Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dream Come True

For me, as a kid, I used to dream a lot. One of it is to own my very own yacht when I grow up someday. However, as a matter of fact, the price for a yacht and the money required to maintain it obviously beyond reach for most of us Malaysians. So, when I saw the competition organized by Firefly Airlines giving a free ride on yacht during the Monsoon Cup race, I said to myself, “It’s now or never. Whatever happens, I’m going for it.”

And so, I crapped a slogan for them and viola, I got the ride of my life!


Honestly, I’m a Terengganu local. In fact, I lived in Kuala Terengganu! So, I didn’t take the free return flight ticket to Kuala Terengganu.

The Monsoon Cup held in Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu is the final race of the World Match Racing Tour, a pinnacle of the yachting competition which is equivalent to Formula 1 in car racing competition. It is held in Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa. As it is the final race of the season, it will determine the champion for the 2009 season and thus the pressure is on for all the teams who are still challenging for the title, namely, Adam Minoprio, Tovar Mirsky, Ian Williams and Mathieu Richard.

My hot seat session was scheduled to be on the 4th December 2009. I witnessed the race between Damien Iehl’s French Racing Team and Torvar Mirsky’s Mirsky Racing Team. I was seated at the back of Iehl’s yacht while another Chinese lady from Sabah was placed in Mirsky’s yacht with the following instructions:

“When the team moved to the left of the yacht, you move to the left as well and vice versa.”

“If you don’t understand what they said, just stand in the middle!”

And of course, there’s one basic rule that you don’t need anyone telling you,
“Hold tight and don’t fell into the river!”

When everything was set, we got into the umpire’s speedboat and were sent to our assigned yacht. I was greeted by Iehl and his team members. The start of the race is different from any other race, car race, dragon boat race or cycling race. In the Monsoon Cup, the yacht might be separated from one another and depending on the wind condition and the team that successfully attack the other team, they will be given the priority to start first. So, it’s important to successfully attack and defend the attack from the other team during the start of the race. During the start, my team, Iehl Racing Team successfully attack Mirsky Racing Team. Through coordinated teamwork, communication and the ability to respond to the changing wind condition, they were able to force Mirsky to allow them to start the race first.

On the river, the wind condition changed very fast, it could be blowing to the left now and 5-10 seconds later, the wind might be blowing to the right. As such, every time the wind changed, the team will have to adjust the sails and thus, you’ll see the yacht bending to the left or right. For example, if the yacht bends to the right, the whole team will be sitting on the left, using the body weight as a way to balance the yacht again.

Each time the team changed the sail, they will have to release the ropes that tie the sail and the metal holding the sail will be swinging from left to right or right to left and everyone will have to watch out their head to avoid being hit by the metal! At the other end of the course, the team will have to turn their yacht 360 degree and it’s here when the team will have to change their sail, lowering one and releasing a new sail to allow the yacht to sail using the wind. They’ll have to work fast, efficient and quicker than their rival to maintain their advantage over their rival.
The race requires each team to sail up and down the river 3 or 4 times, depending on the race official’s decision which again depends on the wind condition. My team, Iehl’s Racing Team successfully maintain their lead from the start to the end, and thus winning their race against Mirsky Racing Team. Both however, gathered enough points to proceed to the next round of the race.

The final of the Monsoon Cup 2009 pits Adam Minoprio from Black Match Racing against Ben Ainslie from team Origin. However, the winner of the championship is known before the race since Adam Minoprio qualified for the final and all his rivals failed to do so. He won the Monsoon Cup race as well, giving him double cheer to the season ending championship.

As for me, the experience is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Below are some of the pictures taken during the Monsoon Cup. No picture was snapped on board because there’s one person who dropped his or her camera into the river before.

Interviews by one of the participants

Mini Concert

Craft show

Monsoon Cup's Yacht

Participants during warming up / practice session

P/S: Sorry for not blogging for so long, been busy with my studies and I'm thinking of moving to another blog. I shall update about the link later.



SuRayA^i. December 28, 2009 at 11:57 AM  

akhirnye lau mengupdate blog chen..

tienzyee January 10, 2010 at 2:40 PM  

tapi lepas ni mungkin tak update lagi hahahaha

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