This week, the top 8 teams in the series' standings will be the welcome recipients of an invite from the WMRT to compete at the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia which will be staged between November 30 and December 5. It has been an epic battle to reach the prestigious season ending finale, spanning 7 months, 8 global events, 42 sailing teams, a further 100 teams from qualifying events and more than 550 world class sailors.
There's little time for Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin to reflect on his heroics in the Argo Group Gold Cup as the attention of the world’s top sailors turns to the jewel in the crown of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) where the race to be crowned the ISAF Match Racing World Champion will be decided.
If Ainslie and his star-studded crew have been preoccupied by events off the water over the past few weeks, the chance to continue their heroics after Bermuda by snatching the Match Racing World Champion crown and a large slice of the Monsoon Cup’s USD475,000 prize money as well as a portion of the USD250,000 Tour Prize Pool would certainly give them some renewed vigour.
It’s the Brits who have all the momentum going into the decider, with their nearest rivals, current Tour leader Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing within striking distance. Richard holds a 15 point advantage over Minoprio who takes a mere 2 point lead over Ainslie to Malaysia.
With the Monsoon Cup offering 1.5 times more points than a standard WMRT event, the championship is still wide open and the script could not have been written better for what is set to be an exhilarating climax to the year in Terengganu. The Monsoon Cup will see the winner scoop 38 points, with the remaining points breakdown as follows: 30 (2nd), 22 (3rd), 18 (4th), 15 (5th), 12 (6th), 9 (7th), 6 (8th).
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar are fourth and fifth in the series and still in with a mathematical chance of winning but will need results of their opponents at the Monsoon Cup to go their way (full points overview of current standings below).
As well as a wildcard pick by the event promoter, the field of 12 teams will be completed by 3 further teams who will each have to earn their right to compete in Kuala Terengganu,Malaysia via qualifying regattas. They include the Sunseeker Australia Cup, Malaysian Match Racing Championship and Asian Match Racing Championship, the last of which allowed Adam Minoprio to make a name for himself on the world stage with victories in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After Stage 8 of 9)
1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 105 Points
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 90 Points
3. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 88 Points
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 76 Points
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 72 Points
6. Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team 60 Points
7. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 53 Points
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 51 Points
9. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 33 Points
10. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Sigma Racing Team 29 Points