Thursday, December 02, 2010

Monsoon Cup - Day 2: Ian Williams is on a roll; leads undefeated 7-0

Despite the very light and tricky conditions that prevailed throughout the second day of the Monsoon cup, closing event of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Championship, one skipper came out unscathed. Ian Williams, the British world match racing champion in 2007 and 2008, managed to weave his way through the Malaysian "minefield", as Jesper Radich called it, and finish the day at the top of the leaderboard with perfect 7-0 score.

To say that it was tough in Kuala Terengganu would be an understatement. While the rain might be a mere nuisance for the sailors, the fact it didn't let the breeze to go over 6-7 knots was frustrating. In addition, as PRO David Tallis put it, there was no pattern at all in the wind shifts. It could go right 90º at one moment and then back left a few minutes later. This led to very technical situations, putting a prime on calling the right tactics. Leads could extend or be reversed in a matter of minutes if the wrong side was chosen.

Highlights from day 2 of the Monsoon Cup. Kuala Terengganu, 2 December 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tout

Nevertheless, Williams showed he's in excellent form and didn't lose a single race. The amusing fact is that two days ago he was written off from the world title but if this qualifying tour is an indication of what will take place later on, he's on the right track.

The main contender to the title, Mathieu Richard, seems to be under pressure, sitting 7th with three wins and 5 losses. However, according to Richard, he reacted today going from a 4-0 down. However, he faces three of the toughest matches tomorrow with no others than Mirsky, Robertson and Minoprio. It might all come down to the last match of the qualifying series to decide who advances to the quarterfinals.

Results after 10 flights of the qualifying series

1. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 7-0
2. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 5-1
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 5-2
4. Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team 5-2
5. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzurra 4-2
6. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 3-3
7. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 2-4
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 2-4
9. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team 2-4
10. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-4
11. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 2-5
12. Jeremy Koo (MAL) Koo Racing Team Evernew 0-8

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