Monsoon Cup Space Up For Grabs at Malaysian Match Racing Championship
Terengganu, Malaysia,19 October 2010
With the promise of a berth at the World Match Racing Tour’s (WMRT) Championship finale - The Monsoon Cup - on offer for the winner, The Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) has attracted a stellar field of Malaysia’s finest match racers, including two former winners of the MMRC.
The four day event, which starts on Wednesday, 20th October, will feature an intriguing mix of former champions, sibling rivalry and future sailing stars, who will all be desperately battling it out to book their spot at the Monsoon Cup.
Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team), the 2006 and 2007 MMRC winner, is returning in an attempt for a hat-trick of wins, while defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse AC Law), boosted by a major sponsorship deal with Pulse Group PLC and AC Law, a leading corporate law firm, will be bidding for a repeat success.
Hazwan’s new sponsorship deal will allow him to make the ground-breaking step and become the first all-Malaysian team to participate in a WMRT event outside of Malaysia, when they compete in the Korea Match Cup Qualifiers next year.
In addition to having to face off the challenge of Hazwan, Tiffany Koo will also need to get the better of her brother Jeremy (Koo Racing Team Evernew), who was part of his sister’s winning teams in 2006 and 2007. Jeremy showed his skills as skipper when reaching the semi-finals last year and will be looking to add his name alongside his sister’s on the coveted winner’s trophy.
The fight for the prestigious MMRC title and the one qualifying spot for the Monsoon Cup will take place at the purpose built world-class match racing venue of Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, the same venue used for the Monsoon Cup which takes place from 30th November to 5th December.
The six other teams taking part in the MMRC are: Mohd Razali Mansor (MAF1), Rizal Mahadi (RSYC), Mohd Masyuri (MYA), Nurul Elia Anuar (Sail Putrajaya), Nik Ashraf Nik Qaedi (Malaysia One) and Jerome Welch (Putrajaya 5 O) – will be out to squash Tiffany and Hazwan in Pulau Duyong.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Koo and Hazwan will come from Nurul, the 2009 Monsoon Sailing School (MSS) Most Promising Sailor, who caught the eye when reaching the MMRC final last year. With another year’s experience under her belt, Nurul could be a big threat this week.
The winners of the MMRC and AMRC will each earn a ticket to the Monsoon Cup, the final race of the WMRT 2010 season. The Monsoon Cup promises to be an exciting climax to the season as five skippers – Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar all have a chance to be crowned World Champion.
Malaysian Match Racing Championship Participants List
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan /Perak -Team Pulse-AC Law
Jeremy Koo /Royal Selangor Yacht Club -Koo Racing Team- Evernew
Tiffany Koo /Royal Selangor Yacht Club -Koo Racing Team
Mohd Razali Mansor /Malaysian Armed Forces -MAF1
Rizal Mahadi /Royal Selangor Yacht Club -RSYC
Mohd Masyuri /Malaysian Yachting Association -MYA
Nurul Elia Anuar /Sail Putrajaya -Sail Putrajaya
Nik Ashraf Nik Qaedi /Malaysian Yachting Association -Malaysia One
Jerome Welch /Sail Putrajaya -Putrajaya 5 O
About the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC)
Back in 2006, the Monsoon Cup was the first race to have a series of qualifiers to encourage the participation of young, upcoming local sailors in the professional match race scene. Those qualifiers were the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) and the Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC).
From four teams at its inception in 2006, the Malaysian Match Racing Championship has now grown to have 13 local teams taking part in last year's event.
The winner will be the sole Malaysian representative at the Monsoon Cup, the final and deciding leg of the World Match Race Championships. It is a chance to compete with the world’s top match race sailors.
Malaysian Match Racing Championship Winners
2006: Tiffany Koo (MAS) – Team Selangor Gapurna 1
2007:Tiffany Koo (MAS) – UK Halsey Gapurna
2008: Nurul Ain Md Isa (MAS) – Perak Sailing Team
2009:Hazwan Hazim (MAS) - Taring Pelangi
Monsoon Cup Qualifier 2010 Malaysian Match Racing Championships
Defending champion holds lead after Day 2
The Monsoon Cup, the final round of the annual ISAF World Match Racing Tour, is the most prestigious sailing event in Asia and the first of three qualifying events, the Malaysian Match Racing Championship, continues to grow in stature as the experience of the local match racers continues to grow.
Today was the second day of Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010 Round Robins, being sailed from the Ri-Haz Resort in Pulau Duyong, in Terengganu Malaysia.
Conditions were very light this morning, with a west south westerly breeze blowing at only four knots and the current running at 1.5 knots. However the breeze lifted to 10 knots during the afternoon.
After the five flights yesterday, Hazwan Hazim Dermawan the defending champion, was well placed with five wins and no losses. Today he completed the balance of the first round robin with one loss to Jeremy Koo and then picked up another against Nulul Elia, after missing a course change signal to have an overall 10-2 win loss record.
The young skipper was all smiles after coming off the River this afternoon. 'We are pushing hard; we enjoy the light conditions as we are almost a 100kg under the ideal weight if conditions strengthen. But in these conditions and if our luck holds, we will qualify for the semi-finals with just two more wins in the morning.'
Behind Hazwan on the leader board is Nik Ashraf Qaedi, with an 9-2 win loss record.
He was too was smiling this afternoon. 'We are pleased to have won all our races today. We came into this event a little under prepared but we are happy with progress so far.'
After being in the thick of the action today Jeremy Koo finished with an 8-3 score line. 'We know we can sail well, we were the only team to beat Hazwan who has been otherwise dominant, but we need to concentrate more. Having beaten Hazwan we lost by eight seconds to Nulul Elia, so we will really have to lift our intensity now.
'We are OK for now but there is a long way to go. We are hoping to have a better second half to the round robins and we hope we have our mistakes behind us.'
Mohamed Razali Mansor has a 7-4 score line beaten only by Hazwan Hazim and Nik Ashraf Qaedi (twice).
Razali used a number of his 'get out of jail' cards today. He was behind against Jeremy Koo but managed to glide past his rival. 'We worked hard on just keeping moving through the very light patches and I just managed to roll him on the run.
'This is our best result so far at the Malaysian Qualifiers. We practiced as a crew match racing again Masyuri for over six weeks and that obviously paid off . Now we start the second round of the round robins so we will have to work hard to maintain our concentration.'
Tiffany Koo, currently 7-4 commented 'It was a funny feeling sailing against my brother yesterday and I don't think I was as aggressive as I could have been - I won't repeat that mistake. In flight 9 today we beat Rizal by just nine seconds, so that reminds us that every tack, every gybe really matters.
'This is the first match racing event for some of our crew so we are still getting our crew work organized and we expect to see more improvements tomorrow.'
Some key battles took place today. Mohamed Razali staged an excellent 'come from behind win' against Jeremy Koo. After his win yesterday against Tiffany, that was as one sailing pundit commented, 'a double Koo'.
A classic match race transpired between the reigning Champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan and two- time winner Tiffany Koo. Hazwan held Tiffany out to the left of the course until they were both overlaid the first mark. A light air gybing duel down the first run had the boats line astern at the bottom mark. Hazwan's superior light air speed allowed him to extend the lead on the next work, but Tiffany closed to within two boat lengths down the final run.
The closest match of the day was between Tiffany Koo and Nulul Elia and featured everything - tack after tack being thrown at Tiffany upwind and a luffing duel at the top mark where the boats parked up for two minutes until Tiffany just managed to sneak around with just a single boat length lead. Elia was not going to be bettered and a spirited gybing duel had her round the leeward mark just a metre astern. In a repeat of the first lap, Elia threw tack after tack at Tiffany. After a dozen gybes downwind the boats split and ran to either end of the finish line, Koo taking the win by the barest of margins. PRO David Tallis confirmed the delta was 1.5m at the finish.
In the third match of flight 8, Jeremy Koo and defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan put on a masterful display of boat handling in the prestart with aggressive circling, as each tried to get the upper hand. Hazwan earned a penalty for gybing too close but led off the line.
Jeremy Koo worked the current perfectly to close within a boat length with the final run to go. Hazwan tried to hook Koo in an attempt to wash off the penalty but the luff came too late allowing Koo to cross half a boat length in front at the finish.
Principal Race Officer David Tallis commented 'There are no easy matches in this fleet. The depth of talent goes right to through the fleet. I am really looking forward to some wind tomorrow as all the skippers push hard. This is some of the best match racing I have seen.'
Chief Umpire Gary Manuel said 'There were some great matches out there with some very complex and technical decisions made. That doesnt tend to happen unless the racing is close and hard.'
All crews are looking forward to another big day tomorrow.
Full results and more images at www.monsooncup.com.my
There has been action aplenty in the first of three qualifying regattas, the 2010 Malaysian Match Racing Championship, being sailed out of the Ri-Haz Resort, Spa and Marina complex at Pulau Duyong in Terengganu, Malaysia.
Competition has been tight as crews fight for the title and the ultimate prize - entry into the prestigious Monsoon Cup.
Today the double round robin series continued with teams desperate to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
The top mark was positioned only metres from the Ri-Haz marina enabling spectators a close view of the match racing action.
The competition was tough with a number of collisions taking place. Nik Ashraf Qaedi had half a point deducted from his score after a particularly fierce collision and suffered early losses against reigning champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan and Jeremy Koo. He recovered his composure and managed solid wins over Nurul Elia Anuar, Mohd Razali Mansor and Mohd Masyuri Rahmat.
The match between Tiffany and Jeremy Koo provided lots of excitement with Jeremy leading into the top mark and looking like he could repeat his first round victory. However a smart gybe set at the top mark for the second time put Tiffany into slightly more pressure and allowed her to sail through her brother to square their family battle.
Jeremy had another loss against Razali before beating Hazwan for the second time. His ability to win big matches and lose easier ones is a source of frustration for Jeremy.
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan was impressive with his 13-3 result in the double round robins and he confidently chose to take on 2006 and 2007 Malaysian Match Racing Champion Tiffany Koo in the first semi-final.
Jeremy Koo, second overall, was left to sail against Nik Ashraf Qaedi.
It was an exciting three days for Hazwan Hazim, the 22 year old from Johor Bahru, who weighs just 51 kg ringing wet. Last year he won the 2009 Malaysian Match Racing Championship to earn a ticket to the Monsoon Cup and he is keen to do it again.
Hazwan has followed with close interest the career of Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) and hopes to follow in his footsteps and race full time on the World Match Racing Tour.
The Round Robin results were:
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse-AC Law) 13-3
Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew) 11-5
Nik Ashraf Qaedi (Malaysia One) 10.5-6
Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team) 10-6
Battling for places 5 through to 8 were:
Mohd Razali Mansor (MAF 1) 9-7
Nurul Elia Anuar (Sail Putrajaya) 7-9
Mohd Masyuri Rahmat (MYA) 7-9
Rizal Mahadi Sazli (RSYC) 4-12
Finishing ninth overall was Jerome Welch (Putrajaya 5 O) 0-16.
Dockside Jerome commented 'We enjoyed every race and we learned through every loss. We are a keen bunch of lake Laser sailors who have been on a steep learning curve. We are planning a big season of keelboat sailing and plan to be back again in 2011.'
In the 5-8 place battle, Mohd Razali Mansor was beaten by Nurul Elia Anuar and Mohd Masyuri Rahmat overcame Rizal Mahadi Sazli.
Elia was smiling as she came ashore. 'We were pleased to take the win, that puts us into the 5-6 battle and we beat Masyuri twice in the round robins so we are confident of a good result but we will just focus on our team work and hopefully the result will come.'
Malaysian Match Racing Championships Semi-Finals.
It was a sensational start to the semi-finals. The race started very badly for the series leader Hazwan Hazim. He stalled on the start line and was eight lengths behind Tiffany Koo half way up the beat.
As Tiffany explained, then the drama began. ‘It was our turn to sail into a hole and Hazwan said right up to us. We came into contact on the second rounding and were penalised. We lost the spinnaker halyard on the hoist, tried to use a jib halyard and lost that too and it was game over. But tomorrow is another day - it's a best of five series so we can come back.'
Dockside a very relieved Hazwan said ‘We were very lucky to escape but we are determined to win the next two races to get into the final.'
Jeremy Koo repeated his round robin win of this afternoon in the second semi-final match against Nik Ashraf.
Nik was holding a safe four to five boat length lead until Jeremy found a vein of pressure to bring him within striking distance. A misjudgment by Nik in a lee bow resulted in a penalty allowing Jeremy to sail away to a solid win.
And Jeremy is looking to repeat the dose tomorrow.
‘We really want to meet Tiffany in the final, so we will be watching her battle against Hazwan with great interest.'
Nik commented ‘We had a bit of an up and down day, we had a start line collision with Hazwan in our round robin race earlier in the afternoon and that cost us half a point.
‘Overall though, we were very pleased to get into the semi-finals.'
Close action at the top mark at the Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010. Kuala Terengannu, Malaysia. 21 October 2010. Photo: Subzero Images/Monsoon Cup Monsoon Cup ©
For more information and full results go to www.monsooncup.com.my
By winning the Malaysian Match Racing Championship 2010 today, 29 year old Jeremy Koo from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club secured one of the three coveted invitations to the prestigious Monsoon Cup, the final round of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour.
Koo won this year's Malaysian Match Racing Final on the Pulau Duyong Basin on the Terengganu River in Malaysia in a 3-0 clean sweep.
His opponent was 26 year old Royal Selangor Yacht Club sailor Tiffany Koo, his sister.
Jeremy Koo at the Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010. Kuala Terengannu, Malaysia. Photo: Subzero Images/Monsoon Cup Monsoon Cup ©
Dockside after winning the Malaysian title Jeremy was smiling. ‘We have just sailed 22 matches and while I am feeling great, my crew is very tired.
‘We learned a lot from sailing this event last year. We started very well then faded to third. This year we really focussed on our recovery after a mistake, that became the challenge. Today we were on fire - in combination we have a lot of bigger boat experience with spinnakers in heavier conditions. We knew it would be tough for those teams with primarily dinghy experience so we just kept pushing and pushing and that effort paid rewards.
‘I said to the guys tonight - now it's back to the gym, everyone is feeling the pain, so more physical work – but when the monsoon kicks in and it does in a month (that's why it's called the Monsoon Cup) conditions can get much tougher and we need to be in really good shape for the challenge.'
Tiffany was as effervescent as always this afternoon. ‘We really had a good day overall, we did not even expect to get into the semis. My crew has not had much match racing experience and as the wind built, the rapid manoeuvres made it tough for them.
‘Match Racing for me is very important. If I can get sponsorship and crew, I am keen to toss my hat into the ring for the 2012 Olympic Games in Women's Match Racing, so there is a lot to do in the year ahead.'
Third placed in the Malaysian Championship, defending champion Hazwan Hazim, was obviously disappointed.
He had led through the round robins and was well placed to win, being 1-0 against Tiffany this morning, and was the favourite for this event.
Hazwan commented ‘Defending the title was hard. Our teamwork was good but today luck was not on our side and the feeling on the boat was a little down. We prefer light conditions, we are 100kg under the weight limit for these boats and as conditions strengthened it became harder for us.
‘We wish Jeremy well in the Monsoon Cup and we are sure he will make Malaysia proud. Our focus will be on the Korea Match Cup for 2011, where we are planning to race in the Qualifiers.'
Here is how the day unfolded.
The first semi-final match was won yesterday by Jeremy Koo over Nik Ashraf. Today Nik received a second penalty in the first match of the day, did not immediately take it and was black flagged. In the third match of the semi-finals, Jeremy Koo managed to wash off a penalty and cross five metres ahead to take the semi-final 3-0.
Tiffany Koo was down 0-1 after her first semi-final match against Hazwan Hazim but this morning Tiffany came out fighting, pushing Hazwan Hazim to the pin end and early, allowing her to start on the hip with full speed. Tiffany was never headed and finished 22 seconds ahead to level the score at 1-1.
In the remaining semi final, Tiffany was astern of Hazwan who was leading at the first mark but she made up ground on the second lap and won a drag race to the finish to set up a Koo-Koo final.
The wind was lifting as the Finals began with white caps briefly appearing. It was close racing in all three matches. Jeremy beat his sister by two lengths in the first final, three lengths in the second and four in the last match.
Tiffany Koo during Round Robin 2 at the Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010. Kuala Terengannu, Malaysia. 22 October 2010. Photo: Subzero Images/Monsoon Cup Monsoon Cup ©
Malaysian Match Racing Championships 2010 Results
1. Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew)
2. Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team)
3. Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse AC_Law)
4. Nik Ashraf Qaedi (Team Malaysia One)
5. Rizal Mahadi Sazli (RSYC)
6. Nurul Elia Anuar (Sail Putrajaya)
7. Mohd Razali Mansor (MAF 1)
8. Mohd Masyuri Rahmat (MYA)
9. Jerome Welch (Putrajaya 5 O)
Final (Best of five)
Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew) beat Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team) 3-0
Petit Final (Best of three)
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse-AC Law) beat Nik Ashraf Qaedi (Team Malaysia One) 2-0
Semi-finals (Best of five)
Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team) beat Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse-AC Law) 3-1
Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team-Evernew) beat Nik Ashraf Qaedi (Team Malaysia One) 3-0
5th-6th (First to one)
Rizal Mahadi Sazli (RSYC) beat Nurul Elia Anuar (Sail Putrajaya) 1-0
7th-8th (First to one)
Mohd Razali Mansor (MAF 1) beat Mohd Masyuri Rahmat (MYA) 1-0
The two Koos have had outstanding sailing careers, both started in Optimists and sailed Bytes (each picking up World Championships), Laser Radials, Lasers, 420s and 470s before moving to big boat sailing in the mid 1990's.
The Koo siblings have both sailed at the Monsoon Cup twice before. Tiffany was the Malaysian Match Racing Champion in 2006 and 2007 and Jeremy was part of her crew for those events and the Monsoon Cups that followed.
However for both these Malaysian sailors the bulk of their sailing over the last decade has been in big boats as skippers, mainsheet hands and trimmers on a host of offshore boats, most prominently Frank Pong's Boracay and the 75 foot Jelik and Jelik 2, a TP52.
Tiffany revealed she has racked up an impressive 17,500 nautical miles of offshore deliveries, with Pong's boats alone.
The winner of the Asian Match Racing Championship, which will be sailed here at the Ri-Yaz Resort Spa and Marina, Terengganu from October 25th to 28th, will also win a Monsoon Cup berth.
A third qualifier will be decided at the Sunseeker Australia Cup being sailed in Perth, Australia from 24th - 27th November 2010.
The three winners will join the top eight sailors plus one wild card entry, in the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) Monsoon Cup, to be sailed November 30th to December 5th 2010.