A total of eight top 100 ISAF World Match Racing Ranked sailors will be competing in the ISAF Grade 2 final headed up by world number seven Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) who finished eighth in the 2004 ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Also at the event will be brothers Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR) and Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR), ranked 28 and 32 in the world, who were joint winners at the 2004 RYA National Match Racing Championships. Simon SHAW (GBR) makes up the British contingent.
The home competitors will face tough competition from the international teams present with talented match racer Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), the world number twelve and fifth in the 2004 ISAF Match Racing World Championship, leading the way. Eric MONNIN (SUI), currently ranked number 30 in the world, will also be a force to be reckoned with along with the up and coming Danish sailor Peter WIBROE. Experienced keelboat sailor Mason WOODWORTH (USA) is the final male skipper in the line-up.
Joining the male skippers will be some of the world's top female sailors. Leading the line-up is Claire LEROY (FRA), ranked at number two in the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings. She finished third in the 2004 ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championships and as the convincing winner of last weekend's event, she will certainly give the male teams a run for their money.
Joining Leroy is the 2004 Olympic Yngling bronze medallist Dorte JENSEN (DEN). Jensen may currently be unranked on the ISAF Match Race Rankings but she is by no means venturing into new territory. Jensen is actually a three time ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion (1999, 2000 and 2001) but since embarking on her successful Yngling campaign she took a step back from the match racing circuit, with the result that she slipped out of the ranking list.
The JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge Series Final commences on the 4 March at Queen Mary Sailing Club. Every skipper and crew will compete against each other once in the initial round robin. The aim is to sail the round robin over the first two days of the event, with the event winner being decided on the final day, Sunday, after the semi-finals and finals are sailed.
The Challenge began on the 27 November 2004 and over the winter period seven winter challenge weekends have taken place. The winners from these events all raced to earn themselves a place in the final. Three wild card entries have also be awarded to worthy entries.
The line up for the ISAF Grade Two Final is as follows:
Name - Nationality - ISAF Match Racing Ranking
Ian WILLIAMS(GBR) 7
Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) 12
Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES(GBR) 28
Eric MONNIN(SUI) 30
Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES(GBR) 32
Peter WIBROE(DEN) 35
Mason WOODWORTH(USA) 84
Simon SHAW(GBR) 99
Claire LEROY(FRA) 178 (Women's ranking No. 2)
Dorte JENSEN (DEN) -