Penalties, no rain, loss of focus or sheer bad luck - it definitely wasn’t Bjorn Hansen’s day as he was left in the lurch, following two losses in the Qualifying Session 1 of the Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday. Owing to unsuitable weather conditions, the race was abandoned later in the afternoon at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Pulau Duyong.
Looking to win his maiden ISAF match racing world championship title, Hansen had a 2.25-point lead coming into the final leg of this year’s Alpari World Match Racing Tour. However, not adding any points to his kitty on the very first day has put him on the back foot. As the skipper of Mekonomen Sailing Team, Hansen has a lot of thinking to do to overcome the early setback and keep his lead intact.
The Swede, however, was unperturbed and said it was still too early to write him off. “It is never fun to lose two races. We failed to capitalise on our good starts and after getting a couple of penalties against Peter (Gilmour) in the first match, I lost my focus for a while. We had discussions with the umpire afterwards and they apologised for the first flag, but the margins are small at an event like this. However, we are not too stressed out. I don’t feel any tension in the team and am confident ahead of tomorrow,” he said.
When asked if being atop added to the existing pressure, Hansen said, “There is no extra pressure just because I am No 1 on the leaderboard. I am sure all teams will want to exchange places with us and have the number of points we have. We know that if we do a good regatta, we can win here. If we do a bad regatta, we can’t."
(Qualifying Session: Round 1)
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA, Vannes Agglo Sailing Team) 2-0; Taylor Canfield (USVI, USone) 2-0; Adam Minoprio (NZL, Alpari Racing Team) 1-1; Johnie Berntsson (SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team) 1-1; Peter Gilmour (AUS, YANMAR Racing) 1-1; David Gilmour (AUS, Team Gilmour) 1-1; Bjorn Hansen (SWE, Mekonomen Sailing Team) 0-2; Jeremy Koo (MYS, KFC Malaysia/KRT) 0-2