Ian WILLIAM's Team Pindar of Great Britain has won the ISAF Match Racing World Championships at the Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terrneganu, Malaysia.
(GBR) clinched the World Championship by virtue of his win over Shosholoza
's Paolo CIAN
(ITA) in a nail biting semi-final that went to the final race and a score of 3-2. He and his crew of Bill HARDESTY, Simon SHAW, Mark NICHOLS and Mark WILLIAMS became the first British team to win the coveted title.
"We managed to bluff our way in the quarter-finals and sat down last night to talk about how to handle the pressure."
WILLIAMS said, "I was very nervous today with the World Championship on the line and Bill [HARDESTY] did a great job of calming me down. We had the upper hand in the pre-starts and got the choices of where to go but Paolo never gave up. The team did a great job and really gave us the edge we needed to win the Worlds."
It was a tension filled day as three skippers (France's Mathieu RICHARD
, WILLIAMS and CIAN) entered the day with the possibility to win the match racing title. RICHARD was the first skipper to make a mistake when he chose CIAN to race in the quarter-finals. His crew had told him prior to the press conference to pick Jesper RADICH
(DEN). However, in the heat of the moment he mistakenly picked CIAN. This was to be his undoing as CIAN and his Shosholoza
crew beat him in the quarters by a 3-1 score and moved onto the semi-final.
"We are very disappointed. This morning we were fighting for the World Championship but now Ian has won. It's been a long and exciting season, we have exchanged the Tour lead many times but finally it has gone to him. This has been a great final event and fantastic Monsoon Cup."
Williams kept his hopes alive by beating Denmark's RADICH by a 3-0 score which set up the battle for the World Championship between WILLIAMS and CIAN in the semi-finals. In the other quarter-finals, Peter GILMOUR
(AUS) continued on his winning ways having a tough time against New Zealand's Adam MINOPRIO
in a match that ended 3-2 in GILMOUR's favour and then Sweden's Bjorn HANSEN
by a 3-0 score, moving GILMOUR into the finals for the first time in two years.
The win by WILLIAMS of Team Pindar
also decided the podium places in the World Championship with RICHARD clinching second place and CIAN finishing third. The final points will be finalized on Sunday.
The conditions were perfect with winds between 10-14 knots out of the northeast. The current really favoured the right side of the course on the first leg which made wining the right in the pre-start critical to the match.
"The guys did a great job, they were very smooth and we felt faster both upwind and downwind but in the end we didn't quite manage to get the final win,"
said CIAN, "I must congratulate Ian and his crew, it has been a long season and we have been playing catch up since Germany this year. The organizers have been incredible and Dave Tallis and his crew on the water did an amazing job with the courses."
Sunday will see the finals of the Monsoon Cup between WILLIAMS and Peter GILMOUR
's (AUS) PST
team. HANSEN will race CIAN in the petit-finals for third and fourth places. Racing for fifth to eighth places will also take place in the morning.
Ian WILLIAMS vs Peter GILMOUR
Bjorn HANSEN vs Paolo CIAN
Peter GILMOUR vs Bjorn HANSEN - 3-0
Ian WILLIAMS vs Paolo CIAN - 3-2
Peter GILMOUR vs Adam MINOPRIO - 3-2
Paolo CIAN vs Mathieu RICHARD - 3-1
Ian WILLIAMS vs Jesper RADICH - 3-0
Bjorn HANSEN vs Torvar MIRSKY - 3-0
Round Robin Standings
1. Peter GILMOUR (AUS) PST: 9.5-1
2. Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) BlackMatch Racing 8-3
3. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team: 8-3
4. Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) Saba Sailing Team: 7-4
5. Jesper RADICH (DEN) Radich Racing 7-4
6. Paolo CIAN (ITA) Shosholoza 6-5
7. Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) Team Apport.Net: 6-5
8. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) Team Pindar: 5-6
9. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team: 4-7
10. Sebastien COL (FRA) Areva Challenge: 4-7
11. Katie SPITHILL (AUS) Team Acuity: 1-10
12. Tiffany KOO (MAS) UK Halsey Gapurna Team: 0-11
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