USOne skipper, Taylor Canfield took one step closer to his first World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) title after qualifying to the last four of the season ending event, the Monsoon Cup at Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu.
The holder of the Monsoon Cup finished the qualifying round at the top of the table with nine wins with defeats against current world champions, Ian Williams and Frenchman, Mathieu Richard spoiling his record. Williams however lost to Bjorn Hansen, Adam Minoprio and Phil Robertson to finish second in the table.
The tradition at the event is for the top skipper choosing his opponent for the last eight battle. Canfield chose to sail against Keith Swinton who finished in the last spot of the qualifying round while seventh placed Francessco Bruni was the pick for Williams.
Hansen who finished in third place picked out fourth placed Richard leaving New Zealander Robertson to battle with fellow countryman, Minoprio.
The sky opened up during the quarter-finals which reduced the visibility, forcing the sailors to go back to the dock. When the weather permitted, Canfield who was already leading Swinton finished the job with ease to qualify for the semi-final.
Robertson who was leading Minoprio before the disruption also did not have any problem overcoming the 2009 World Champion in their second match to book his place in the last four.
However the break provided fresh impetus for Bruni who lost his first match against Williams. The Italian found his second wind to level the score. The four time world champions however dug deep into his reserve in the third match to clinch his semi-final spot.
Hansen's decision to pick Richard as his opponent backfired when he lost to the Frenchman and was eliminated.
In the semi-finals tomorrow, Canfield picked Robertson to be his opponent which is going to be a repeat of last year's final while Williams will face off against Richard.