Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie hopes to inject more competition into the Monsoon Cup
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and Olympic champion Ben Ainslie has arrived in Malasia in order to rev up the pace at the Monsoon Cup, which sets sail in Pulau Duyong tomorrow.
Ainslie, who arrived with his Team Origin crew members said it will be his first Monsoon Cup, but that he hoped to make an impact: “I have heard good things about the Monsoon Cup and since all the best sailors in the world are competing here, it will certainly be a great race and I want to be a part of it,” said Ainslie.
Though Ainslie does not carry enough tour points to be in the running for the 2008 ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) title, his third place in the King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda and a second place finish in New Zealand should send out a clear warning to the other Monsoon Cup skippers.
Briton Ian Williams is the current leader of the WMRT standings with 92 points, followed closely by Sebastian Col on 88 points while Mathieu Richards is third with 77.
“With the Olympics over, I am going to focus on the WMRT next season. This year we did not compete in many WMRT events and have a very low ranking, so I hope our ranking is not a true indication of our true ability,” added Ainslie.
A win in Pulau Duyong will provide Ainslie and Team Origin with a great springboard into the 2009 Tour which they intend “doing properly next year” as part of their preparation for the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010.
The Monsoon Cup will be the ninth and final event on the 2008 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) where 12 of the best match racing teams meet on the waters of Terengganu, Malaysia from 3-7 December at the sailing venue in Pulau Duyong.