Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup
Terengganu, Malaysia.

Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup
AY Race Report 6

It comes down to a clash of the titans...
Surprisingly the only two skippers not involved with the America's Cup this time around, meet in the grand final after eliminating the likes of Dickson, Barker and Holmberg. Over the last twenty years Russell Coutts and Peter Gilmour have raced each other on numerous occasions with Gilmour holding a slight edge. The Aussie / Kiwi battle starts all over again at the inaugural Monsoon Cup.

The breeze is up and the stage was set with Malaysian PM Badawi, the Sultan of Terengganu and Mentri Besar all here to witness this historic occasion.

The final is broadcasted live to over 450 million homes in 54 counties on Eurosport in Europe, ESPN - Star Sports in Asia and TV3 in Malaysia. The crowds gathered during the day on the specially constructed bleachers around Duyong Bay and the excitement grew as the 2:00 pm starting time approached.

Race 1
Gilmour incurs a penalty during the starting dial-up sequence and Coutts gets a slight windward edge at the start. On the second beat upwind Coutts fails to cover and leaves the door open for Gilmour out to the left and picked up a lift to take the lead for the rest of the race. Gilmour does the penalty turn at the finish line and crosses just in front of a fast closing in Coutts.

Race 2
Coutts gets the better of Gilmour at the start and maintains a tight cover this time to round the windward mark first. They hold the lead for the three laps and despite Gilmour closing in on the last downwind leg Coutts crosses the finish line just in front of Gilmour to claim race 2. One wonders who wrote this thrilling script.

Race 3 and final.
Just like the old days the royalties sit on the edge of their seats in expectation and spectate the exciting yacht racing. It's Coutts turn to incur a penalty in the pre-start dial up but manages to get the better of Gilmour as the starting gun sounds. A game of cat and mouse ensures on the windward beat and Gilmour comes out in front with a small advantage around the first mark.

Neck and neck down on the spinnaker run with highly charged crews enacting a gybe for gybe ballet. Gilmour keeps a tight cover and not let Coutts of the hook. Despite Coutts making a gain and closing in on Gilmour a passing opportunity does not come. Playing the puffs downwind Gilmour maintains his lead to cross the finish to a resounding cheer from the assembled crowd. Aussie Peter Gilmour and his Pizza-La Sailing Team win the inaugural Monsoon Cup and become the favourite sons of Terengganu for his role in organising the event..

Petit Finals
As the north westerly arrived early Bjorn Hansen's Swedish Team Apport.net made quick work of the petit finals that determine third and fourth places overall. Staffan Lindberg's Finish Alandia Sailing Team got beaten at both starts and could not catch the advantaged Hansen around the course to finish up fourth.

Full results and news can be found at www.SwedishMatchTour.com and at http://www.monsooncup.com.my/


Quarter Finals
Semi Finals

Monsoon Cup Quarterfinal Matches
(First to 3 points wins)

(8) Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team Apport.net, 3
(1) Chris Dickson (NZL) BMW Oracle Racing, 1

(4) Russell Coutts (NZL) Coutts Racing, 3
(5) Ian Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Team, 1

(3) Dean Barker (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand, 1
(6) Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST, 3

(2) Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge, 1
(7) Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 3

Russell Coutts (NZL) Coutts Racing, 3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team Apport.net, 0

Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST, 3
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 0

Petit Finals

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team Apport.net, 2
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 0

Grand Final

Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST, 2
Russell Coutts (NZL) Coutts Racing, 1


Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup

AY Race Report 5

The final countdown...
Race Officer Peter Reggio managed to fire away the crucial match up between Chris Dickson and Bjorn Hansen in the morning breeze which Dickson needed to desperately win to stay in the running before the breeze died out. A tactically clever move by Dickson at the start had Hansen's windward boat penalised for failing to keep clear, then sailed off to clinch the race and get one back - he must of had nasi lemak for breakfast to come out all fired up after yesterdays two defeats.

At 12:30 the north westerly finally appeared and the teams scrambled out onto the water for the deciding quarter final races. Bjorn Hansen's Team Apport.net were not rattled by their earlier loss and managed to get the better of Dickson at the start and stayed in front to eliminate one of the favourites. Further difficulties came for the Kiwi's when Dean Barker got a penalty in his third match up with Peter Gilmour and hit the starting pin in their fourth race to also be eliminated from the event. Russell Coutts was their only saviour to score two wins over Ian Williams and proceed onto the semi finals.

Staffan Lindberg's Alandia Sailing Team preformed the biggest come back of the event from fifteen boat lengths behind to beat Magnus Holmberg's Victory Challenge in their third match up and followed it up with another win to also eliminate one of the early winners and favourite for the event.

Semi-Finals - The cream rises to the top...

So it came down to a northern verses southern hemisphere semi final with Sweden's Bjorn Hansen and Finland's Staffan Lindberg's taking on Kiwi Russell Coutts and Aussie Peter Gilmour respectively. As the breeze picked up the skippers started to strut their stuff and show how they earned their reputations as the world's top sailors. Tactics played a big part and the more experienced starting ability of Coutts and Gilmour showed, as they both managed to clean sweep the opposition 3 - zip and will face off against each other in the finals tomorrow.

Full results and news can be found at www.SwedishMatchTour.com and at http://www.monsooncup.com.my/


Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup

AY Race Report 4

Number crunching day...
After a long wait for the breeze to increase the remaining flights of round robin 1 could be completed. Russell Coutts rebounded strongly to win all three races to put his team amongst the leaders after a slow start to the series. Peter Gilmour did the opposite losing all races today but did enough in the earlier races to keep him in the quarter finals. Predictably Sally Barkow's Team 7 (1 pt), Cameron Dunn's Mascalzone Latino Team (2 pts), Francesco Bruni's Luna Rossa Challenge (3 pts) and Thierry Peponnet K-Challenge (3 pts) were the teams to miss out on going into final rounds.

The draw for the quarter finals places first placed Chris Dickson against eight placed Bjorn Hanson. Second placed Magnus Holmberg against seventh placed Staffan Lindberg. Fourth placed Russell Coutts against fifth placed Ian Williams and third placed Dean Barker against sixth placed Peter Gilmour. The first boat to score three wins over their opponent will proceed onto the semi finals.

After completing the delayed round robin races Race Officer Peter Reggio was eager to get the quarter finals underway. The first match up of Dickson and Hanson saw Dickson over the line early and penalized from which there was no recovery. Surprisingly a similar result in their second race had the pundits scratching their heads. The rest of the pairings shared the honours with one race a piece before the racing was completed for the day. This leaves Dickson with a mountain to climb and even standings for the other pairings going into tomorrow races.

Full results and news can be found at www.SwedishMatchTour.com and at http://www.monsooncup.com.my/


 
Skipper
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Total
Place
1
Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
6
6
2
Russell Coutts (NZL) Coutts Racing Team
1
 
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
7
4
3
Dean Barker (NZL) Emirates Team NZ
1
1
 
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
8
3
4
Chris Dickson (NZL) BMW Oracle Racing
1
1
1
 
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
9
1
5
Ian Williams (GBR) Williams Racing Team
1
0
0
0
 
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
7
5
6
Thierry Peponnet (FRA) K-Challenge
0
1
0
0
0
 
1
0
1
1
0
0
4
9
7
Björn Hansen (SWE) Team Apport.Net
1
0
1
1
0
0
 
0
1
1
0
0
5
8
8
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
 
1
1
1
1
8
2
9
Cameron Dunn (NZL) Mascalzone Latino
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
1
0
1
2
11
10
Sally Barkow (USA) Team 7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
1
0
1
12
11
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
 
1
5
7
12
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa Challenge
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
 
3
10

Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup
AY Race Report 3

Action coming fast and furious...
The last flights held today will determine which four teams will be eliminated and which eight teams will proceed onto the quarter finals. A desperate scramble to post some wins has resulted. The big clash between Chris Dickson and Dean Barker resulted in Chris Dickson narrowly winning by 57 seconds. Similarly between Russell Coutts and Dean Barker a extremely close race resulted in Barker overcoming his sensai by a boat length. Although Coutts is trailing the leaders he rebounded smartly to beat Peter Gilmour by a mere 15 seconds and managed a smile as he walked through the press center.

Although Sally Barkow's Team 7 has been outclassed by the men they posted their first win over Staffan Lindberg's Alandia Sailing Team by 43 seconds. They unfortunately will be one of the teams to miss out on going through to the finals but have learned from the experience and have shown they can mix it with the big boys.

In the early afternoon the monsoon lived up to its reputation when the clouds opened up and a torrential downpour interrupted proceedings. What's worse than rain and no wind? asked a local official. "Snow and no wind", was the reply from a passing Swede, which is not a worry in tropical Terengganu. Eventually the drizzle lifted and one further flight was completed with the remaining flights rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

Magnus Holmberg heads the leaderboard with eight wins and Dean Barker is following closely with seven. Chris Dickson summed up the racing with "If you hesitate or blink out there in the tricky conditions the positions can change very quickly". Russell Coutts agreed that it is very tough reading the wind on the water and with only four wins to date is the result of lacking match racing experience but expects to be in the frey come the finals.

Full results and news can be found at www.SwedishMatchTour.com and at http://www.monsooncup.com.my/


Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup

AY Race Report 2

Celebrities everywhere..
Amongst all the pomp and ceremony ashore with the royal dignitaries the racers completed a full day of competition on the water. The DYMM Sultan of Terengganu also took the opportunity to race with Peter Gilmour although luck was not with them as they got rolled over by Magnus Holmberg midway through the race. However they made up for it latter in the day with a resounding victory over Thierry Peponnet.

Never before have we had the pleasure of so many top sailors competing in Malaysia. Chris Dickson strolling past with a casual hello, Russell Coutts sitting nearby taking lunch in the pavilion and Dean Barker watching with his crew on the boardwalk. A wonderful sight to behold and a great thrill to be here.

Six flights were finished today but as not all competitors have completed the same number of races it is hard to find the overall leader at this early stage of round robin 1. UK's Ian Williams has scored five wins along with Magnus Holmberg out of seven races. The chasing pack of Peter Gilmour, Chris Dickson and Staffan Lindberg have scored four wins which will make for a close finish and who will proceed onto the quarter finals is dependant on the results from the final six races.


Swedish Match Tour 2005 - Monsoon Cup

AY Race Report 1

Professional match racing comes to SE Asia
This maybe the last event sponsored by Swedish Match but it is the first full blown professional match racing event to be held in Malaysia. America's Cup luminaries such as New Zealanders Dean Barker, Russell Coutts, Chris Dickson and Peter Gilmour of Australia, Sweden's Magnus Holmberg are joined by reigning two-time ISAF women's world champion Sally Barkow, USA and a bevy of International rock stars.

The field also includes Thierry Peponnet of France, skipper and helmsman of K-Challenge for the America's Cup. Kiwi Cameron Dunn for Italy's Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia syndicate for the America's Cup. Sweden's long-time match-racer Bjorn Hansen, Fin - Steffan Lindberg, Italian Francesco Bruni are also here, as well as England's up-and-coming Ian Williams.

Never before has a cast bigger than Ben Hur been assembled on Malaysian waters. The DYMM Sultan of Terengganu presided over a impressive opening ceremony which was followed by the first rounds of match racing. Arriving at Pulau Duyong one can only be awed by the transformation that has taken place since the Monsoon Cup was first mooted earlier this year. The harbour has been dredged and marina berths put in place. Luxury chalets and pavilions have sprung up to accommodate the enormous media contingent with live broadcast center and entertainment areas. Hundreds of local spectators all came out to line the harbour shores and view the spectacular event take place.

SMT television programs can be viewed by clicking on www.SwedishMatchTour.tv. They also are broadcasting live the final two days to nearly 450 million homes in 54 counties on Eurosport in Europe and ESPN - Star Sports in Asia. TV3 will also feature daily roundups at 12:30 am each day after the Nightline. Check your local listings.

Although it is only the first day of racing it was indeed a historic day for everyone concerned. Some highlights on the water included Ian Williams taking all three races, a close match between Chris Dickson and Russell Coutts which Chris won by a whisker and the Magnus Holmberg - Peter Gilmour clash where the lead changed 5 times before Gilmour eventually prevailed.

Full results and news can be found at www.SwedishMatchTour.com and at http://www.monsooncup.com.my/

Swedish Match Tour partners include Swedish Match, BMW and the Match Race Association. Swedish Match Tour Official Sponsors include Musto, Sebago and Travel Places.


A-LIST SAILORS, FILM STARS HEADING TO MALAYSIA

November 17, 2005: Monsoon Cup to feature Women’s world champion, Cup sailors and celluloid heroes

ROWAYTON, Conn. (Nov. 17, 2005) — The reigning two-time ISAF women’s world match-racing champion, a bevy of America’s Cup sailors and a pair of A-list film stars highlight the inaugural Monsoon Cup, the 50th anniversary event of the Swedish Match Tour, Nov. 29-Dec. 4 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

Women’s world champion Sally Barkow, who is also the reigning world champion of the Yngling class, joins a fleet that includes match-racing luminaries such as New Zealanders Dean Barker, Russell Coutts and Chris Dickson, Peter Gilmour of Australia and Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg, all current or past America’s Cup Class skippers and helmsmen.

Two widely popular Asian film stars, Hong Kong’s Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh of Malaysia, have said they’ll make appearances at the event. Ferrari racing team boss Jean Todt, Yeoh’s fiancé, has also said he’ll be in attendance.

“We’re very happy about having Sally join the field,” said Gilmour, race director for the new event. “Part of the goal of the Monsoon Cup is to grow the sport of sailing in Malaysia, and by having Sally in the field we can show youth sailors that boys and girls, men and women can compete on an equal footing in sailing. Having the film stars helps boost the event’s popularity locally.”

The Monsoon Cup is the final event for Tour title sponsor Swedish Match. The seven-year sponsor of the Tour has said it will conclude its partnership at the end of the year due to a new Swedish law that prohibits tobacco companies from sponsoring sports events. The final event promises great sailing.

“The Tour is very happy with how the Monsoon Cup is shaping up,” said Director Scott MacLeod. “The lineup is first rate, and what can you say about the film stars. It’s not everyday you get to meet Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh.”

Barkow, 25, won her second consecutive women’s match-racing worlds last month. She began match-racing in college, where she was a two-time All American at Old Dominion University, and feels the discipline also helps her succeed in the Yngling fleet races.

“It’s a chance to sail different boats in different situations,” said Barkow, of Chenequa, Wis. “Match-racing is short courses and one-on-one situations. It makes our boat-on-boat stuff in the fleet racing better than those who don’t do it.”

Barkow and crew will have their hands full in Malaysia. Coutts is the record-setting America’s Cup skipper, having won three consecutive Matches and owning a 14-race winning streak in the Match. Gilmour is the two-time reigning Swedish Match Tour, while Holmberg is a past champion. Barker, Coutts, Dickson and Gilmour all are past match-racing world champions.

The field also includes Thierry Peponnet of France, skipper and helmsman of the K-Challenge for the America’s Cup. Australia’s Cameron Dunn is expected to compete for Italy’s Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia syndicate for the America’s Cup. Sweden’s long-time match-racer Bjorn Hansen has also accepted an invitation, as well as England’s up-and-comer Ian Williams.

Besides being the 50th event of the Swedish Match Tour, the Monsoon Cup is garnering significant notice in Malaysia and throughout Asia. The last two days of the event, Dec. 3-4, are scheduled to broadcast live on ESPN Asia and ESPN Hong Kong. Malaysia’s TV3 and ESPN India plan to join the live broadcast on Dec. 4. There are also plans to carry the final two days live on the Tour’s broadband Internet channel, www.SwedishMatchTour.tv.

Swedish Match Tour partners include Swedish Match, BMW and the Match Race Association. Swedish Match Tour Official Sponsors include Musto, Sebago and Travel Places.

For more information on the Swedish Match Tour, its competitors and events, please visit the official Tour Web site, www.SwedishMatchTour.com. Swedish Match Tour television programs may be viewed by clicking on the Tour television button on the home page of the Web site.

Swedish Match Tour Standings
(After 3 of 9 stages)
1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Emirates Team New Zealand, 30 points
2. Peter Holmberg (ISV) Alinghi, 29 points
3. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 25 points
T. Staffan Lindberg (FIN), Alandia Sailing Team, 25 points
T. Jesper Bank (DEN) United Internet Team Germany, 25 points
6. Peter Gilmour (AUS) PST, 23 points
7. Gavin Brady (NZL) BMW Oracle Racing, 20 points
T. Mark Mendelblatt (USA), 20 points


MALAYSIA WELCOMES SWEDISH MATCH TOUR WITH LAVISH CERMONY

The Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terengganu will be the 50th event of the match-racing tour

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Sept. 6, 2005) 'The Monsoon Cup' officially joined the Swedish Match Tour today at a lavish signing ceremony attended by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and some 500 guests. The inaugural event, scheduled Nov. 29-Dec. 4, will be the 50th event of the Swedish Match Tour.

Kuala Terengganu, in the state of Terengganu on Malaysia's East Coast, plays host to the regatta, which promises lots of rain and heaps of wind during the monsoon season. But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi doesn't think it should be avoided.

"People regard the monsoon season as a natural disaster because fishermen cannot go out to sea and tourists usually avoid the state during the monsoon months," said Prime Minister Abdullah. "We cannot fight the monsoon but we can make the most of it by bringing the best yachts to the state to race and attract tourists."

The prime minister was the brainchild behind the event, which was hatched during a bad day of fishing off the Terengganu coast. Lamenting his luck to Terengganu Chief Minister Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, the prime minister felt a regatta would help stimulate the economy of Terengganu.

"We want to break the psychological barrier that all things grind to a halt in Terengganu during the monsoon season," said Chief Minister Idris. "(Abdullah) came up with the idea of holding the world class boat race as a catalyst for economic activities in the state."

The event will award a MYR 400,000 (approximately $105,000) prize purse. Invitations for the event are due to be sent soon, but already Russell Coutts, the record-setting America's Cup skipper, Dean Barker, helmsman for Emirates Team New Zealand, Chris Dickson, helmsman for BMW Oracle Racing, and James Spithill, helmsman for Luna Rossa Challenge, have expressed interest.

The regatta is being hosted by the Terengganu Bay Heritage Club. The club is part of a three-year, multi-million dollar development project on the island of Pulau Duyong. The development is in its first phase and building includes a 30-berth marina, a boardwalk and 60 chalets. When it's completed the marina will have 180 berths and a 50-ton Travelift, and there'll be a five-star resort.

"It will be the only facility of its kind in the South China Sea. Essentially, we're doing a complete redevelopment of island," said Patrick Lim, an event organizer whose company is developing the island. "The area has some of the oldest villages in this part of world. There are 180-year old enclaves that we won't touch. The plan will leave some things as they should be, while also bringing in an economic entity that will have a huge impact on the locals."

Australian Peter Gilmour, the reigning two-time Tour champion, is helping organize the event. He's been instrumental in providing technical assistance to the organizers and sees the event as a new model for communities that wish to raise their profile locally or internationally.

"The legacy of this event for the Tour is exciting," said Gilmour. "This city of Kuala Terengganu, this state of Terengganu in Malaysia is an unknown venue at the moment. As time goes by it will become more and more known until it is a major sailing destination in Asia. I think that aspect of it is what's going to be the legacy for those that chose to do similar property developments in other parts of the world."

The Swedish Match Tour is in the midst of its seventh season. England's Ben Ainslie, of Emirates Team New Zealand, leads the standings after three stages. After the Monsoon Cup, events next year are scheduled for Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

Swedish Match Tour partners include Swedish Match, BMW and the Match Race Association. Swedish Match Tour Official Sponsors include Musto, Sebago and Travel Places.

For more information on the Swedish Match Tour, its competitors and events, please visit the official Tour Web site, www.SwedishMatchTour.com. Swedish Match Tour television programs may be viewed by clicking on the Tour television button on the home page of the Web site.

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