It’s About To Get Real in Malaysia

Published on January 25th, 2016

“This week, all eyes of the sailing world are on Malaysia to see what happens at the Monsoon Cup.” So spoke Tucker Thompson, voice of the America’s Cup, as the finale of the World Match Racing Tour is set to get underway January 26-30 in Johor, Malaysia.

The 12 international sailing crews will be sailing teams the FarEast 28R keelboats, which no one has match raced before. World Champion from two seasons ago, Taylor Canfield (ISV), finds himself in a three-way fight for the overall World Championship title against Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and arch-rival Ian Williams (GBR).

Canfield could do little to stop the Williams and GAC Pindar juggernaut in Johor a year ago, when the British skipper won the Monsoon Cup and seized the world crown back from Canfield. Williams was unstoppable in the bigger, five-man Foundation 36 keelboats, but Canfield fancies his chances in a new, smaller four-man boat like the FarEast 28R.


Taylor Canfield of US One @ Photo by Robert Hajduk / WMRT

“Adapting to the new boats will be hard for all the teams this week,” said the US One skipper, “but it’s going to be tougher for other teams like Williams than it is for US One. We like it when it’s harder because I think we’re one of the teams that adapts more quickly to new challenges.”

The young Virgin Islander has also taken on Bill Hardesty as his tactician, the same role that Hardesty used to perform for Williams.

“We’ve got his tactician, so we know all Williams’ tricks, and this week we’re going to pull out some of those tricks on him,” laughed Canfield, always keen to take a jab at the five-time World Champion when the opportunity arises.

With the hot tropical breeze blowing hard through the Straits of Johor, Canfield was keen to watch his British rival’s practice session in advance of the competition. “I’m going off to watch Ian Williams wiping out,” he said with an evil grin. The mind games have begun…and it’s about to get real.

The prize money on offer for the Monsoon Cup has a prize purse of MYR 1,475,000 (US$340,000) up for grabs and with the winner receiving MYR 310,000 (US$71,000). But as the final event of the 2015 World Match Racing Tour, there is a bigger money pool to be decided.

From a Tour Bonus of US$ 440,000 – the largest across the breadth of professional sailing – the World Champion and winner of the 2015 World Match Racing Tour receives US$80,000, the second placed finisher US$70,000, with prize money on a diminishing scale to all eight Tour Card skippers.

Competing Teams
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team
Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
Maxi Soh (SIN ) Team Red Dot
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (MAS) hazOne Racing Team

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