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 www.wmrt.com
World Match Race Tour - www.wmrt.com