Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar made an impressive start to his Monsoon Cup campaign by posting a 3-0 scoreline in the opening Qualifying Session in Kuala Terengganu
(FRA) French Match Racing Team did little to silence his rivals, losing both of his match races. It was an exciting day on the water and after day one both the event and the series are plainly wide open.
Going into this final event of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour there were five skippers who had a mathematical chance of winning the 2010 Tour. Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team), Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing), Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN), Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) and Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar) were all in contention.
On day one the Monsoon squalls brought bucketing rain and winds from every direction, delaying the start of the Round Robin series until mid-afternoon.
Richard, who has both defending champion, Adam Minoprio
(NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing and Ben Ainslie
(GBR) TEAMORIGIN breathing down his neck in the race for the championship, needed a strong start here in Malaysia. An early defeat to Ian Williams was followed by a match against Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team. Having picked up a penalty in the pre-start, Richard tried to wind it off at one of the mark roundings but forfeited his lead in doing so, allowing the Swedish skipper to take control of the race and finish 45 seconds ahead. It was a bad time to lose for the first time this season against the Swede.
The Frenchman reflected: "Not the start we wanted at all today. We had two bad starts. In our first race again Ian Williams there was a shift before the start, so we suffered. Against Bjorn Hansen, he was sailing well today. We might have a strong record against Bjorn but he beat us today and that is the only result I care about. The only thing we can be sure of is that we must do much better tomorrow."
Standings at end of first three flights:
Ian Williams (GBR) - 3 wins 0 losses
Ben Ainslie (GBR) 2 wins 1 loss
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) - 2 wins 0 losses
Torvar Mirsky (AUS - 1 win 0 losses
Francesco Bruni (ITA) - 1 win 0 losses
Peter Gilmour (AUS) - 1 win 2 losses
Philip Robertson (NZL) - 1 win 1 losses
Keith Swinton (AUS) - 1 win 0 losses
Adam Minoprio (NZL) - 0 wins 1 loss
Mathieu Richard (FRA) - 0 wins 2 losses
Jesper Radich (DEN) - 0 wins 2 losses
jeremy Koo (MAS) - 0 wins 3 losses
ISAF Match Racing World Championship microsite
World Match Race Tour - www.wmrt.com