With the promise of a berth at the World Match Racing Tour's (WMRT) Championship finale - The Monsoon Cup - on offer for the winner, the Malaysian Match Racing Championship has attracted a stellar field of Malaysia's finest match racers, including two former winners.
The four day event, which starts on Wednesday 20 October, will feature an intriguing mix of former champions, sibling rivalry and future sailing stars, who will all be desperately battling it out to book their spot at the Monsoon Cup.
(Koo Racing Team), the 2006 and 2007 MMRC winner, is returning in an attempt for a hat-trick of wins, while defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan
(Team Pulse AC Law), boosted by a major sponsorship deal with Pulse Group PLC and AC Law, a leading corporate law firm, will be bidding for a repeat success.
Hazwan's new sponsorship deal will allow him to make the ground-breaking step and become the first all-Malaysian team to participate in a WMRT event outside of Malaysia, when they compete in the Korea Match Cup Qualifiers next year.
In addition to having to face off the challenge of Hazwan, Tiffany Koo will also need to get the better of her brother Jeremy Koo
(Koo Racing Team Evernew), who was part of his sister's winning teams in 2006 and 2007. Jeremy showed his skills as skipper when reaching the semi-finals last year and will be looking to add his name alongside his sister's on the coveted winner's trophy.
The fight for the prestigious MMRC title and the one qualifying spot for the Monsoon Cup will take place at the purpose built world-class match racing venue of Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, the same venue used for the Monsoon Cup which takes place from 30th November to 5th December.
The six other teams taking part in the MMRC are: Mohamad Razali Mansor
(MAF1), Rizal Mahadi (RSYC), Mohd Masyuri (MYA), Nurul Elia Anuar
(Sail Putrajaya), Nik Ashraf Nik Qaedi (Malaysia One) and Jerome Welch
(Putrajaya 5 O) - will be out to squash Tiffany and Hazwan in Pulau Duyong.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Koo and Hazwan will come from Nurul, the 2009 Monsoon Sailing School (MSS) Most Promising Sailor, who caught the eye when reaching the MMRC final last year. With another year's experience under her belt, Nurul could be a big threat this week.
The winners of the MMRC and AMRC will each earn a ticket to the Monsoon Cup, the final race of the WMRT 2010 season. The Monsoon Cup promises to be an exciting climax to the season as five skippers - Mathieu Richard
(FRA) French Match Racing Team, Adam Minoprio
(NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, Ben Ainslie
(GBR) TEAMORIGIN, Torvar Mirsky
(AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar all have a chance to be crowned World Champion.
Malaysian Match Racing Championship Participants List
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan /Perak -Team Pulse - AC Law
Jeremy Koo /Royal Selangor Yacht Club - Koo Racing Team - Evernew
Tiffany Koo /Royal Selangor Yacht Club - Koo Racing Team
Mohd Razali Mansor /Malaysian Armed Forces - MAF1
Rizal Mahadi /Royal Selangor Yacht Club - RSYC
Mohd Masyuri /Malaysian Yachting Association - MYA
Nurul Elia Anuar /Sail Putrajaya - Sail Putrajaya
Nik Ashraf Nik Qaedi /Malaysian Yachting Association - Malaysia One
Jerome Welch /Sail Putrajaya - Putrajaya 5 O
2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After Stage 8 of 9)
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 105 Points
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 90 Points
3. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 88 Points
5. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 76 Points
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 72 Points
6. Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team 60 Points
7. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 53 Points
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 51 Points
9. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 33 Points
10. Magnus Holmberg(SWE) Sigma Racing Team 29 Points
The top six skippers earn an automatic invitation to the Monsoon Cup, the last event of the season at which the ISAF Match Racing World Championship will be decided.
For more information on WMRT, please visit: www.wmrt.com
ISAF Match Racing World Championship - www.sailing.org/matchworlds