Monsoon Cup Qualifier - 2010 Malaysian Match Racing Championship
Day 2 Summary

Nik Ashraf & Jeremy Koo keep the pressure on Hazwan
By Monsoon Cup Media

The Monsoon Cup, the final round of the annual ISAF World Match Racing Tour, is the most prestigious sailing event in Asia and the first of three qualifying events, the Malaysian Match Racing Championship, continues to grow in stature as the experience of the local match racers continues to grow.

Today was the second day of Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010 Round Robins, being sailed from the Ri-Haz Resort in Pulau Duyong, in Terengganu Malaysia.

Conditions were very light this morning, with a west south westerly breeze blowing at only four knots and the current running at 1.5 knots. However the breeze lifted to 10 knots during the afternoon.

After the five flights yesterday, Hazwan Hazim Dermawan the defending champion, was well placed with five wins and no losses. Today he completed the balance of the first round robin with one loss to Jeremy Koo and then picked up another against Nulul Elia, after missing a course change signal to have an overall 10-2 win loss record.

The young skipper was all smiles after coming off the River this afternoon. 'We are pushing hard; we enjoy the light conditions as we are almost a 100kg under the ideal weight if conditions strengthen. But in these conditions and if our luck holds, we will qualify for the semi-finals with just two more wins in the morning.'

Behind Hazwan on the leader board is Nik Ashraf Qaedi, with an 9-2 win loss record.

He was too was smiling this afternoon. 'We are pleased to have won all our races today. We came into this event a little under prepared but we are happy with progress so far.'

After being in the thick of the action today Jeremy Koo finished with an 8-3 score line. 'We know we can sail well, we were the only team to beat Hazwan who has been otherwise dominant, but we need to concentrate more. Having beaten Hazwan we lost by eight seconds to Nulul Elia, so we will really have to lift our intensity now. 'We are OK for now but there is a long way to go. We are hoping to have a better second half to the round robins and we hope we have our mistakes behind us.'

Mohamed Razali Mansor has a 7-4 score line beaten only by Hazwan Hazim and Nik Ashraf Qaedi (twice).

Razali used a number of his 'get out of jail' cards today. He was behind against Jeremy Koo but managed to glide past his rival. 'We worked hard on just keeping moving through the very light patches and I just managed to roll him on the run.

'This is our best result so far at the Malaysian Qualifiers. We practiced as a crew match racing again Masyuri for over six weeks and that obviously paid off . Now we start the second round of the round robins so we will have to work hard to maintain our concentration.'

Tiffany Koo, currently 7-4 commented 'It was a funny feeling sailing against my brother yesterday and I don't think I was as aggressive as I could have been - I won't repeat that mistake. In flight 9 today we beat Rizal by just nine seconds, so that reminds us that every tack, every gybe really matters.

'This is the first match racing event for some of our crew so we are still getting our crew work organized and we expect to see more improvements tomorrow.'

Some key battles took place today. Mohamed Razali staged an excellent 'come from behind win' against Jeremy Koo. After his win yesterday against Tiffany, that was as one sailing pundit commented, 'a double Koo'.

A classic match race transpired between the reigning Champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan and two- time winner Tiffany Koo. Hazwan held Tiffany out to the left of the course until they were both overlaid the first mark. A light air gybing duel down the first run had the boats line astern at the bottom mark. Hazwan's superior light air speed allowed him to extend the lead on the next work, but Tiffany closed to within two boat lengths down the final run.

The closest match of the day was between Tiffany Koo and Nulul Elia and featured everything - tack after tack being thrown at Tiffany upwind and a luffing duel at the top mark where the boats parked up for two minutes until Tiffany just managed to sneak around with just a single boat length lead. Elia was not going to be bettered and a spirited gybing duel had her round the leeward mark just a metre astern. In a repeat of the first lap, Elia threw tack after tack at Tiffany. After a dozen gybes downwind the boats split and ran to either end of the finish line, Koo taking the win by the barest of margins. PRO David Tallis confirmed the delta was 1.5m at the finish.

In the third match of flight 8, Jeremy Koo and defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan put on a masterful display of boat handling in the prestart with aggressive circling, as each tried to get the upper hand. Hazwan earned a penalty for gybing too close but led off the line.

Jeremy Koo worked the current perfectly to close within a boat length with the final run to go. Hazwan tried to hook Koo in an attempt to wash off the penalty but the luff came too late allowing Koo to cross half a boat length in front at the finish.

Principal Race Officer David Tallis commented 'There are no easy matches in this fleet. The depth of talent goes right to through the fleet. I am really looking forward to some wind tomorrow as all the skippers push hard. This is some of the best match racing I have seen.'

Chief Umpire Gary Manuel said 'There were some great matches out there with some very complex and technical decisions made. That doesnt tend to happen unless the racing is close and hard.'

All crews are looking forward to another big day tomorrow.

Full results and more images at http://www.monsooncup.com.my

Round Robins Placing (at the end Day 2)

Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse-AC Law) 10-2
Nik Ashraf Qaedi (Team One) 9-2
Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew) 8-3
Mohd Razali Mansor (MAF 1) 7-4
Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team) 7-4
Nurul Elia Anuar (Sail Putrajaya) 6-6
Mohd Masyuri Rahmat (MYA) 3-9
Rizal Mahadi Sazli (RSYC) 2-11
Jerome Welch (Putrajaya 5 O) 0-12

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