Paolo Cian set to defend
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia will be defending his Korea Match Cup Champion title again this year with flight 1 kicking off in South Korea on Wednesday, 9 June. Cian currently ranked fifth on the ISAF World Match Racing Tour standings, only 4 points behind Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, has consistently retained a top 10 position on the ladder for the last six years. He has celebrated two Bronze Medals at the World Match Racing Tour Championships as well as winning the 2009 Korea Match Cup.
Cian, who started his racing passion at only 6 years old, is a strong believer in the power of team work. The skipper with a distinctive Italian flair will be racing with a different team set up since Korea Match Cup last year and is confident in their match racing abilities, “I’m working with a new configuration this year and the guys are very promising and motivated”.
Cian will be coming straight from winning a very different kind of regatta where he skippered a 50 foot yacht to victory in a traditional Mediterranean Sea offshore event. Cian mixes his professional level match racing with time spent helming a range of race yachts including GP42s, X-35s and Maxis. His main love however, will always be match racing compared to big boat fleet racing, “Everything happens so much quicker in match racing, the umpire is right there to tell you who is right and who is wrong and you never end your day with a long discussions in a jury room”.
This will be Cian’s third WMRT event of 2010. He has completed all of the sailing series circuit to date and is a keen participant in the Tour, “I’m a strong believer in match race competition to keep improving all your sailing skills, to me it’s always a great challenge to participate in World Match Racing Tour events”. He feels his team are provided with the best quality of training actually in the early stages of the WMRT events as it is hard to set up top level match racing team training in his home nation, “We do not have sparring teams and so we can only practice during the early stages of the events”.
Team Italia are expecting light to medium wind conditions on the tidal flats of Gyeonngi which Cian knows he can excel in against some of the world’s toughest competition. The 2009 Korean WMRT event was a huge success for Cian and he puts this down to being very focused as a team, “We came very focused and found the right mode during the quarters”. He is not one to dwell on ‘strategy’ for winning he instead will wait and see what Korea Match Cup holds for him: “I search for the best mental condition race after race”. He cites all entries as potential contenders to be crowned 2010 Korea Match Cup Champion as he feels skippers come to the WMRT events at the ‘top of their condition’.
Having previously been part of the Mascalzone Latino and Shosholoza America's Cup challenges, Cian is able to compare the Tour circuit to America’s Cup style campaigns: “On the Tour most of the time you sail against AC teams and skippers, the level of the competition is the same as the AC racing and the boats on the WMRT are easier to handle so you see a different approach to boat on boat tactics”.
South Korea grows annually in popularity from the world’s top sailors as a premiere race event destination and Cian is a notable fan of the venue, “I really think that all aspects of Korea Match Cup are very well managed and developed year after year”.
Korea Match Cup 2010 Skipper line-up:
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Gill Global Team
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Gunwoo Park (KOR)
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing