The big clash came in Flight 20 between Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One and defending champion Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar. Held in pouring rain with reduced visibility, Williams got the early break on the first leg, to round the top mark in front. Despite Canfield applying the pressure from behind, Williams held on for victory and spoiled Canfield’s clean sheet, he has held till now.
Earlier in the day, during Flight 15 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar held the lead over Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing coming into the finish, but a slow gybe by Williams into the adverse current, allowed Sehested to lay the finish and clinch victory from the jaws of defeat by four seconds. In doing so, handed Williams his second loss in the Round Robin and just goes to show “It’s isn’t over, until it’s over” even for world champions.
The closest match of the day came between Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team. Held in light and shifty conditions, Berntsson held a slight advantage coming into the top mark for the last time and clipped it, so the umpires signaled a penalty. The downwind was a touch and go affair till the end and Berntsson completed the penalty turn around the pin, just in front of the rapidly advancing Sehested, to post a hard earned victory and cling onto eighth spot for now and possibly advance into the quarter finals.
Annoyed by the teams poor performance to date, Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot came out on fire, to force two penalties on Johnie Berntsson’s Berntsson Sailing Team in the pre-start and go on to post their first victory. They also out paced Malaysia’s Hazwan hazOne Racing Team, to record their second win and in doing so, elevate themselves into 11th place.
After posting two historic victories and being the toast of Malaysia, it was Hazwan Hazim Dermawan’s hazOne Racing Team’s turn, to find a few soft spots and fall off the pace, succumbing to Sehested, Aschenbrenner and Singapore’s Maxi Soh, to end up at the bottom of the table.
As there are two flights to go, 3rd to 8th place are still unclear. Third placed Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox is on 6-3, sixth placed Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing on 5-4, seventh placed Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing on 5-4 have two races to go and can improve their ranking over fourth placed Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team and fifth placed Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing who have already completed their 11 races.
Currently clinging onto eight place, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team finished with 5-6 and could be overtaken by Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-5 with two races to go. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing have had an up and down sort of regatta, to find themselves at the wrong end of the table and together with Soh and Hazwan, can take a bow as they are eliminated from the competition.
Early start tomorrow (0900) to complete two flights of the qualifying round robin, then straight into the Quarter Finals and depending on the weather conditions, how many races are held in the crucial final rounds.
To watch the racing live online via https://livestream.com/WorldMRT, tune in tomorrow at 0900 hours Malaysian local time.
Qualifying standings after Flight 20
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 8-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 7-2
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 6-3
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team 7-4 (-1 point)
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 6-5
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 5-4
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 5-4
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 5-6
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-5
Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 3-8
Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot 2-9
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (MAS) hazOne Racing Team 2-9
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