World crown, a place in the semis and defeating his arch-rival! Ian Williams had it all as he beat Bjorn Hansen in the quarterfinals of the Monsoon Cup to be crowned the ISAF Match Racing World Champion for a record fourth time. The Brit, thereby, equalled Peter Gilmour’s record of four world titles in the final leg of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Hansen, who came second in qualifying, got to choose his opponent in the last-eight stage and the Swede took a gamble by going for Williams. Hansen held a superior head-to-head record against Williams, but it was a do-or-die situation on Friday as a loss would not only cost him a place in the semis but also the world title. Unfortunately, his decision backfired.
After winning the first match, Hansen and his team committed quite a few mistakes to lose 1-3 in the quarters. “There’s never been a Swedish crew this close to the title so we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved. We didn’t sail at the top of our skill level, we’re disappointed about that. We made more mistakes in the four matches today than we have in the entire week. I definitely don’t regret the decision of picking Ian. We knew if we lost it we’d be out of the Championship race but we wanted to fight for the gold and felt good about it,” said Hansen.
Williams was ecstatic after his win. “It’s incredible to match Peter Gilmour on four world titles. It’s probably the toughest fight we have ever had to win a title,” added Williams.
In the battle of the Gilmours, Peter got the better of his son David and sealed his place in the semifinal with a 3-1 win.