Anxious start to last ditch Monsoon match races

Monsoon Cup match racers, while waiting for the sea breeze to settle, anxiously eyed off their competition before the start of the last six flights of the quarter final qualification.

For several of the great names in international match racing, every bit of energy, concentration and skill they could muster will be needed to get them through the next few hours of matches. Mathieu Richard, Ian Williams, Sebastien Col and Magnus Holmberg are all on the edge. Each of them have tough competition to face today; there will no easy matches.

On the other end of the point score Keith Swinton's Black Swan Racing and Nurul Ain bt. Md Isa's Perak Sailing Team are out of contention for the quarter finals. Both teams have sailed incredibly hard and well in the final event of the World Match Racing Tour.

In the first match of the day Ian Williams (Bahrain Team Pindar) and Sebastien Col (K-Challenge) went into the match with an equal number of wins from the previous days racing. Williams beat Col after a tactically
challenging race in a soft, shifty breeze. It was only in the last leg of the course that Williams caught a soft puff on the left-hand shore and lead Col to the finish by five boat lengths.

Third on the World Match Racing Tour leader board, but with only two match wins so far, Mathieu Richard has been on the back foot and fighting for survival in the Monsoon Cup. Magnus Holmberg has had a better event with four wins, but with the awarding of a penalty against him for Level C damage to Williams' boat in the re-sail match yesterday, he went into their match with three wins on the score board. Richard came out on top of this match to give him a total of three wins, still below the mark for quarter final qualification.

The big question this morning was; could Dato' Peter Gilmour and his Yanmar Racing Team slip into the top eight with a solid round of match performances today ? He faced ISAF Sailor of the Year Ben Ainslie, a relative newcomer to the match racing circuit, who came into the match with four wins. Gilmour dominated with some smart sailing to win the match and move up the scoreboard with four wins.

Ainslie then immediately went into his next match, this time against Monsoon Cup round robin leader, Paolo Cian. The Bahrain Team Pindar needed to win this match to secure their quarter final berth. Cian challenged them every moment of the match, but Ainslie took the lead to finish clearly ahead of Cain to be one place behind Cian on the pointscore.

At the mid-way point of the day Cian and Adam Minoprio lead the pointscore on seven wins each and have secured their quarter final berth. Torvar Mirsky with six wins also looks secure. Williams, Ainslie and Gilmour are all placed in a strong position to qualify for the quarter finals with five wins each.

It is now down to Col, Richard, Holmberg and Berntsson to fight it out for the remaining quarter final berths. Their battles will be the highlight of this afternoon's racing as the final flights of the round robin stage

Check out the live vision on Live updates on today's matches will be available on

Asia's ESPN Star Sport telecast each night at 10.30pm highlights from the day's racing. Other broadcasters showing race day reports and highlights are: (check your local guide for times.):
Eurosport - Europe
Sky New Zealand - NZ
Showtime Arabia - Middle East (Dubai)
Setanta - UK/Ireland
SuperSports Network TV - Germany
Eurosport Asia - Pacific
American 1 Sports TV - USA - International and China
Sports Max Caribe
Eurovision - Switzerland/U.K
BT Vision - UK
Viasat VOD - Europe
Al Jazeera - International
Moto TV - Egypt
Euro News - Europe

Watch the racing on the internet,