2009 Malaysian Match Racing Championship
AY Race Report 4

Day 4 - Hazwan Hazim - Team Taring Pelangi are Malaysian Champions

26:11:09 The action came in thick and fast as the semi finals got underway. Best of five races and the winner advances to the finals and one step closer to the blue ribbon Monsoon Cup next week. No room for the slightest of mistakes at this level because they will be punished very quickly. The racers may be hoting up but so are the spectators as another hot sunny day is being experienced with 6 to 8 knots of northerly breeze being the only relief from the harsh sun rays.

The selected pairings for the Semi Final are Jeremy Koo - Koo Racing Team AC Law v's Hazwan Hazim - Taring Pelangi and Nurul Elia Anuar - Sail Putrajaya v's Mohd Razali Mansor - MAF 1. In Flight 1 Race 1 Hazwan led Koo off the line and never looked back to take a comfortable victory. In the other semi final Razali, entered from the RC side of the line with starboard advantage. He proceeded to control Elia from astern, pushing her past the pin end of the line. She was unable to head up or bear down and had to continue further from the line at 1 min to go. In an attempt to break the overlap, Elia bore down and gybed onto port, she was unable to keep clear of Razali, still on starboard, and received a penalty that she never recovered from and handed the win to Razali.

SF Flight 2 Race 1 Hazwan took the advantage up wind and Koo closed the gap down wind. Approaching the bottom mark, Hazwan squeezed in an overlap with Jeremy, who was the outside boat. Jeremy needed to give Hazwan room to round the mark. Jeremy proceeded to head up, giving little room. Umpires gave penalty to Jeremy for not giving room to an overlapped boat at the leeward mark. Hazwan makes it two wins in a row.

SF Flight 2 Race 2 Pretty even up wind but Elia received a penalty at the bottom mark for not sailing her proper course around the mark. She over steered around the mark and hit Razali. Despite taking a penalty turn Elia manages to sail around Razali on the last downwind to secure victory. Razali 1 - Elia 1.

SF Flight 3 Race 1 Hazwan needed only one more win to go into the finals. Jeremy needed to win the remaining three matches in order to have a chance at making the finals. This is a big ask and much to the local spectators delight Hazwan held a slight lead over Jeremy on their final downwind leg to the finish and crossed the line to make it 3-0 to proceed onto the sudden death final and show Koo the exit door.

SF Flight 3 Race 2 Razali received a penalty for being the windward boat and failing to keep clear. The line controlling the spinnaker touched Elia’s boat. After doing a wonderful job of covering, Elia extended her lead to make it Razali 1 - Elia 2 and requiring a fourth race.

SF Flight 4 Race 1 Razali received a penalty for not keeping clear of Elia while gybing. As the boat was in the process of turning Razali did not have right-of-way, forcing Elia to alter her course. This gave Elia an advantage coming into the finish, and cheers erupted ashore as she crossed the line for her third win and proceed into the final. To many mistakes for Razali's team and they are quickly left out in the cold.

Final match up. Hazwan Hazim - Team Taring Pelangi and Elia Anuar - Team Putrajaya will meet in the finals. Jeremy Koo - Team Koo Racing AC Law and Razali Mansor of Team Malaysian Armed Forces 1 proceed to the Petit Final to determine third and fourth place.

Final Race 1 Elia led off the start, both boats on starboard at the committee end. She extended her lead over the first half of the windward beat, but Hazwan closed in on the first downwind only to let Elia get away up wind and comfortably take the win.

Final Race 2 Elia was in a controlling position to leeward approaching the line at 1 min. She hesitated in luffing Hazwan and when she did commit to the maneuver it was too late. Instead of slowing Hazwan, she only lost speed herself, giving Hazwan both speed and windward advantage off the line at GO. Hazwan is also advantaged as the puffs look like they are pumping down the right side of the course. As the windward boat he will get first benefit from the better pressure. They continued in the same vein around the course for Hazwan to even the score at 1-1.

Final Race 3 Neck and neck off the line, Elia barely escaping a foul. Elia led up the entire first beat but under tacked the layline and gave up starboard advantage by letting Hazwan tack onto the right side of the course. She could have tacked to cover him but instead she kept on course to the windward mark. In doing so she was on port tack coming into the windward mark and had to give way to the fast approaching Hazwan on starboard. Hazwan led around the rest of the course keeping close cover on Elia to post their second win and making it Elia 1 - Hazwan 2.

Final Race 4 The race committee made minute adjustments to the course and sounded the attention signal for race 4. A fierce pre-start battle ensued, Hazwan earning final control at GO, starting the race with a 5 second lead, forcing Elia to follow just behind him next to the committee boat. Hazwan rounded the windward mark clear in front and his crew made an excellent spinnaker set - up and full in seconds. Cheers burst out from the marina as Hazwan crosses the line as MALAYSIAN CHAMPION and Team Taring Pelangi gain entry to the blue ribbon Monsoon Cup next week.

Petit Final Jeremy Koo's - Team Koo Racing AC Law seemed to have regained their composure and went out with a lot more aggressiveness than the semi final to beat Razali Mansor's Team Malaysian Armed Forces 1, two races in a row. This result gives Team Koo Racing AC Law third place and Team Malaysian Armed Forces 1 fourth place in the Malaysian Qualifiers.

What a great experience and steep learning curve for all the teams concerned and may the pursuit of match racing in Malaysia continue long into the future.

On the water photos credited to Gareth Cooke from Sub Zero Images

For more information and access to high resolution images and daily video's go to www.monsooncup.com.my

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Day 2 AY Race Report.
Day 1 AY Race Report.

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