JOHOR BARU: Hazwan Hazim Dermawan made history when his all-Malaysian HazOne Racing Team won their opening match against Keith Swinton’s Black Swan Racing in the qualifying round of the Monsoon Cup.
This is the first time that an all-Malaysian team have won a point in the Monsoon Cup since its inception 11 years ago.
Although Australian Swinton had a better start, Hazwan managed to overtake him during the final downwind towards the finish at the Puteri Harbour Marina here yesterday.
HazOne Racing finished 16 seconds ahead of Black Swan Racing to earn the first point – much to the delight of the home fans.
The Tiffany Koo-led Selangor Gapurna, were the first Malaysian team to win a match in the Monsoon Cup on their debut in 2006, but with a mixed crew.
HazOne Racing then gave five-time world champion Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar a hard time before narrowly losing by just two seconds in the second flight.
The third flight proved to be a dampener as HazOne were penalised by the umpire for blocking WAKA Racing during the pre-start. The Malaysian yacht opted not to finish the race.
HazOne Racing’s Hazwan Hazim Dermawan was pleased with their performance despite the penalty, especially after managing to steal a point against the more established teams.
“Hopefully, our good form will continue in the round-robin races and we can qualify for the knockout stage,” said Hazwan, whose crew members are Muhammad Shaiful Bakhtiar as main trimmer, Hazairul Muhammad (pitman), Muhammad Azrul Affizie (trimmer) and Harrith Ammry Nassution Hairuddin (bowman).
The 27-year-old Johor Baru-born sailor is confident that his team can surprise the other teams in the Monsoon Cup.
“We’ve become the first all-Malaysian sailing team to get a point since the inception of the Monsoon Cup 11 years ago. Since the Monsoon Cup is being held in Johor, I personally want to do well,” he said.
“I feel very good with my team-mates ... we’ve been training hard and I believe we can do more.”
A total of 12 teams from nine countries – Australia, Britain, Denmark, the United States, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore and host Malaysia – are taking part in the Monsoon Cup, which will end on Saturday.