With only one event on the World Tour prior to the final event, in Malaysia, the points race for the ISAF Match Racing World Championships is wide open.
There are only 100 points available at the next event, the Brasil Sailing Cup, 14-18 November in Vitoria, Brazil to be sailed in SM40s and then it's on to the final event the Monsoon Cup, from 28 November-2 December in Kuala Terrenganu, Malaysia. Teams count their best seven events out of 15 stages with the final event worth 200 points and it must be counted in the final score.
's Ian WILLIAMS
(GBR) is still the World Tour leader with 130 points but Mathieu RICHARD
's (FRA) Saba Sailing Team
are the hottest team on the World Tour having just won the Bermuda Gold Cup and moving to within seven points of the World Tour leader. "To win the Gold Cup for the first time was fantastic for our team"
said RICHARD after the win. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to go to Malaysia with a chance to win the World Championship".
's Paolo CIAN
(ITA) is in third place with 106 points having scored ten points at the Gold Cup. Sebastien COL
(FRA) of Areva Challenge
is in fourth place with 93 points and Bjorn HANSEN
(SWE) has moved into fifth place with 79 points after his second place finish in Bermuda. WILLIAMS, RICHARD, HANSEN and CIAN are all scheduled to compete in Brazil which could make the points even tighter going into the final event. COL may compete if he can get back in time as he is sailing on an Open 60 in the Transit Jacques Vabre, showing the diversity of the skippers on the World Tour.
With 200 points up for grabs at the Monsoon Cup, up to five teams could have a shot to win the ISAF Match Racing World Championship title and the Wedgwood trophy. At this point Williams can't really extend his lead any further as he is already counting all seven events and he will drop one of his scores going into Malaysia. "We extended the season to not conflict with the America's Cup and to move to a calendar year season in 2008,"
said Scott MACLEOD, World Tour President "It's amazing to see how close the World Championship is after 13 stages and that anyone of the top five could win. Monsoon Cup is going to be very exciting."
There have been 13 stages in this edition of the World Championship with teams competing in eight different types of boats and ten different countries. The teams have sailed in boats ranging from the 1920's designed IOD in Bermuda, a classic meter style heavy displacement keel boat to the ultra quick Streamline 7.15's with double trapeze on the lake in St. Moritz. "To have these teams compete in different venues and different types of boats around the world is really a true test of a World Champion
" said Tour Director, Craig MITCHELL, "This isn't a single event where one team has hot week or knows the boat or local conditions. These Teams have had to perform in a wide variety of venues, boats and conditions."
Other boats include the specially designed SM40's used at two venues on the World Tour as well as DS37's, Solaris 36s, J105s, Foundation 36s and Bavaria MR37s.
World Match Racing Tour - www.worldmatchracingtour.com