respectively. Minoprio will welcome the return of, "Tom Powrie trimming the jib, Dave Swete in the middle, Nick Blackman on the bow with Chris Main coming in for the first time"
at the Monsoon Cup.
Minoprio also believes that a successful Monsoon Cup will give him the perfect platform to launch another challenge for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship title, saying, "We need to perform in Malaysia because it would definitely help to put our case forward for a Tour Card next year. It's a statement of intent to the Tour that we're the guys they need to have on the series. We'll give it everything to get a result."
Referring to his ambitions to apply for a Tour card once again in 2013, he said, "The 2013 season is still a while away but I know that there is interest from the guys to sail together again and it'd be good to do another full season as a team. If we can pull together for a challenge on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, that's what we'll do."
The two New Zealanders on the Tour this season, Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing Team and Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing will set up a three-way national battle in Malaysia. Minoprio, commented, "It's always extremely tough racing against other home nation skippers. It's been a long time since I've raced against Laurie [Jury], who I used to do bow for in the Royal New Zealand Youth Training Programme. And the year after that, I was driving and I had Phil Robertson doing the bow for me. To race against these guys again right at the highest level is quite cool. It's going to be a fantastic competition."
The Monsoon Cup, Malaysia's second biggest sports event of the year, will take place on 3-8 December at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu.
For a taster of the upcoming action, visit: http://www.youtube.com/worldmrt
Monsoon Cup action will be broadcast live on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December at 15:00-17:00 local time. The live stream will be available online from 4-8 December. Follow it live at http://www.facebook.com/ISAFWorldSailing/app_339723912770194
Tour regular Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/wmrt
Live event Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/wmrt_liverace
Current standings: http://www.wmrt.com/result/leaderboard.html
Monsoon Cup - Competing Teams:
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Alpari Racing Team
Taylor Canfield (USVI) USone
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour