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26 November 2010, 09:28 am
Tacticians Are Key To Success In Monsoon Cup
Defending champion Adam Minoprio in action at the 2009 Monsoon Cup

World Match Racing Tour
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

With five skippers still in with a chance of wining the 2010 World Match Racing Tour and ISAF Match Racing World Champion title, the spotlight is set to turn heavily on their trusted tacticians as the famously challenging conditions of next week's Monsoon Cup come into focus.
Pre-race preparation and the ability to adapt to the changeable conditions on race day are a pre-requisite if teams are to stand a chance of combating their opponents on the course in Pulau Duyong in Kuala Terengganu from 30 November to 5 December.

Speaking to the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), Team Azzurra's Pierluigi De Felice, talked first-hand about the impact the weather will have next week:

"As a tactician, if the monsoon rain comes down hard you have to change your approach. The knock-on effect of a downpour is huge - The rain pushes the water levels up, the currents gain momentum and then the pre-start fight for position becomes even more critical. That's when teams will take bigger risks which can define the success or failure of their race there and then."

Triple Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie believes victory in the ISAF Match Racing World Championship at the Monsoon Cup next week would be the perfect swansong for TEAMORIGIN and the ideal retort to Mathieu Richard's taunts of inconsistency.

Speaking ahead of what will be, for the foreseeable future at least, the last time Ainslie competes in a match race for TEAMORIGIN alongside one of the most decorated crews in sailing, he said: "It would be fantastic for us as a team to bow out at the top of the World Championship and to win the Monsoon Cup next week. The Monsoon Cup is unique - I've never sailed in an event quite like it because I don't think there is an event like it in the world."

Meanwhile, commenting on Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team's belief that Ainslie's biggest weakness is his 'inconsistency', the Brit replied: "I was quite amused to read Mathieu Richard's comment - My team has competed in five events on this year's Tour and we're in with a chance of winning the title so I don't agree with him on that."

Legendary sailing commentator, Peter Montgomery MBE, believes the race to become ISAF Match Racing World Champion is simply too close to call. However, one thing he is certain of is that Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/Blackmatch Racing will be focussed solely on retaining what he believes is his rightful crown.

Speaking to the World Match Racing Tour, Montgomery said Minoprio's decision to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race next year would not be in the young Kiwi's mind: "Minoprio will want to retain his World Championship. Distraction is not in his dictionary."

For Minoprio and the other four skippers vying to become World Champion, Montgomery knows exactly what it will take for them to win at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa in Kuala Terengganu:

"If there is a lot of rain the week prior to the regatta, then the rivers become raging torrents and turn Pulau Duyong into a very difficult area to sail. We have seen in the past red hot favourites undone by calls they misjudged in the unforgiving current. Also, there are no more regattas to make amends on this year's Tour if things go wrong. The last chance saloon can do weird things to minds. Top sport is a study of people under stress. The winner will be the skipper and crew who cope best with the two key factors. Conditions and stress."

To read more about the team strategies as the race to the Championship and the Monsoon Cup heats up, visit

ISAF Match Racing World Championship microsite

World Match Race Tour -

World Match Racing Tour
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