No room for match error on Monsoon Cup day two

Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, 4 December - Caution will go out the door today as the 12 teams competing in the 2008 Monsoon Cup start counting the results of each match in their bid to secure a quarter final berth.

On day two of the final event in the World Match Racing Tour being held in Malaysia the pressures of competing in the deciding event for the 2008 ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy in tricky conditions will see the teams with the greatest skills and tenacity rise to the top.

Coming into today’s racing three teams dominate. Paolo Cian’s Team Shosholoza, Ben Ainslie’s Team Origin and Torvar Mirsky’s Mirsky Racing Team all have two wins on the board.

Cian had a great start to the day yesterday beating Magnus Holmberg and Mathieu Richard. But, in his third match against Ian Williams, a penalty at the start and shifting breezes saw him suffer his first loss of the day. Today Cian faces Adam Minoprio, Johnie Berntsson and Torvar Mirsky.

Gold medal Olympian and ISAF Sailor of the Year Ben Ainslie was on fire yesterday as he battled Sebastian Col and Johnie Berntsson. It was his loss to Torvar Mirsky in the second flight of the day that put a dampener on Ainslie’s possible perfect score. Ainslie faces today two of the younger skippers in the event; Keith Swinton and Adam Minoprio.

The surprise of the day was the Mirsky Racing Team’s strong performance. Up against Ainslie in the second flight, Mirsky did not give Ainslie a chance to dominate. He played the right-hand side of the course while Ainslie for a short time searched for answers on the left sailing into glassy conditions. Good tactics and steely determination paid for Mirsky as he took out the match honors. In his second match of the day Mirsky faced Mathieu Richard. Two boats lengths at the finish and Mirsky was well on the way to being one of the day’s dominators.

The Mirsky and Cian match will be one to watch. Both are racing their boats fast and making winning tactical calls. Up against each other there should be exciting, close racing.

“We have raced against him stacks. He (Cian) is very tough and he is very, very Italian. They whine and complain and think everything should be their way. A lot of the time in this sport if you think you are right, you sort of are right. If you can push and your team really gets into it like they do, they can make some pretty cool stuff happen.

“There are always lots of incidences and lots of shouting and it is quite nerve racking racing Cian. So we have just to keep our cool and make our boat do the talking. Hopefully it talks louder than his shouting,” said Mirsky.

Defending Monsoon Cup and World Champion, Ian Williams, contested only one match yesterday. He faced Cian who was unbeaten in his first two matches of the day. Williams maintained his control on the match taking him to a win in his first event match. Today Williams faces former world and Monsoon Cup champion Dato’ Peter Gilmour, the diminutive Malaysia Match Racing Champion Nurul Ain and Magnus Holmberg.

Most of teams yesterday found it difficult to come to terms with the rushing tide in places on the course. With one race day now completed, the teams should have a better handle on how to make the tide and currents work to their advantage, particularly in the pre-start area.

The toughest match in today’s racing is likely to be in the first flight with Sebastien Col and Mathieu Richard, who are placed second and third respectively on the World Match Racing Tour leader board. They will be meeting for the first time in this event. Col comes into the event with two firsts this year on the World Match Racing Tour this year; the Korea Match Race and Portugal Match Cup. Richard has taken one first this year winning the St Moritz Match Race. Both have had a roller-coaster year with their results taking them from the top down to early event departure.

With the World Championship trophy is their sights, it will a tough battle between these two. However, as Col admits, to win the world title one of them has to win the Monsoon Cup. “Even if we finish second in the Monsoon Cup it may not be enough to win the world title. Our first goal is to win the event so we really need to concentrate on that,” Col said.

Light east, north-east winds building to ten knots is expected today. At the start of the day the sun is out and the postponement flag is flying as the race committee await the breeze.

When racing starts watch it live online at Live flight by flight updates on today’s matches will be available on

Monsoon Cup TV Coverage

Broadcasters for Live coverage on Saturday and Sunday and highlight shows from Tuesday through to Friday include ESPN Star Sports, Eurosport, Sky New Zealand, Showtime Arabia, Setanta, SuperSports Network TV, Eurosport Asia Pacific, American 1 Sports TV,, Sports Max Caribe, Euro News, Eurovision, BT Vision, Viasat VOD, Moto TV

Live on the Internet

Current World Match Racing Tour Leader board (top ten) (After Stage 8 of 9)

  • 1. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 92 points
  • 2. Sébastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 88
  • 3. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 77
  • 4. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team, 53
  • =. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 53
  • 6. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge, 51
  • 7. Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 46
  • 8. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 43
  • 9. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team, 40
  • =. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, 40

About the World Match Racing Tour:
  • The World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional sailing series featuring 9 World Championship events across the globe
  • The World Tour is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with “Special Event” status
  • The World Tour awards over US$1million in prize money
  • Points are awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the season ending ‘ISAF Match Racing World Champion’
  • Events utilize the same “match race” format used in the America’s Cup with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which places a focuses on team work and skill. Racing takes place close to the shore for the general public to follow the races as virtual on-the-water stadiums.
  • Media and television highlights coverage reaches over 500 million households in excess of 90 countries around the world.
  • World Match Racing Tour sponsors include Line 7, Pindar, Custom House, Travel Places, Wedgwood and Sail.TV

For information on the World Match Racing Tour: