sailors pushing the rules to the limit...
19:10:10 The Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) takes place this week (20 – 23 October) at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, home of the Monsoon Cup. It will be followed by the Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC) from Oct 25-28 and the respective winners of both events will each earn a berth at the prestigious ISAF - World Match Racing Tour season ending finale at the same venue from Nov 30-Dec 5. A third Monsoon Cup qualifier will be the winner of the Australia Cup in Perth and along with a wildcard pick by the event promoter, will join the top eight teams of the WMRT series’ standings to battle it out till the end. What a wonderful opportunity for local sailors to get involved with the cream of the crop of International yacht racers. Believe me, it does not get much better than this.
The biggest name in this year’s MMRC is undoubtedly Tiffany Koo, a two-time winner of the event. Tiffany's - Koo Racing Team emerged the champion in 2006 and 2007, have been training hard in an attempt to make it a hat trick of victories. There are three teams representing the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang this year, which is the most active club in Malaysia, that runs the only annual calendar of events and have always supported sailors in pursuit of excellence. After showing a lot of promise last year Rizal Mahadi (Tom) will again be taking the helm of Team RSYC. Tiffany Koo will be in charge of Koo Racing Team, and have been bolstered with the up and coming Kiwi Reuben Corbett joining the crew. While her brother Jeremy has gone on to form his own team called Koo Racing Team - Evernew and could turn into her biggest nemesis on the water.
Jeremy's young Koo Racing Team-Evernew crew mates Looi Sing Yew, Fariz Sawal, Fauzi Mustaffa and Sean Ong Khong Shing have reorganised the team and are very confident that they can go further this year. Leading into the event they participated at the Han River Match race in Seoul and as more tour events are held in Asia they are hungry for more overseas exposure and keep their skills sharp throughout the year.
Defending MMRC champion Hazwan Hazim, has returned to Perak after winning the title for Terengganu last year, will undoubtedly be the Koo Klan's main rival this year. Reborn as Team PULSE - AC LAW, Hazwan is the skipper and helmsman and his all-Malaysian crew – Syed Ahmad Syahmi Syed Ahmad Hilmi (genoa and spinnaker trimmer), Muhammad Izzat Samdin (bowman), Mohd Hafizi Roslee (mainsheet trimmer) and Hazairul Muhammad (pitman). The defending champions have taken new sponsors onboard and have ambitious plans of being the first all Malaysian team to embark on a world tour event outside of Malaysia. But first they will have to overcome eight other formidable teams if they are to gain entry into the big league again.
Make no mistake the other teams have come fully prepared and will definitely give the others a run for their money. There is bound to be some surprises and some setbacks to endure throughout the competition. Last years finalist Nurul Elia Anuar returns with the Sail Putrajaya Team and expects to renew the ding dong battle they had with last years semi finalist Mohd Razali Mansor from the Malaysian Armed Forces. This will be one to watch.
A lot of attention will be focused on Mohd Masyuri's team representing the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA}. They came from behind to beat Mohd Razali Mansor and Nurul Elia Anuar's team to snatch victory at the recent Asian Games Qualifiers and in doing so, became the Malaysian keelboat match racing team for the Asian Games. They have competed with mixed results at the MMRC before and after seeing the lineup like their chances but most of all, welcome the opportunity to take their match racing skills to a new level before leaving for the Asian Games.
Match racing is primarily a tactics game, which takes place in identically supplied racing yachts and places an immense focus on team work and skill. Maneuvering a sailboat on the Pulau Duyong Basin at the mouth of the Terengganu River, as the tide rip's through on it's way into the South China Sea, can be very tricky at the best of times. Many International teams have found out the hard way, that judging the current, demands even more respect under racing conditions. On a racecourse barely 300 meters long, the racing is tight which places a huge emphasis on starting, picking the shifts and staying in the wind zones.
Making their debut this year are Nik Ashraf Qaedi representing the Malaysian Yachting Association on Malaysia One and Jerome Welch skippering the Sail Putrajaya second entry Putrajaya 5 O. They will have to be on their game right from the beginning, as early loses tend to have a disastrous effect on the pointscore in the long run.
Tomorrow the scene is set for a day of fierce battles, with skippers intent on pulling out all the stops – and pushing the rules to the limit – to avoid an early exit from the competition. Racing takes place close to the shore and the general public are welcome to visit the purpose built virtual on-the-water stadium at Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, home of the Monsoon Cup, to support their favourite Malaysian team during the racing. Go Malaysia Boleh!
Participants List (20 – 23 October)
List (25 – 28 October)
Go to archived Malaysian
Match Racing Championship Race
This MMRC 2010 Team News is kindly bought to you by the following supporters.
Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (Co. No. 627106-T)