By Sean Augustin and Zainuddin Muhammad
KUALA TERENGGANU: As far as Monsoon Cup adviser Datuk Peter Gilmour is concerned, the sailing competition will take place at Pulau Duyong from Dec 3 to Dec 7.
The 48-year-old Australian, who was the tournament's inaugural champion in 2005, said it was news to him to hear talk about the Malaysian leg of the World Match Racing Tour being discontinued.
Gilmour said the issue of postponing or cancelling the tournament was never raised during his meeting with state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Rahin Mohd Said two weeks ago.
Abdul Rahin had proposed an international longboat rowing competition and local and traditional games as side events during this year's event, he said.
"It is hard to form an opinion at this time on how additional water sport events could affect the Monsoon Cup but the exco member had a valid point when he said it could generate greater interest from the local people.
"As for the Monsoon Cup competition, the final selection and confirmation will be up to the World Match Racing Tour but there will still be wildcard entries from this country as well as Asia," said Gilmour who was in Australia when contacted.
Event manager T-Best Events Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Wan Hisham Wan Salleh said yesterday he was not in a position to confirm anything as he was uncertain of his position in the company.
He concurred with Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said's statement that the company had incurred losses in organising the event for the past three years.
"We had about five months to prepare for the inaugural event but we managed to reduce the operational deficit in the second and third year.
"Despite the losses, the state government profited from the competition in terms of gross media value, estimated to be in the region of US$70 million (RM235 million)."
On Sunday, Ahmad had said that the Monsoon Cup organiser had not come back with any news after requesting funds of more than RM10 million from the state.