KUALA TERENGGANU: Female skipper Nurul Aim Mohd Isa and her Perak crew are the leaders after the first day of the Malaysian Match Racing Championships at Pulau Duyong here yesterday.
The championships serve as one of only two qualifying regattas in the lead-up to the prestigious Monsoon Cup, which will also be held at the same venue next month.
Only one team will qualify from the Malaysian championships and the participants had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the Foundation 36 yacht, the class that will be sailed in the Monsoon Cup, and also adjust to the conditions at Pulau Duyong.
Conditions yesterday were difficult with winds of a meagre five knots and a strong outgoing tide. Competitors were challenged not only by the elements but also their rivals.
In the lead up to the event, Nurul has been tipped as the next Tiffany Koo, and as a former SEA Games gold medallist, her vast sailing experience has prepared her for the championships.
However, in her first match racing regatta, she certainly did not expect to be leading the pack.
Nurul said that good teamwork, good communication and group decision-making helped the Perak team capitalised on the light conditions. If conditions become difficult, she said that communication between her team will be the key to their success.
Mohamad Razali Mansor and his Navy 1 team were also in good form. A seasoned competitor in the championships, Razali thanked the event organisers and his good first day performance down to his crew and their efforts. Within this competitive field, Razali hopes to continue his winning ways and eventually emerge as the victor.
The championships will be decided today.