Published: Monday, 16 February 2015

Ian Williams (GBR) battled his way into the history books by winning the Monsoon Cup Malaysia and taking a record 5th ISAF Match Racing World Championship in Johor Bahru.

Ian Williams Record 5th World Title And Monsoon Victory

The GAC Pindar skipper, who became a father just three months ago, has become the most successful match-racing helmsman of all time. He is the only skipper to ever have won three Monsoon Cups – the final event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

“It really is a dream come true,” says Williams. “When I started sailing full-time, giving up my job as a lawyer, I was hoping to win one world championship one day, so to win five is incredible.”

Ian Williams Record 5th World Title And Monsoon Victory 2

Williams’ crew is: Gerry Mitchell (mainsheet), Mal Parker (trimmer), Chris Main (pit and tactics) and Graeme Spence (bowman).

The GAC Pindar crew started the day by winning a third and decisive match over Wild Card entry Eric Monnin (SUI). A ticket to the Finals was sufficient to give Williams his fifth world title. Williams, 37, won his first World Championship in 2007 and added three more titles in 2008, 2011 and 2012, when he drew level with Australian sailor Peter Gilmour with four titles.

The wind remained disappointingly light for the final, after a good week of breeze in Johor Bahru, a new venue for the Monsoon Cup. It didn’t matter what tricks the wind decided to play, however. Whatever he was given, Williams was the master of time, distance and control in the pre-starts. Mathieu Richard (FRA) was boxed out of the first two starts by the British crew and found no way back into those matches. Even in the third match, when Richard finally found some clear air off the right-hand end of the line, Williams found the better breeze and raced away – another 3-0 victory for GAC Pindar who won 19 of 20 matches in the often-fickle conditions of Johor Bahru.

Ian Williams Record 5th World Title And Monsoon Victory 3

“To go 19-1 for the regatta, I couldn’t be happier with that performance. The guys did just a great job, with the starts and picking the wind shifts,” said Williams. “We’ve made six finals out of seven, and as we’ve matured we’ve learned the game more and more. I feel our systems and the processes have really come together at this regatta and the team has been as strong as it’s ever been. I think Johor Bahru has been a great venue for the Monsoon Cup. The racing has been challenging, tricky, and you could never be comfortable even when you were leading. It makes for really interesting racing. A fantastic sailing venue.”

At the prize giving ceremony on the gardens of the Country Garden Danga Bay resort, His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar presented the Garrard-designed World Match Racing Tour Championship Trophy to Williams and his crew. Also in attendance were His Highness Tunku Abdul Jalil Ibni Sultan Ibrahim Ismail and the Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin.

Ian Williams Record 5th World Title And Monsoon Victory 1

From a total prize purse of US$500,000 for the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Williams’ season victory earns him US$100,000. He also receives approximately US$86,000 for his Monsoon Cup victory. After finishing runner-up at the Monsoon Cup, Richard finished 3rd overall in the Tour standings behind Williams and Taylor Canfield (ISV).

Now the teams have a few months to regroup and reset their goals in preparation for the Congressional Cup in California this May, the first event of the World Match Racing Tour 2015.

2014-2015 Final Leaderboard Standings

1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 132pts

2. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 116pts

3. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 109pts

4. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 77pts

5. Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 75pts

6. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 73pts

7. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 56pts

8. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 51pts

Overall results of Monsoon Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar

2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets

3. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One

4. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox

5. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing

6. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team

7. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX

8. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour

9. Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team

10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team

11. Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot

12. Jeremy Koo (MAS) Sime Darby Foundation / 1 Malaysia Match Racing Team