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22 November 2007, 11:22 am
Monsoon Cup to Decide World Champion
Mathieu RICHARD celebrates in Bermuda
World Tour Leader Mathieu RICHARD

Monsoon Cup 2007
Terengganu, Malaysia

Frenchman Mathieu Richard and his Saba Sailing Team lead by 8 points going into the final stage of the World Match Racing Tour and are on fire having won the last two stages.
After taking wins at the Bermuda Gold Cup and the recently completed Brazil Sailing Cup, Mathieu RICHARD has taken an 8 point lead going into the fifteenth and final stage of the World Tour. RICHARD is in prime position to be the second Frenchman to win the ISAF Match Racing World Championship at the Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terrenganu, Malaysia which starts next week, November 28 - December 2nd. However, there are still five teams that could win the World Championship title in Malaysia.

The top six skippers on the leader board will be attending the Monsoon Cup which is worth double the points of a regular World Tour event and must be counted in the skippers final score. Mathieu RICHARD leads with 140 points followed by Team Pindar's, Ian WILLIAMS on 132. Italian Paolo CIAN of Shosholoza is in third place with 115 followed by Frenchman Sebastien COL on 93 and Bjorn Hansen on 87. However, each skipper will drop there worst race and count the final score making the scores even tighter. With a drop the score line reads:

Matthieu Richard (FRA) - Saba Sailing Team: 130 points
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) - Team Pindar: 122 points
Paolo CIAN (ITA) - Shosholoza: 107 points
Sebastien COL (FRA) - Areva Challenge: 89 points
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) - Team Apport.net: 87 points
Peter Gilmour (AUS) - PST: 66 points

There will be 200 points up for grabs to the top eight places out of the 12 competing teams. Points will be allocated as follows: 1st - 50 points; 2nd - 40; 3rd - 30; 4th - 24; 5th - 20; 6th - 16, 7th - 12 and 8th - 8points. A zero score at this event could cost any of the skippers dearly and could decide the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. In addition to the top five teams, Dato' Peter Gilmour the defending World Champion will be sailing and still has a shot at making the podium at his home event.

It's very close at the top. For instance, if Paolo CIAN wins the event then RICHARD will have to finish 3rd or better. If WILLIAMS wins the event then he will automatically shut out RICHARD and become the first Brit to take home the World Championship title. However, RICHARD has recently been the hottest match racer on the World Tour having won the last two events. "It's going to be really close and I expect a very tough battle in Malaysia" said RICHARD "Our team has been sailing very well in the last two events and we look forward to carrying that momentum forward". WILLIAMS took the lead of the World Tour from RICHARD after the Danish Open this year only to be reeled back in and overtaken by him. "Mathieu and his team have had a great run recently, winning in both Bermuda and Brazil" said Ian Williams "but we are pretty fired up for Malaysia and look forward to the final battle for the title"

Duyong Island at the mouth of the Terengganu River plays host to the Monsoon Cup where the purpose built sailing facility acts as a grandstand overlooking the racing area making a spectacular setting for this final event and with $300,000 in Prize Money on offer the action will be non-stop. The Monsoon Cup will be sailed in the identically matched and supplied Bakewell-White designed Foundation 36's with 5 crew. Live coverage on Saturday and Sunday, including the semi-finals and finals, will be shown on Eurosport, Star Sports Asia, Showtime Arabia and Sky NZ. You wouldn't want to miss it!

The line up for next week's Monsoon Cup includes:

1. Mathieu Richard FRA - Saba Sailing Team
2. Ian WILLIAMS GBR - Team Pindar
3. Paolo CIAN ITA - Team Shosholoza
4. Sebastien COL FRA - Areva Challenge
5. Bjorn Hansen SWE - Apport.Net
6. Dato' Peter Gilmour AUS - PST
7. Jesper Radich DEN - Radich Racing Team
8. Staffan Lindberg FIN - Alandia Sailing Team
9. Torvar Mirsky AUS - Mirsky Racing Team
10. Katie Spithill AUS - Team Acuity
11. Adam Minoprio NZL - BlackMatch Racing
12. Tiffany Koo MAS - UK Halsey Gapurna

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

World Match Racing Tour - www.worldmatchracingtour.com
Brasil Sailing Cup - www.brasilsailingcup.com
Monsoon Cup - www.monsooncup.com.my

Yvonne Reid
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