by Rob Kothe
Two flights each to Paolo Cian (ITA) and Ian Williams (GBR) as they sailed into the starting box for the fifth race in the second semi-final of the 15th event in the 2006-2007 World Match Racing Tour, the third Monsoon Cup, on the Terengganu River in eastern Malaysia this afternoon.
Ian Williams (Team Pindar) is the new ISAF World Match Racing Champion. Monsoon Cup 2007
This flight could decide the ISAF World Match Racing Tour winner.
Conditions had lightened to seven to eight knots when the two boats circulated and without too much aggression, Williams controlled the prestart. He wanted the right and got his wish.
William pushed well to the right side of the course with positive current and led by a length at the top mark. Cian gybed to the left and lost ground, he made it back, picking shifts, but lost the lead again by the narrowest of margins.
In the soft conditions it was a ballet on the boats, but the British team remained calm and led their rivals across the line. All was momentarily quiet then Williams and fellow Team Pindar crewmembers punched the air and whooped and hollered.
Dockside Ian Williams spoke to Sail-World. 'Yesterday's events shaped today. In the last races of the round robin we had everything thrown at us and we lost two of our on water wins in the protest room. I was pretty emotional, as you say. We scraped through, one win less and we'd have been out.
'But yesterday made us stronger as a team really, we were a little stressed in the boat yesterday but we talked last night about staying calm, you can’t get down on someone for making a bad decision, conditions were very tricky. No point in beating up on yourselves.
'Our win this morning, going 3-0 against Jesper (Radich), a previous WMRT winner, was a confidence builder.
'In the prestarts, we generally felt dominant and our timing of our runs back to the line was excellent, which meant we could get what we wanted quite late.
'Paolo (Cian) ended up down on the pin lay line a little early and we able to get away fast on a puff and the race went on from there. We stayed patient and just waited for the shifts, a couple of times they did not come and he got through us.
'But we made more right decisions than wrong ones and in the end that is what gave us the Title.'
In the other semi final, Dato Peter Gilmour defeated Bjorn Hansen.
Williams now meets Gilmour tomorrow in the final of the Monsoon Cup.