The British challenge was headed up by Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES, current world #25, Southampton's Nick CHERRY, the current British National Champion, Andrew CORNAH from West Kirby alongside lesser known names in match racing terms Jon PINNER and Alistair HALL.
Sailing in the RYA's fleet of J/80s in the unusually mild temperatures that have been characteristic of this winter so far, CAMPBELL-JAMES dominated the round robin losing only one match. The new boys HALL and PINNER showed great grit and promise finishing second and third in the round robin respectively. STANCZYK from Poland and CHERRY were tied at this stage but the Polish team took the fourth semi-final place on the tiebreak.
CAMPBELL-JAMES sailing with his team of Dave MASON, Andrew YATES and Andy CLARK were tested by the Polish team in the semi-finals, but eventually booked their place in the final beating them by 2-1. HALL and PINNER fought hard for the other final slot which went to PINNER sailing with his brother Matthew, Bethan CARDEN, Ian DOBSON and Rachel WIGMORE - HALL getting caught by a premature start in the deciding match.
With the wind increasing slightly for the final, CAMPBELL-JAMES dominated proceedings, securing his team's place in the ISAF Grade 2 JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Final in March. PINNER won the 3rd-4th sail off and CHERRY the 5th-6th sail off.
CAMPBELL-JAMES said, 'I am delighted to get through to the Grand Final. I would like to thank JPMorgan Asset Management for their support of this event and I hope they continue their sponsorship in future years.'
There are two more qualifiers left in the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge before the women's final and the grand final. The final qualifier, an ISAF Grade 2 event, has attracted many stars from the World Match Racing Tour with all skippers in the top 50 of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, including the world #2 and #3. The Women's final has also attracted skippers from the top 30 in Women's Rankings.
1. Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR)
2. Jonathon PINNER (GBR)
3. Alistair HALL (GBR)
4. Marek STANCZYK (POL)
5. Nick CHERRY (GBR)
6. Andrew CORNAH (GBR)
7. Vincent BIARNES (FRA)
8. Carsten KEMMLING (GER)
9. Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN)
The series continues on the following dates:
Winter Challenge Five: 27-28 January 2007, ISAF Grade 3
Winter Challenge Six: 9-11 February 2007, ISAF Grade 2
Women's Winter Challenge: 23-25 February 2007, ISAF Grade 2
Winter Challenge Final: 9-11 March 2007, ISAF Grade 2