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Ian Williams prepares for Alpari World Match Racing Tour


Fighting fit and raring to go, four times world match racing tour champion Ian Williams has stepped up the intensity of his crew’s preparations as he bids for a record-breaking fifth title in Germany next week.

His GAC Pindar team came second in Los Angeles at the Congressional Cup recently and then followed that up with a win in Hong Kong.

The first of six regattas in the Alpari sees him facing the man who denied him the title last year, Taylor Canfield of the USVI, and these two are expected to be at each other’s throats for the remaining five regattas. Equally, it is expected that the title will be decided at the last regatta, the double points scoring Monsoon Cup in Malayasia.

In between, however, Williams flies to Poland for a Grade II event later this week and will also be competing in a Grade II event organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble in the second week of June.

A busy schedule for a crew that will again feature the American Bill Hardesty, but rotating this year with the Kiwi Chris Main, have Gerry Mitchell and Mal Parker at the heart of the crew, and may again have Matt Cassidy, at the moment trialling for the Oracle America’s Cup defence team, plus Matt Cornwell, who is also expected to figure in the British America’s Cup team plans to be announced by Sir Ben Ainslie in London on 10 June.

Two days later Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli was due to unveil the new Cagliari, Sardinia, base of his Luna Rossa America’s Cup challenger. But the ceremonial has been postponed as publication of the protocol for the next America’s Cup in 2017 has continually been delayed. Oracle boss Sir Russell Coutts has been expected to publish the rules governing AC35 – though not the venue – every week for the last three months. Everything is said to be in place after negotiations with the Australian challenger of record, Hamilton Island Sailing Club and its chief executive Iain Murray, and “in the next few days” continues to be the holding mantra.