World Match Racing Tour: Williams seeks revenge

Published on January 29th, 2015

Great Britain sailor Ian Williams and his team have “revenge” on their minds ahead of next month’s final round of the World Match Racing Tour. Williams, aiming for a fifth world title, is up against Taylor Canfield (USA), who edged him out last year. “We’ve had a great rivalry over the last two years, he pipped us last year by five points which is the closest-ever finish,” Williams said. “There’s some revenge for us. It would be fantastic to get that fifth title.”

Williams and his GAC Pindar team go into the final event of the seven-race series in Johor, Malaysia holding a six-point lead over Canfield. “It’s a new venue and none of us have ever sailed there before,” added Williams, who knows he can take the title by either beating Canfield or by finishing within a place of his rival.

“In south-east Asia at this time of year, the winds are generally quite light but other than that there’s not much you can find out before you get there. It’s not a venue that’s been sailed much. We’ll go there a few days before and try to get to grips with it.”

Williams claimed the title, which has also been won by Sir Ben Ainslie, in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 making him level with Australia’s Peter Gilmour as the most successful sailor in the event’s 27-year history. “For any professional sportsman to do something that’s unprecedented is an amazing moment so we’ll be giving it our best shot,” he said.

“Any sportsman needs to be able to perform under pressure. The pressure does come on for the last event of the series but I don’t think there’s any more pressure for a fifth world title than for my first. “We have a very strong team. I’m very confident in them and I think we have the skills to go on and do it as long as we stay cool and focus just on ourselves.”

Winning World Match Racing Tour skippers:
2013 Taylor Canfield (USA)
2012 Ian Williams (GBR)
2011 Ian Williams (GBR)
2010 Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR)
2009 Adam Minoprio (NZL)
2008 Ian Williams (GBR)
2007 Ian Williams (GBR)

Background: Monsoon Cup Malaysia, the final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned. Malaysia is the last stop on the seven event Alpari World Match Racing Tour, the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Prize money is awarded for each event, with event points culminating in the crowning of the “ISAF Match Racing World Champion”. Tour website:

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