Monsoon Cup - Excitement builds ahead of Pulau Duyong battle

Torvar Mirsky and Johnie Berntsson collide during day 2 at the Monsoon Cup 2011.
© Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images
Excitement is building with less than one month to go before the eighth Monsoon Cup gets underway. This year’s event consists of one of the strongest fields ever, including three ISAF Match Racing World Champions. Eleven teams, including the top eight skippers on the Tour leaderboard, confirm their hard earned place in the season-ending Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT).

The Tour Invite Policy is one that focuses on consistency of performance and standards over the world championship events that take place around the globe. Skippers purchase tour cards that allow them to collect points based on their finals standings at each allocated event. The five best scores will count towards their placing on the Tour leaderboard. Only the top eight skippers after the penultimate event at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda (1-7 October) will be invited to the final event, the Monsoon Cup.

The top eight skippers who have confirmed their tickets, in order of the points collected thus far are Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar, Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing, Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing, Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team, Laurie Jury (NZL) KiwiMatch Sailing Team, Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing, and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Match Racing Circuit (MMRC), which kicked off in May this year, will produce the sole Malaysian participant at the event. The final stage which will see the crowning of a local champion will take place on 28-30 November at the five star Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa, just days before the Monsoon Cup. Jeremy Koo remains confident of winning the spot even after the recent defeat to Masyuri Rahmat at the third stage of MMRC in Tg.Leman.

Earlier this week, David Gilmour, the son of four time Match Racing World Champion Dato’ Peter Gilmour was announced as the Asian Match Racing entry at the Monsoon Cup thru being the top placed Australian at the 2012 Warren Jones Regatta organized by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Perth.

Peter Gilmour has his hands full on day 3 at the Monsoon Cup 2011. Kuala Terengannu, Malaysia. 25 November 2011. Photo: Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.
© Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images

Adam Minoprio (NZL) who was Monsoon Cup 2009 Champion and the youngest ever Tour Champion in the same year and Taylor Canfield (USVI) US One have been confirmed as the wildcard entries to complete the 12 sailors line up who will compete for part of the RM1.475mil on offer at the end of the weeklong event.

Minoprio, said: 'It’s fantastic to be involved at the Monsoon Cup again. We’ve had two years off from the Tour but we will go into the event confident, having re-familiarised ourselves at Match Race France and the Argo Group Gold Cup. The Monsoon Cup is a big event with a lot of tough competitors who have been sailing all year, honing their skills and teamwork. We’ve sailed in Malaysia six or seven times now so feel we know the event. We just need to be back to top form and we can challenge for the podium.'

Canfield has become ‘one-to-watch’ amongst the pool of young match racing talent, eager to compete on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. He can also point to recent successes of his own, having recorded a Tour victory already this season at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda last month.

Day 3 at the Monsoon Cup 2011. Kuala Terengannu, Malaysia. 25 November 2011. Photo: Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images.
© Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images

Canfield, said: 'This year has been great for the team and I think the spike in our performance has been due to the consistent crew members I’ve had on board. Gaining some more top level experience was key for us but we also wanted to challenge for wins whenever possible.

'We’re already ahead of one of the Tour Card Holders in the overall standings for the season which we’re really pleased with. If we can put on a good show at the Monsoon Cup, we’re hoping to put our case forward for a Tour Card next year. We’d love to be involved on a regular basis.'

Monsoon Cup Operations Manager, Muhamed Shafique Mohamed Iqbal said 'We have seen some great racing on the Tour this year, with some major surprises and upsets with the big names. The competition is getting tough and I expect the Monsoon Cup to be even closer as the world title has yet to be decided.'

at the Monsoon Cup 2011. Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. .
© Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images

Monsoon Cup 2012 – Competing Teams:

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Taylor Canfield (USVI) US One
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour

Malaysian Match Racing Circuit Champion- to be announced 30th November 2012.

Monsoon Cup website