Monday, December 27, 2010

The Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team

Second local continental team set to enter the Tour

Malaysia looks set to have two continental teams in the fray for the first time in the Tour of Langkawi (LTdL) cycling championships.

The Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team were launched in Kuala Terengganu by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said on Monday with an injection of RM1.5mil from the state government.

And they did not take long to submit an application to field a team for the 16th edition of the Tour, which begins on Jan 23 in Langkawi.

Leading the list of nine Malaysian cyclists in the squad are Anuar Manan, Mohd Harrif Salleh and Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin.

The notable foreign riders in the side are 2007 winner Shinichi Fukushima of Japan and Phuchong Udomsin of Thailand.

The LTdL chief executive officer, Mohamad Salleh, said that if all went well, there would be at least 12 Malaysian riders in the Tour with the inclusion of the latest continental team.

“International rules for road racing state that a continental team must have at least three local riders,” he said.

“The Le Tua team should be doing likewise and in the national team, we will have six riders.

“As organisers, we are proud to have a bigger local representation in a prestigious event like the LTdL.

“It’s good for the development of road race cycling in the country as the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) have a bigger pool to choose from for main championships next year, including the Asian meet in Korat and the SEA Games in Indonesia.”

Mohamed is optimistic that Terengganu Pro-Asia have what it takes to spring surprises in the LTdL.

Anuar will be defending the green jersey (sprint) this year.

“We want him to retain the green jersey and at least match his achievement of winning a stage,” he said.

The 10-stage Tour, which ends on Feb 1 at the Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, is organised by the Youth and Sports Ministry and the MNCF.

The organisers have taken up a suggestion by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to bring the Tour back to its starting point in Langkawi.


THE STAR, 22/12/2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Monsoon Cup 2010

Monsoon Cup Day 3 Round Robin Flights 11-17 and Wind at Last!!

On day 3 of the Monsoon Cup a 12-15 knot northerly breeze greeted competitors. With one knot of current running down the Terengganu River, the starting box was positioned just at the end of the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina, in the Pulau Duyong basin.

At the start of Flight 11, Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing) faced Jesper Radich (Gaastra Racing Team). Radich won the start and the race.

Keith Swinton (Black Swan Racing) was up against the very experienced Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra). It was a bad pre-start for Swinton, landing a double penalty. Match over.

In the next match Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Racing) and Peter Gilmour (YANMAR Racing) met. Hansen was fastest on the left of the course Gilmour had the right. In the end Hansen beat Gilmour by a heart breaking one second. Gilmour was on 2 wins and five losses and in danger of not making the quarter finals.

Day two leader Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN) and Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/ BlackMatch Racing) met in the next match, a must win for the struggling Minoprio, the 2009 World Champion. Minoprio on 2-4 was fighting for survival as the quarter final cut off approached.

Dockside Minoprio was much more positive this morning, certainly happier with the greater pressure. It seemed, mentally at least yesterday’s horrors were behind him.

It was an even start with Ainslie on the right first to the current, gradually edging forward, he squeezed up and Minoprio had to tack away. However Minoprio pulled off a great manoeuvre having enough separation to gain on a shift and as they approached the top mark Minoprio managed to lee-bow Ainslie and luffed up hard. Minoprio accelerated away while behind him Ainslie was slow. Minoprio rounded ahead and at the bottom mark was five lengths ahead.

After a tacking duel up the beat Minoprio was well ahead by six lengths, Ainslie was not close enough to gas the race leader and Minoprio earned his much needed win.

In Flight 12, two Western Australians faced each other, Keith Swinton (Black Swan Racing) and Peter Gilmour (YANMAR Racing).

Gilmour was in control in the prestart, luffed Swinton up and was able to accelerate away for a good start. However in the down wind, Swinton found a private puff and sailed through Gilmour but the ‘Old Fox’ regained the lead on the second lap and held on for a narrow win.

Next it was Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra) versus Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing).

Minoprio forced Bruni over the start line very early, Bruni had to go back leaving Minoprio to sail away by three lengths, to the current elevator on the right. Bruni fought hard and at the finish just held out Minoprio, who looked pensive at the stern of the boat as he rubbed his trademark stubble.

Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Racing) faced Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar), the day two Monsoon Cup leader. The pressure was on Hansen, at 4-3 he needed a win. By contrast Williams who was 7-0, just wanted to keep his score sheet clean.

From the start Williams won the right, but the tenacious Swede turned the match, taking the win, vital to his quarter final chances.

Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) faced Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN) in the Monsoon Cup leader board battle, with both skippers on two losses and five wins.

Mirsky, who seems more controlled than in recent times, was penalised in the pre-start, allowing Ainslie to win the right with speed - a dream start for the British Lion.
Mirsky, forced away to the left, found a lift and crossed to the right and kept attacking as the boats approached the right hand lay line. Ainslie held a length lead in softening conditions and a less than perfect gybe by TEAMORIGIN allowed Mirsky to close up. Mirsky came down wind with less adverse current, but Ainslie took the right hand mark with more current and more pressure. Down the last run conditions turned to glass and while Mirsky closed up, it was victory for Ainslie.

In lightening conditions the Committee hoisted the AP. The boats came back to the dock during Prayers.

In Flight 15 Mathieu Richard, the current ISAF World Match Racing Tour leader will face Adam Minoprio, the defending Tour Champion in a knock out match for both. Both skippers have three wins and five losses at this event.

The remaining matches this afternoon will be crucial, with only Williams, Ainslie and Radich looking quarter finalists.

Current leader board on Day 3.

Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar) 7-1
Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN) 6-2
Jesper Radich (Gaastra Racing Team) 6-2

Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Team) 5-3
Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) 5-3

Peter Gilmour (YANMAR Racing) 3-5
Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team) 3-5
Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing) 3-5

Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing) 2-6
Keith Swinton (Black Swan Racing) 2-6

Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team – Evernew) 0-8

by Monsoon Cup 2010 Media

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