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29 November 2007, 04:00 pm
COL Under Pressure At Monsoon Cup
Mathieu RICHARD gets the better of compatriot Seb COL
Mathieu RICHARD gets the better of compatriot Seb COL

Monsoon Cup 2007
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Frenchman Sebastien COL had a tough day adjusting to the tough competition at the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia, the final event of the World Match Racing Tour.
With only two wins, Areva Challenge skipper Sebastien COL (FRA), fresh from his Atlantic crossing after finishing sixth in the Transat Jacques Vabre, needs to get at least four wins under his belt if he wants to get into the final eight teams and still have a shot at winning the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. "I have been away sailing from the Tour and the competition is so tight and close it's been difficult to get back up to speed" said COL. "Hopefully we can get a better result tomorrow."

After a day of near perfect conditions in winds as high as 14 knots, the day came to a close with 36 races sailed in Kuala Terengganu. On shore spectators had the thrill of feeling as if they were part of the crew during the pre-starts with racing only a few meters from the shore directly in front of the three story purpose built sailing grand stand. Peter GILMOUR (AUS) had an amazing string of victories leading the day with seven wins. He had his comeuppance when he met up with Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) in their tenth flight battle. Young upstart Torvar MIRSKY, from Australia who went into the day with a 2-0 record suffered three losses during the day. The most crushing to the confidence was the loss to fellow junior, Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) of the NZ BlackMatch Team. However, both juniors from Oceania suffered losses to the master Dato' Peter Gilmour.

The match of the day was between the two fiery Frenchmen. French expletives filled the audio during the pre-start of the match between Mathieu RICHARD and COL. RICHARD drew a penalty flag in the pre-start. However, RICHARD led off the line to take control of the match. Halfway up the beat, a little problem with COL's genoa gave RICHARD a greater advantage. RICHARD rounded the weather mark about 12 seconds ahead of COL, but not far enough to spin his circle and clear his penalty.

On the second beat, RICHARD was able to get far enough ahead so that he could spin his circle to clear his penalty just before the weather mark. Down the final run a gybing duel ensued with RICHARD defending the lead all the way down the run. Once again, there was just not enough course left for COL to wriggle his way in front of RICHARD. With a 2-5 record after the eleventh flight, COL runs the risk of not making it into the quarter-finals for the regatta.

Other races were equally as close as there were 23 penalties given out of 45 calls during the day. GILMOUR came back from a penalty down in his match with Paolo CIAN (ITA) to win that match by less than half a metre. "It was a great day for the PST team today," claimed GILMOUR. "The crew work was just superb which made my job a lot easier."

Round robin racing will continue on Friday.

Current Standings

Peter GILMOUR (AUS) PST: 6.5-1
Jesper RADICH (DEN) Radich Racing 5-2
Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) Saba Sailing Team: 5-2
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) Team Pindar: 5-2
Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team: 5-3
Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) Team Apport.Net: 4-3
Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) BlackMatch Racing 4-3
Paolo CIAN (ITA) Shosholoza 4-3
Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team: 3-5
Sebastien COL (FRA) Areva Challenge: 2-5
Tiffany KOO (MAS) UK Halsey Gapurna Team: 0-7
Katie SPITHILL (AUS) Team Acuity: 0-8

ISAF Match Racing World Championship Leaderboard (Top 8)
(After Stage 14 of 15)

1. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) Saba Sailing Team, 140 points
2. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) Team Pindar, 132 points
3. Paolo CIAN (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 115 points
4. Sebastien COL (FRA) Areva Challenge, 93 points
5. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) Team Apport.net, 87 points
6. Peter GILMOUR (AUS) PST, 66 points
7. Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE) Victory Challenge, 62 points
8. Ed BAIRD (USA) Alinghi, 55 points

Results - www.worldmatchracingtour.com/default.asp?m=da&id=65317
Monsoon Cup - www.monsooncup.com.my
World Match Racing Tour - www.worldmatchracingtour.com
World Match Racing Tour
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