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30 August 2005, 12:59 pm
CAMPBELL-JAMES Wins In Port Washington
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Knickerbocker Cup 2005
Port Washington, New York, USA

Britain's Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES, with crew Andy CLARK, David MASON, and Andrew YATES, won the ISAF Grade 2 Knickerbocker Cup in Port Washington, New York, USA to take his first ISAF Graded event victory of the year.
The quarter finals were dispensed with and the final day of racing began yesterday with Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA) and the ITway Match Race Team up against Simon MINOPRIO (NZL) and CAMPBELL-JAMES versus Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) in the semi finals, in a best of three series. The first match between CAMPBELL-JAMES and WILLIAMS was close but CAMPBELL-JAMES prevailed and crossed the finish line first. The second match between the Brits had WILLIAMS ahead at the first mark, but CAMPBELL-JAMES was able to overtake him, and go on to win, giving them a 2-0 score, and moved the team into the finals.

SIMONCELLI also moved into the finals with a 2-0 win over MINOPRIO. In the final CAMPBELL-JAMES faced off against SIMONCELLI in a first to three points battle to win the Cup. SIMONCELLI won the first match with the next three points going to CAMPBELL-JAMES. In the last match of the day, SIMONCELLI needed to win this match and give him another chance against the Brit and at the Cup, but when they were behind by at least ten boat lengths for most of the race, it looks like it was time to pack up and go home. But the Italians woke up, found a good puff of wind and caught the Brits on the last downwind leg, and overtook them. With spinnakers flying, it looked like another photo finish was in the making. However a win was not to be for the Italians, for when both team had to jibe to make the finish line, CAMPBELL-JAMES jibed inside SIMONCELLI, took his wind and sailed to victory. According to CAMPBELL-JAMES, 'we just got beat in the first race, but won the start on the next two and lead the whole way. Every time they tacked, we'd tack on them.'

In the petit final, a first to two point series, WILLIAMS beat MINOPRIO 2-1, with MINOPRIO winning the first match, and WILLIAMS coming on strong to take the next two matches.

This was a 'big win for us,' said CAMPBELL-JAMES. 'Beating the other British team three times when they are ranked seventh in the World is a big deal for us. We always felt we were at least as fast as everyone else. By the time the semi finals and finals came around, we thought we had the best boat handling. When the air was light on Manhasset Bay and all the other teams were waiting for the wind to come in, we were out there practicing and then practicing some more.'

Their diligence and hard work paid off, and now the young team from Great Britain, who are currently ranked 21st in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, have won the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup and will have their name engraved on the Cup along with match racing stars like Paul CAYARD (USA), Russell COUTTS (NZL), Peter GILMOUR (AUS), Ed BAIRD (USA) and Roy HEINER (NED).

Knickerbocker Cup Final Standings

6. Brian ANGEL (USA)
7. Laurie JURY (NZL)
8. Scott DICKSON (USA)
9. Peter WIBROE (DEN)
10. Martin ANGSELL (SWE)
12. Christian HAMILTON (GBR)

Andrea Watson (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES tacks inside Matteo SIMONCELLI to regain the lead and the Brit sailed on to victory in the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup:© Event Media
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