Nov 18, 2006

Monsoon Cup, Pulau Duyong, Terengganu

Monsoon cup is here again! And those crazy sailors will brave the monsoon just to win the coveted prize!

Veteran sailors set for Monsoon Cup showdown
18 Nov 2006
Fay Angela D’Cruz and Zainuddin Muhammad

KUALA LUMPUR: Visitors to the Monsoon Cup this year can expect experienced match racing sailors competing with young and energetic sailors, bringing about thrilling races.

Reigning match racing world champion and Monsoon Cup race director Peter Gilmour said veteran sailors such as Peter Holmberg, Ian Williams, Sebastien Col and Paolo Cian will show off match racing skills. Tactics, stamina and the weather are expected to play a major role in determining the winners.

"The new, young and energetic teams which have qualified are expected to show a fearless attitude as they give it their best shot," Gilmour said.

The Monsoon Cup, from Nov 29 to Dec 3, in Pulau Duyong, off the Terengganu coast, has gained prominent status on the World Tour. It offers prizes totalling RM1 million.

"The winner gets RM400,000. One of the goals of the Monsoon Cup is to spread match racing across the region," Gilmour said.

In September, organisers for the event held the inaugural Malaysian Match Racing Championship and Asian Match Racing Championship.

The winners were Malaysian Tiffany Koo and Adam Minoprio of New Zealand, who gained entry to the Monsoon Cup.

"The Selangor Gapurna team has a lot of energy, and they are really into the sport. I believe it will be tough for them, but with energy like theirs, who knows what will happen," Gilmour said.

Koo will be the first Malaysian woman to compete in an ISAF Grade World Championship match-race regatta.

"From now on I have to focus on sailing. I will do my best and learn more about the temperament of the weather."

Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the sailing fraternity throughout the world will be watching Kuala Terengganu for five days.

Last year, the gross media value was estimated at RM73 million. "We are expecting 40,000 visitors this year."

Gilmour said the success of the event prompted the signing of Richard Mille Watches as title sponsor, which has helped increase the prizes.

The Pride Foundation will host the gala dinner on Dec 2, and its chairman, Datin Azrene Abdullah, said the event at the Heritage Bay Club would also play a part in raising breast cancer awareness.

"We will raise funds through the gala dinner for breast cancer patients," she added.

In Kuala Terengganu, hotels are expecting higher occupancy rates during the event. Malaysian Association of Hotels (Terengganu Chapter) vice-chairman Rudi W. Herrmann said tourist arrivals have risen during the monsoon months since last year.

"It will be even better this year as some establishments are expected to enjoy a 100 per cent occupancy rate, while the rest will have between 85 and 95 per cent occupancy. - NST.

More info about at Monsoon Cup website.