Koo storms into Monsoon Cup
PULAU DUYONG (OCT 23, 2010): Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew) swept past younger sister and two-time Champion Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team) to win the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) at Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa. As the winner of the MMRC, Jeremy will get the chance to sail in the Monsoon Cup which will be held at the same venue from Nov 30-Dec 5.
Jeremy, who crewed for Tiffany when she emerged victorious in the MMRC in 2006 and 2007, had mixed emotions after sailing to a 3-0 victory in the first ever MMRC final to feature siblings. He was elated that he has finally claimed the MMRC as a skipper after finishing third last year, but sad he denied his baby sister a chance to win the title for a third time. Jeremy also admitted he was lucky the wind was strong today as he felt a lighter wind would have favoured Tiffany.
“I finally did it,” said an elated Jeremy immediately after climbing off his boat. “The crew were just tremendous today and I’m delighted to finally win the MMRC but a little sad as I beat my sister. She was a little unlucky as the strong wind helped me.
“I’m flying off to Hong Kong to prepare for the China Cup. I will then have a training stint with the South Korean Asian Games squad. The rest of my crew will be heading back to their day jobs but all of us will spend lots of time in the gym as we need to be stronger and fitter for the Monsoon Cup.”
Comeback queen Tiffany, who has not competed in the MMRC for two years, could still look on the funny side despite the crushing loss.
“As I said all along, I didn’t even expect to reach the semi-finals, let alone the final as it was a last minute decision to comeback to the MMRC. Actually, took pity on my brother and let him win,” she said with a big laugh. “Honestly, he was too good today and I have no complaints. Hopefully this result will help me find some sponsors as I want to do more Match Racing next year.”
Tiffany had stormed into the final when she defeated defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse-AC Law) 3-1 in a dramatic semi-final. Her win over Hazwan, who topped the qualifying rounds with a 13-3 record, kept up the MMRC tradition of always having a female sailor in the final.
Tiffany, who trailed Hazwan 1-0 in the first flight yesterday, came out fighting this morning. She pushed Hazwan to the pin end early, allowing her to start on the hip with full speed. It was a good move as she was never headed and she finished 22 seconds ahead to level the match.
The win gave Tiffany a big confidence boost and she played the current and the shifts beautifully to win the next two flights to take the semi-final 3-1.
In the other semi-final, Nik Ashraf was late for the entry and this allowed Jeremy to line him up on starboard tack and the umpires duly rewarded him with a penalty against Nik Ashraf.
After making the entry with only one second to spare Nik Ashraf gybed back and dialed Jeremy up. In the ensuing luffing duel the boats made contact and Nik Ashraf was given a second penalty by International Umpires Roger Wood and Roger Purdy as he was judged to have caused the contact by not giving Jeremy any room to keep clear.
After the start, a lapse of concentration in not taking his second penalty forced the umpires to use the black flag to give Jeremy the win. Nik Ashraf never recovered and that set the stage for the first ever brother-sister final in MMRC history.
In the 5- 8 sail off, Rizal held off a fast finishing Elia to take 5th place overall and Rizali came from behind to take 7th from Masyuri.
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