Taylor Canfield (USVI) won the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda and will compete at the Monsoon Cup as a wildcard PHOTO: Rick Tomlinson/AWMRT
London, UK – 8 November, 2012: Adam Minoprio and Taylor Canfield have been confirmed as the wildcard entries for the 2012 Monsoon Cup and will join David Gilmour, eight Tour Card Holders and a qualifier from the Malaysian Match Racing Cup (23-26 Nov), at the finale event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
The 2012 finale event will consist of one of the strongest fields ever, featuring three previous ISAF Match Racing World Champions, including Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch Racing, who became the youngest ever Tour Champion in 2009. Fellow wildcard Taylor Canfield (USVI) US One was invited to compete at the event following his two impressive Tour outings earlier this year, taking victory at the recent Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda.
The pair complete eleven of the twelve participants at the biggest Tour event of the year, which is expected to attract over 100,000 spectators to the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia between 3rd – 8th December.
Minoprio, said: “It’s fantastic to be involved at the Monsoon Cup again. We’ve had two years off from the Tour but we will go into the event confident, having refamiliarised ourselves at Match Race France and the Argo Group Gold Cup.
“The Monsoon Cup is a big event with a lot of tough competitors who have been sailing all year, honing their skills and teamwork. We’ve sailed in Malaysia six or seven times now so feel we know the event. We just need to be back to top form and we can challenge for the podium.”
Minoprio’s presence at the Monsoon Cup after returning from a Volvo Ocean Race campaign with CAMPER Team New Zealand will certainly have been noted by the current Tour-leading pair, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar. The Kiwi, who beat both of the skippers to victory in Malaysia during his Championship winning season, believes that his team have an advantage over the Tour Card Holders, saying: “The pressure on the Tour Card Holders to perform at this one is huge, I’ve experienced that. That’ll work in our advantage. Whilst they need a good performance to finish in a certain position for the season overall, our sole focus is to go out there and win as much as possible.
“Ian Williams has been strong at the event before, [Bjorn] Hansen is currently top in the standings and Peter Gilmour has so much experience that he’s also one to keep an eye on. Hopefully conditions are good otherwise there’ll be some really tough sailing in the monsoon conditions.”
Canfield has become ‘one-to-watch’ amongst the pool of young match racing talent, eager to compete on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. He can also point to recent successes of his own, having recorded a Tour victory already this season at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda last month. Canfield, said: “This year has been great for the team and I think the spike in our performance has been due to the consistent crew members I’ve had on board. Gaining some more top level experience was key for us but we also wanted to challenge for wins whenever possible.
“We’ve sailed against most of these guys a few times at other events and I think we have a good chance out in Malaysia.
“We’re already ahead of one of the Tour Card Holders in the overall standings for the season which we’re really pleased with. If we can put on a good show at the Monsoon Cup, we’re hoping to put our case forward for a Tour Card next year. We’d love to be involved on a regular basis.”
Reigning Alpari World Match Racing Tour Champion Ian Williams will be defending his crown at the Monsoon Cup, having closed the gap on current leader Bjorn Hansen to just 2.25 points. With Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 21.25 points off of the leader in third, followed by fellow Australian Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing with a 28 point deficit, the top two have their destiny in their own hands at the Monsoon Cup. If one of them can win the event, they will take the coveted Tour title.
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing will join compatriots Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match and Adam Minoprio, as he returns for the last Tour event of the year, having missed the last two regattas on America’s Cup duty, skippering China Team. In his second full Tour season, Robertson showed his great potential with a victory at the first event of the year, Match Race Germany then went on to record a third and a fourth in Korea and Sweden respectively.
Rounding out the field, Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team will hope to build on the consistency which has seen progress to the knockout stage over every Tour event he has competed in this year, whilst Johnie Berntsson (SWE) is targeting another late charge to the overall podium positions.
For a taster of the upcoming action, visit: http://www.youtube.com/worldmrt
Follow the Monsoon Cup online from 3rd to 8th December at http://www.wmrt.com/live.html.
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Live event Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/wmrt_liverace
Monsoon Cup – Competing Teams:
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Taylor Canfield (USVI) US One
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour