JOHOR BARU: A dramatic day of the quarter-finals, staged in thunderous, monsoon rain conditions, ended with the three world championship contenders – Taylor Canfield (US One), Ian Williams (GAC Pindar) and Bjorn Hansen (Nautiska Racing) – all making their way into the last four on the penultimate day of the Monsoon Cup.
They are joined in the semi-finals by Eric Monnin (Team SailBox).
Canfield, the 2013 world champion, won qualifying with an impressive 9-2 scoreline, giving him first pick of his quarter-final opponent. The skipper of US One of the US Virgin Islands chose the lowest-ranked skipper from qualifying, Johnie Berntsson (Berntsson Sailing Team).
At the start of their first match, Canfield held a good lead over the Swede but Berntsson found some breeze by the left-hand shore as US One parked up in a wind hole further towards the middle of the fickle Straits of Johor.
Berntsson made the most of his lucky break until principal race officer Dave Tallis decided that the conditions had become too random and abandoned the race – before race director Craig Mitchell called off the quarter-finals.
Hansen qualified for the semi-finals based on his quarter-final result, beating Nicolai Sehested (Trefor Match Racing) 2-0. The other three matches were either tied 1-1 or didn’t race at all.
It was their superior finishing positions in qualifying that gave Canfield, Williams and Monnin the right to progress to the last four.