KUALA TERENGGANU: Twelve races were held on the first day of the inaugural Monsoon Cup here, with skippers giving the thumbs up to the wind conditions in Pulau Duyong.
The wind’s speed of between eight and 12 knots at the mouth of Sungai Terengganu brought smiles to their faces.
“The wind was pretty good. The race was not an easy one,” said Cameron Dunn, the skipper of the Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia team from New Zealand.
The team, which took part in the first race after the opening ceremony, beat Team Seven – a women's team from the United States which was skippered by Sally Barkow.
“I was under the impression that there was going to be a wet beginning as it rained at night but the rain stopped at dawn,” Dunn said.
Dean Barker, the skipper of the Emirates Team New Zealand, described the wind as tricky, adding that it was good for sailing.
“It will be even better to race in stronger wind conditions but not in the rain,” he said.
The races began at 4pm after the launch by Terengganu’s Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.
Earlier, a Pro-Am race in which 12 teams took part with two guests from the media on each yacht was held from 9am to 11.30am.
It was meant to serve as a practice round for the teams to familiarise themselves with the course and the currents.
Barkow, the two-time winner of the International Sailing Federation's Women's World Match Racing Championship, admitted it would be an uphill task for her team to compete with the men.
“But we will give our best shot,” she added.
Swedish Match television producer Sam Usher said the live broadcast of the race on the second last and final day – Saturday and Sunday – would reach about 850 million homes in the world.