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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - 09 May 2012: With two days to go before the first stage of the Malaysian Match Racing Circuit begins on 11th May at the Royal Malaysian Naval Base in Lumut, 7 skippers have confirmed their place to compete in the first of its kind match racing circuit in Asia.
The 7 skippers who have confirmed their entry are defending Champion Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team), Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Permai Hotel Match Racing Team), Masyuri Rahmat (Royal Malaysian Navy Match Racing Team 1), Nurul Ain Md.Isa (Ri-Yaz Heritage Sailing Team), Nik Ashraf Qaedi (Royal Malaysian Navy Match Racing Team 2), Rizal Mahadi (SetiaWest Marine) and Harisfabillah b Muhammad ((Royal Malaysian Navy Match Racing Team 3).
All 7 skippers are no strangers to the match racing scene with Jeremy Koo and Masyuri Rahmat having the most experience of competing in the qualifiers for the Monsoon Cup since 2006. They will undoubtedly be the ones to look out for. Past champions Nurul Ain Md.Isa (2008) and Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (2009) who both originate from Perak and grew up practicing on the Farr 25 Platus at he Naval base are hoping their experience in the boats and racing area will prove advantageous. Dark horse Rizal Mahadi is making a come back to match racing after a two year hiatus and is practicing hard to stay on par with the likes of Jeremy and Masyuri who have been competing regularly. Rounding up the skippers line-up are Nik Ashraf Qaedi and Harisfabillah b. Muhammad who will be skippering a match racing team for the first time. These two teams however have the home ground advantage and could very well pose a challenge to the rest of the teams.
Capt. Abd. Halim B. Hj. Shaari, Chairman of Royal Malaysian Navy Sailing Association commented: “We are working hand-in-hand with Tbest Events to provide a great sailing facilty for the sailors and visitors alike. The racing conditions will definitely prove to be a challenge for the sailors with its shifty winds and unpredictable currents. With a circuit in place, we can finally look forward to having better prepared sailors respresenting our country in the Monsoon Cup”.
Tbest Events Senior Operations Manager, Shafique Iqbal, said: “It is going to be an exciting season opener in Lumut this weekend. The MMRC has been receiving great support form the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) and the Royal Malaysian Navy Yacht Club as well as Best Western Marina Island Resort. Our hope is that the MMRC serves as a stepping-stone to create a local champion who would eventually compete professionally in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour."
The Malaysian Match Racing Circuit, which is endorsed by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) and Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) will see three events in the 2012 season, beginning with Stage One in Lumut, Perak on 11-13 May, Stage Two in Pulau Indah, Selangor on 29 Jun – 1 July and the Final Stage in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu on 20-23 September 2012.
The one team with the highest points collected over three events will be declared the Champion of the MMRC and will get the opportunity to represent Malaysia in the season ending finale of the AWMRT, the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu on 3-8 December 2012.