Ian Williams will square off against Paolo Cian in tomorrow's first Monsoon Cup match in Malaysia 29/11/06

The Monsoon Cup, Stage 6 of the 2006-’07 World Match Racing Tour, kicked off today in Malaysia with an opening ceremony in the middle of the afternoon. A total of 12 teams are entered, three of which competed last year

Racing starts tomorrow and in Flight 1, Match 1 British sailor Ian Williams of Team Pindar will square off against Paolo Cian and Team Shosholoza. Williams leads the standings with 47 points, and Cian is tied for third with 30 points. Both have scored wins in the first five stages. Williams won the Bermuda Gold Cup last month and Cian was victorious at St. Moritz Match Race in August.

Match 2 has Sébastien Col of France’s Areva Challenge for the America’s scheduled to race compatriot Mathieu Richard of the Saba Sailing Team. Col lies seventh in the standings with 29 points after winning Stage 3, the Danish Open, in August, and Richard is sixth in the standings with 30 points after having finished second in Bermuda.

In Flight 3, Match 1, Peter Gilmour, the reigning Monsoon Cup and World Match Racing Champion, races against Peter Holmberg, of America’s Cup defense syndicate Alinghi. The two are spirited competitors who have a deft touch on the helm and use the rules to their advantage.

Match 4 in the flight pits a pair of Asians against each other in what is believed to be the first such meeting in an ISAF Grade WC match-race regatta. Malaysia’s Tiffany Koo, winner of the first Malaysian Match Race Championship, will race Singapore’s Wearn Haw Tan, a member of the China Team. Tan placed 13th in his World Tour debut at St. Moritz Match Race in August, while Koo is making her debut.