Jeremy Koo (KFC Malaysia/KRT) blazed away in the semi final match against Masyuri Rahmat (Royal Malaysian Navy Match Racing Team 1), winning 3-0 to clinch his third Malaysian Match Racing Champion title at the Malaysian Match Racing Circuit (MMRC) Final Stage at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu.
Koo who had previously won the first and second stage of the circuit held at the Royal Malaysian Naval Base in Lumut, Perak and Marina Jabatan Laut in Pulau Indah, Selangor earlier this year only need to get through to the final to clinch the overall title based on the MMRC points scoring system.
"I could not have done it without my team. We were under a lot of pressure to seal our entry to the Monsoon Cup and needed to win this,"
said an elated Koo when asked about his semifinal match against Masyuri.
"The early penalty for Masyuri in the pre-start of the second match gave us an easy win and the boost of confidence. From that point on, we were just looking on to the Monsoon Cup. Masyuri has really improved as a competitor, from once stage of the circuit to another, defeating him has just gotten tougher. We are glad things went our way today,"
When asked about his shaky start in the qualifying round, Jeremy admitted to being a little worried that he might not go thru to the semifinals. "We had a new crewmember and that needs getting used to, and we didn't have the time to practice before coming to Pulau Duyong. Luckily, my sister Tiffany Koo (MMRC Champion 2006, 2007) motivated me and that helped me get my head around to win the races today,"
Navy skipper Masyuri Rahmat was his only contender after three stages of the circuit with three points separating them. In order to have qualified to the Monsoon Cup, Masyuri needed a win at this stage with Jeremy coming in third.
"We did our very best all season. We have learnt a lot of racing techniques and strategies and for that we are a better team now. Jeremy deserved to win, their team sailed absolutely perfectly today,"
said a clearly dejected Masyuri Rahmat. The pressure of qualifying for the Monsoon Cup for the first time was at the end too much to handle for Masyuri.
Jeremy Koo will make his third appearance at the Monsoon Cup, which begins on 3 December, joining Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing, Dato' Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team, Laurie Jury (NZL) KiwiMatch, Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One, Adam Minoprio (NZL) Alpari Racing Team and David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour.
The second day of the MMRC began with the remaining races in qualifying round. Hazwam Hazim (Permai Hotel Match Racing Team) who topped the table with five wins picked Harisfabillah Muhammad (Royal Malaysian Navy Match Racing Team 2) as his opponent. Hazwan Hazim went on to win 3-0, booking his spot in the finals against Jeremy Koo.
Mohd Saifullah Mohd Esa (Terengganu Sailing Team) finished fifth while Nurul Ain Md.Isa (Ri-Yaz Heritage Sailing Team) came in last in the regatta.
The finals and petit-finals will be sailed tomorrow to determine who will walk home with prize money worth RM15,000 sponsored by the Terengganu State Government.
The Malaysian Match Racing Circuit, Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) and Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) saw the staging of four events in the 2012 season, beginning with Stage One in Lumut, Perak on 11-13 May, Stage Two in Pulau Indah, Selangor on 29 June - 1 July, Stage Three in tg.Leman, Mersing, Johor on 28-30 September and the Final Stage in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu on 28-30 November 2012.
The one team with the highest points will be declared the Champion of the MMRC and will get the opportunity to represent Malaysia in the season ending finale of the AWMRT, the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu on 3-8 December 2012.
MMRC Final Stage-Pulau Duyong : Qualifying Results
1. Hazwan Hazim (Permai Hotel Match Racing Team) 5-0
2. Jeremy Koo (KFC Malaysia/KRT) 4-1
3. Masyuri Rahmat (RMNMRT1) 3-2
4. Harisfabillah Muhammad (RMNMRT2) 2-3
5. Nurul Ain Md.Isa (Ri-Yaz Heritage Sailing Team) 0-5
6. Mohd Saifullah Mohd Esa (Terengganu Sailing Team) 1-4
Semifinal 1 : Hazwan Hazim vs Harisfabillah Muhammad 3-0
Semifinal 2 : Jeremy Koo vs Masyuri Rahmat 3-0