London, UK - Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing Team may not be in the reckoning to win this year’s ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown however that has not dented the ambition of this inspirational Italian to win the second most prestigious prize on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) - the Monsoon Cup.
“The Monsoon Cup is the most prestigious event on the World Match Racing Tour and we want to win it to prove our worth. That is why we are participating in it.”
The WMRT took the chance to sit down with Francesco Bruni to hear his views on the Monsoon Cup, who he thinks will win the ISAF World Match Racing Tour this year and what the future holds for him and match racing.
You are currently in 7th place on the standings ISAF WMRT. Will you consider this season a success if you win the Monsoon Cup?
Bruni: "We have decided to participate because we want to close the season by participating in the event that is the most prestigious of the entire season-we want to prove our worth".
The top five teams in the current standings (Richard, Minoprio, Ainslie, Mirsky and Williams) are all in with a chance to win the ISAF World Match Racing Championships?? this year. Who do you think will win it and why?
Bruni: "I don’t think Richard will miss this opportunity and I hope he doesn’t. He has never won the Match Racing World Championship - he has finished 2nd and 3rd before, and this would be the proper recognition for a very successful season. He had a dip in the middle of the season which allowed other teams to come back into the fight for the championship, but Richard has the experience to win. I’ll be cheering for him.”
What are you and your team’s plans for the future in the WMRT?
Bruni: "I don’t know exactly what my future will be, but I want to stay competing on the WMRT. Team Azzurra has decided not to participate to the America's Cup and I hope that my future will still be in the America’s Cup. The America's Cup is a match race and the WMRT is always the best battlefield in match racing”.
Young sailors such as Adam Minoprio, Torvar Mirsky and Phil Robertson (and as we saw in Bermuda, the young American Taylor Canfield) are performing well on the WMRT circuit. Do you feel the quality of competition in the WMRT has increased over the last few years?
Bruni: "The level of competitiveness has certainly increased. The WMRT is a great mix of experienced and young sailors who are dedicated to match racing. In recent years, young sailors have won more and more - that is positive. Despite the young age of many of the sailors, the level of professionalism in the WMRT is very high. "
The WMRT recently announced several big changes and plans for the WMRT, such as an increase in prize money, a target to add six new venues to the Tour calendar by 2013 and a new boat design plan. What is your opinion on these changes and do you feel these will benefit the Tour?
Bruni: "Increasing the winning prize will make the WMRT more exciting and interesting. It is also less costly now for us as a team. As for new venues - there are venues that have invested so much and others less so, so this is a positive strategy that will improve the overall Tour venues. Those who have invested less in the past will see what additions are required.”
What are your views on the announcement made by the America's Cup and do you feel this will impact at all on the future of the WMRT?
Bruni: "For me, the WMRT will live its own life because it is a circuit that is now very successful regardless of the decision of the America's Cup. The WMRT format is working very well and is very addictive. On top of this the Tour has a huge global audience"