Terengganu, Malaysia - David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour crushed the opposition in the Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC) Qualifying Session 1, winning his first five matches at the five-star Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa today.
The son of four-time World Champion Peter Gilmour, David's stellar performance on the opening day of the four-day Championship saw him register wins over defending Champion Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing and the highly rated Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing.
Reflecting on his team’s achievement today, David said: “I haven’t had much sleep and didn’t really expect to be leading as we had some tough matches early on. Beating Reuben and Phil has given my team a confidence boost and hopefully, we can build on it as the Championship continues. I was here last year for a month so am quite familiar with the course, which was a big help today.
“I have two new crew members (Ted Hackney and Will McKenzie), who are both from Sydney. They gelled well with the rest and our teamwork has been fantastic. It is still early and I’m not taking anything for granted. It’s a double round robin before the k nock-out stage so those who lost today can still comeback.
“The heat will be a factor and fitness will be very important. To win the title, a team would need to sail in over 20 flights so, we got to keep hydrated, sleep well and make sure we eat the right food.”
Besides Gilmour, Corbett and Robertson, there are six other teams – Wataru Sakamoto (JPN) Team Siesta, Neil Semple (THAI) Capital TV, Graeme Sutherland (HKG) Team Hermes, Tan Wearn Haw (SIN) SINYIDAI, Mark Lees (GBR) Team ECHO and Peter Nicholas (AUS) Freshie Racing Team – who are all vying for the title.
Corbett, who arrived here from New York, has a Malaysian crew – Mohammad Razali Mansor, Azhar Saadon Zubir, Rafiz Ibrahim and Hairolnizam Hat – and was pleasantly surprised with their performance so far.
“We have had a few communication problems but nothing serious. We are second with three wins from four flights, so I’m reasonably pleased with them,” said Corbett.
Two other skippers – Robertson and Sakamoto – also have three wins and they are followed by Nicholas and Lees with two wins each. Semple, who has one Malaysian crew – Mohd Saifullah – and Sutherland have won one match while Wearn Haw is winless after five matches.
The AMRC is the second qualifying event for the season-ending Monsoon Cup, which takes place from 30th November to 5th December. The winner here at the AMRC will join Jeremy Koo (MAS) Koo Racing Team-Evernew (winner of the Malaysian Match Racing Championship), the top eight skippers in the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) standings, the winner of the Sunseeker Australia Cup and one wildcard entry for the Monsoon Cup.
Asian Match Racing Championship: Qualifying Session 1
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour) 5-0
Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing 3-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-1
Wataru Sakamoto (JPN) Team Siesta 3-1
Peter Nicholas (AUS) Freshie Racing Team 2-2
Mark Lees (GBR) Team ECHO 2-2
Neil Semple (THA) Capital TV 1-3
Graeme Sutherland (HKG) Team Hermes 1-4
Tan Wearn Haw (SIN) SINYIDAI 0-5