Published: Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Pierre-Antoine Morvan’s Vannes Agglo Sailing Team won all three of their matches on Feb 10, Day 1 of the concluding event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour in Johor, Malaysia. Reigning World Champion Taylor Canfield and US One also took three wins from three, but Morvan’s performance is the greater surprise.

Morvan Grinning And Winning In Alpari World Match Racing Tour

The French skipper is no longer full-time match racing, having recently taken a job as a sail maker, but the muscle memory and tactical judgement are still there. “We got the invite at the last moment, and I asked my crew if we wanted to come here,” says Morvan. “Everyone did, so here we are, sailing for pleasure.”

Morvan Grinning And Winning In Alpari World Match Racing Tour 4

Morvan and Canfield have perfect scores after Day 1 but at the top of the leaderboard - due to having raced more matches - is Ian Williams, so often the winner of the qualifying stage of these tour events. “Very happy to have got five wins on the board,” says Williams, who is in search of a record fifth world title. “Disappointed with the loss against Phil Robertson, but if we can keep those ratios we’ll do well here.”

Morvan Grinning And Winning In Alpari World Match Racing Tour 5

Winner of the last Monsoon Cup, Robertson said the nature of the wind shifts made it likely for big splits to develop between boats on the racecourse. “With the race track here, you're not going to see much typical match racing,” says Robertson. “We're probably going to see people sail off into different corners, crossing their fingers and hoping it will go their way.”

Morvan Grinning And Winning In Alpari World Match Racing Tour 6

(Photos by Robert Hajduk)

Although it’s looking unlikely that either of the local teams, skippered by Koo and Soh, will make their way into the big prize money, both skippers are revelling in the opportunity to compete against the best in the world. “For sure it will help raise the standard of match racing in Asia,” says Soh. “You learn so much from racing at an event like the Monsoon Cup.”

2015 Monsoon Cup Malaysia Stage 7 - Season Finale 2014/15 Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Results of Qualifying after Flight 6

1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 5-1

2 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 4-2

3 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 3-0

4 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 3-0

5 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 2-1

6 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 2-1

7 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 2-4

8 Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 2-4

9 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 1-2

10 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 1-2

11 Jeremy Koo (MAS) Sime Darby Foundation / 1 Malaysia Match Racing Team 0-3

12 Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot 0-6

Qualifying continues Feb 11 and can be watched live: