Black Swan Racing fought hard to make the quarterfinals in Malaysia but fell short to newly crowned world match racing champion, Taylor Canfield in a shortened quarterfinal format. Black Swan Racing finished in 6th place on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2013.
Typical conditions prevailed in Kuala Terengganu at the Monsoon Cup. Plenty of tide and light winds made progress slow during the round robin stage. We waited until day 2 of the event to sail our first race against Ian Williams.
We found the going tough against Williams loosing the race despite continuing to push the current world champion around the course. Our fortunes didn’t improve in the following races with losses to Canfield, Minoprio and Bruni. The race against Canfield was especially disappointing as we did a good job to lock out Canfield from the start but then allowed him to sail above the start boat and start in a good position whilst we pushed into tide trying to cross the start line. We came very close to defeating Bruni finding better breeze on the final leg to put ourselves in a position to pass near the finish line. The umpires decided our fate as we tried to gybe to the finish line, they judged that we were not inside 2 boat lengths of the line and penalised us accordingly.
Despite our poor start we felt that we were still sailing well and we finished the day with two critical wins over Koo, Malaysia and Morvan of France. Both wins were crucial and kept us in the hunt. We continued our improvement on day 3 defeating Berntsson, Hansen and David Gilmour in the W.A. Derby. Our final race against Richard was a crucial race; a win would guarantee us qualification to the quarters with a scorecard of 6-5. We started the race well giving Richard a penalty in the pre-start. Our timing wasn’t so flash for the start and we came off the line behind Richard. We kept the race close until the bottom mark but the story of the regatta, a one-sided racetrack was true, enabling Richard to sail away and complete his turn. On the final run we managed to pass Richard with a nice move but couldn’t make it stick and he returned the favour into the finish line.
Fortunately our win over Morvan earlier in the round robin kept us in the regatta on a count back. Canfield chose us for his opponent and it was on. Unfortunately Monsoon conditions prevailed and some extreme rain halted our first effort to race. Eventually we got back on the water and racing commenced. Our first match against Canfield was a complete disaster coming off the line behind and with a penalty. Once again the leader had a big advantage and there was little we could do to get back in the race. The next race wasn’t much better, we had the starboard advantage on the entry but we didn’t have the same breeze that Canfield had as we entered and our advantage quickly turned, putting us in a tough spot. We then coped an extremely harsh penalty call from the umpires, which decided our fate in the quarterfinal. Behind again we worked away at the lead but couldn’t get back into the race. Our chances of getting back into the series were then wiped away as time got the better of us and the race committee were forced to shorten the series, first to 2 points, giving Canfield the win.
Disappointment, having arrived at the Monsoon Cup in contention for the world title but we were beaten by the better team on the day. We ended our second full season on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour in 6th position. Having two seasons full time on the tour under our belt and going into the final event both years in contention for the title is a good achievement, we just need to step up our level slightly throughout the year and at the final event to win the tour.
I big thankyou to everyone who has sent their messages of support to the team throughout the year and a special thank you to our loyal sponsors, South of Perth Yacht Club, Global Construction Services (GCS), Musto, Trendmark AB and Abbotts Accounting without their support we could not compete at this level.