Monsoon Cup Qualifier - 2010 Malaysian Match Racing Championship
Day 3 Summary

Only the brave make it into the semi finals
From PRO David Tallis

Round Robin 2 began with a bang in more ways than one with a number of close incidents resulting in collisions. The public were in prime position with the top mark positioned only metres from the marina at Ri Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa. With teams desperate to keep their hopes alive of a semi final berth, every match was intense. The light winds did not allow for too much aggression with crews focusing on the tactical minefield to give them an edge.

The match between Tiffany and Jeremy Koo provided lots of excitement with Jeremy looking like making it 2:0 in the sibling rivalry stakes. A gybe set at the last windward mark put Tiffany into slightly more pressure and allowed her to leapfrog her brother and take the win to put them 1 a piece in the round robin.

The big performer on day 2, Nik Ashraf looked stalled with losses against reigning champion Hazwan and Jermey Koo but managed to pull things together for a solid win over Elia.

With 2 flights remaining in the double round robin, reigning champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan has cemented his spot in the semi finals and will be fighting hard to stay on top to get the coveted first pick of opponent in the semi finals. With a log jam from there on, 6 teams are fighting it out for the 3 remaining spots with Tiffany and Jeremy Koo locked together on 9 points, yesterdays star performer Nik Ashraf on 10 points and Mohamad Razali Mansor on 8 points. Still in with a mathematical chance are Nurul Elia Anuar on 7 points and Mohamad Masyuri Rahmat on 6 points but it will be a tough fight and relies on other matches going the right way.

Day 3 Afternoon

With the seabreeze in at 8-10 knots the crews returned for the all important last two flights of the round robin. The start line was set only 4 boat lengths from the marina giving spectators a prime view and the competitors some obstructions to play with.

Rizali kept his semi final hopes alive with a convincing win over Jerome whilst Jeremy Koo did it tough against Hazwan. The two locked horns in the prestart and neither gave an inch. Koo held a half boat length advantage at the leeward mark but had to withstand a spirited tacking duel from Hazwan. A relieved Koo crossed 12 seconds ahead at the finish.

In the last flight Hazwan and Nik had their semi final berths secured. Only Rizali could upset a Koo 3rd and 4th RR finish but he had to beat reigning champion Hazwan to do it. Unfortunately Hazwan was too strong putting both Tiffany and Jeremy in to the semi finals.

Semi finals.

The all important choice of opponents was a difficult one with Hazwan finally deciding on Tiffany leaving semi final 2 between Nik and Jeremy Koo.

With the seabreeze fading Tiffany Koo lead off the start line leaving Hazwan virtually stopped after a progressive luff just before the start signal. At the first mark, Hazwan had closed it up to 2 boat lengths and then a beautiful gybe set pulled him back level. At the second windward mark Tiffany tried to dial Hazwan down but he managed to get below her. When she tacked to cover, the umpires ruled against her as the sterns collided. After a quick hoist of the spinnaker an anxious Koo saw her hopes dashed as the spinnaker fell to the deck as the halyard let go. Rehoisted on the jib halyard, again the halyard let go leaving a frustrated Koo to sail bare headed to the finish line.

The second semi final was a spirited affair with Nik holding a safe 4 - 5 boat length lead until Jeremy found a vein of pressure to bring him within striking distance. A misjudgment by Nik in a lee bow resulted in a penalty allowing Jeremy to sail away to a solid win. “We have to cut down on our mistakes if we are to beat Nik and reach the final. We have to stay focused and pressure him right from the start.”

Nik Ashraf, meanwhile, said: “I have achieved my target of reaching the semi-finals but will now try to find a way to beat Jeremy to reach the final. “The wind was not in our favour in the semis as it died down just before the start. I would have preferred a stronger wind,” added Nik Ashraf, who at 82kg, is the heaviest skipper in the competition.

In the 5- 8 sailoff, 5th in the round robin, Rizali chose to sail Elia which proved to be an error as she mastered the light and shifty winds to take a comfortable win. In the remaining match Rizal turned the tables on Masyuri to set up a 5th / 6th place sail off against Elia.

Racing continues tomorrow with the completion of the semi finals followed by the all important grand final, to see which team is going to be crowned the 2010 MMRC champion and progress onto the professional ISAF World Match Racing Tour season ending Monsoon Cup in December.

Goto Day 4 Final Press Release
MMRC Day 2 Press Release

MMRC Day 2 Morning Notes & Round Robin 1 Wrap-Up
MMRC
Day 1 Press Release
MMRC Oct AY Team News

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