KUALA TERENGGANU – Sailors continue to congregate at Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa here in Pulau Duyong as another week of match racing will resume tomorrow with the Monsoon Cup Terengganu.
Eight teams will be competing in the regatta to secure a ticket to the final event in February. Leading the pack is Australian Sam Gilmour and Neptune Racing. Fresh from their stint at the US Grand Slam Series, Gilmour and his team would be a strong contender for the title.
Another young skipper is Arthur Herreman of France, captaining Match The World team. Herreman won a wild card for Argo Group Gold Cup in October, where he was placed 16th out of 20 teams in the penultimate event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) in Bermuda.
Singapore’s Maximillian Soh, gold medallist for match racing at the recent Asian Games, will lead his Team Red Dot to challenge the other competitors for the top prize in tough sailing conditions of Pulau Duyong.
There are two more Australian teams competing here – David Chapman of DC Racing and skipper of Redline Racing Matthew Jerwood. Chapman was runner-up at the Chicago Match Cup Qualifier event in June this year, losing the wild card to New Zealander Chris Steele. Jerwood meanwhile previously took part in the Baltic Match Tour in Estonia last August.
Morten Jakobsen is a sailing veteran who will be competing with team EM Thailand. The old-timer last took part in the Match Race Thailand Championship in Pattaya in March and had finished eighth overall.
Flying the flag for Malaysia in Pulau Duyong will be Jeremy Koo and Hazwan Hazim Dermawan. The former will skipper his Sime Darby Foundation / 1Malaysia Match Racing Team and Hazwan will lead 1Malaysia Match Racing Team.
Koo, the overall champion of the domestic match racing league, will want to clock in a few more competitive races for his preparation for Monsoon Cup Malaysia in February next year. Hazwan meanwhile will have an uphill task battling skippers ranked higher than him but the Monsoon Cup 2009 entrant would surely want to perform well and we might have two Malaysian teams in Danga Bay come February.