|2015/16 World Match Racing Tour – Monsoon Cup
Puteri Harbour, Iskandar, Johor
AY Race Report 5 & Summary
Double victory for Ian Williams and GAC Pindar
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
Puteri Harbour, Johor (Jan 30th): Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One and Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar have dominated this edition of the Monsoon Cup, and by winning the semi finals, have clearly shown why they are world champions. For the organisers this is a dream pairing for the finals and the winner takes all – Monsoon Cup and crowned the 2015-16 World Match Racing Tour champion, in one swoop. This is an appropriate way to finish off the monohull era, as the tour moves onto M32 catamarans come March in Perth, Australia. Apart from staring each other off, over lunch, it was time to hit the water and replace the banter and side swipes, with walk the walk. They were both up for the challenge and everything was in place for an exciting showdown. Goto AY Photo Gallery
Even the weather cooperated this time, during the 1500 – 1600 television time slot, that has seen tropical downpours of huge proportions, interrupting play over the last few days. There is no love lost between these rivals, on or off the water. They split tacks and sling shot off the line, with Canfield on the favoured left side. Little port / starboard incident but penalty denied by the umpires. Canfield crosses clearly in front at the top mark as Williams gets lifted to round close behind. As they headed downwind Williams is faster and draws alongside, as Canfield defends but they become bow to bow. Williams seems to be quicker in changing modes and draws ahead, then closes the first match out.
Split tacks again on the second start but Canfield comes back on starboard tack and inflicts a penalty on Williams. During the tacking duel, Williams blocks off the favoured right side and extends the lead to round the top mark first. Canfield misses the mark and has to double tack to get around. Williams extends the lead and completes the penalty turn to make it 2-0.
During Race 3 pre-start Canfield tried to sell a penalty to the umpires, but it backfires and gets penalised himself. Another little incident and Williams earns a penalty, as they are back from the line and Canfield crosses first with Williams to leeward. As they work up the beat, Canfield’s judgment comes into question as they perform two double tacks to lay the mark, as Williams disappears downwind. Williams extends on every turn, to have enough time to complete the penalty turn and win the Monsoon Cup plus become six time World Match Racing Tour champion, with an increased bank balance.
The Sultan of Johor, DYMM Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni al-Marhum Sultan Iskandar came down from the palace and presented the gold Tunku Laksamana Johor trophy to the Monsoon Cup winner and crowned the 2015 World Match Racing Tour champion at the closing ceremony.
Straight into sudden death Semi Finals
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
Puteri Harbour, Johor (Jan 30th): The line up and opponents are, Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One versus Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox and Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar takes on Björn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing in the first to 3 wins Semi Finals. The breeze is up and its straight out onto the race course. First up Williams v’s Hansen, with Williams winning the start and Hansen instigates a tacking duel from behind. Williams leads around the top mark and extends to make it 1-0. Similarly Canfield wins the start and doesn’t give an inch away, to lead around the course and notch up win number one.
In Race 2 Williams again dominates the start and wins the pin end, then closes down Hansen as they go tack for tack up the windward beat. The left hand side of the course pays off and Williams extends the lead to make it 2-0. Feisty pre-start with Monnin collecting a penalty for a Port / Starboard infringement at the start line. Monnin lee bows Canfield but they manage to sail over the top of them. Monnin attempts a dummy tack but Canfield gains an advantage downwind, to open a huge gap and also make it 2-0.
Now for the knock out Race 3. Sailing backwards, Hansen fails to keep clear and earns a penalty to be fighting for survival. Williams starts to leeward and in front. This extends to clear ahead while Hansen try’s to keep it close. Superior boat speed and Williams is into the finals. Another spirited start for Monnin and Canfield with Canfield bearing down and receiving a penalty and right on the line a port /starboard incident earns Monnin a penalty. Although these can be offset, Canfield completely out sails Monnin for the finals berth.
After the domination this is why Williams and Canfield are world champions. Hansen admitted to failing to put the boat in the right place at the start and the same could be said for Monnin. This sets up a dream grand final match up, with the winner take all – the gold Tunku Laksamana Johor trophy for the Monsoon Cup and crowned the 2015 World Match Racing Tour champion plus a truck load of cash.
Consolation prize for 3rd and 4th places and collect their fair share on the cash prizes. Hansen was still all riled up from the semi final clash with Williams and was determined to reward the crew for their hard work and commitment throughout the 2015-16 season. Taking advantage at the start and coming out in front during the close tacking duel, earned Hansen two wins and the valuable third spot in both the Monsoon Cup and World Match Racing Tour.
As the WMRT moves onto M32 catamaran racing, it would be a shame to see all the organisational capacity, to host this world class event come to an end. Everything has been fully organised over the last few days except for the weather. Tropical downpours cut short the quarter finals and deprived lower ranked teams from having a run at the title. It’s as if today was a special day and the rain stayed away and everything went smoothly. Ian Williams and GAC Pindar are crowned six time WMRT champion and worthy Monsoon Cup champions. It couldn’t have ended on a better note, where the champion wins both titles on the last race of the season. Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth and Sports was there to help present the trophies and hopefully take the initiative to continue with the Monsoon Cup in some form or fashion.
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