The three international teams that will be hoping to give the Brits a run for their money are Staffan LINDBERG representing Finland who is ranked number 12 in the world rankings, Stefan MEISTER (23) and Carsten KEMMLING (41), both representing Germany.
The JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge, in conjunction with the RYA, began on the 27 November 2004 with the first weekend's victory going to Simon SHAW and his crew who beat tough competition from eight other teams including crews from Denmark, Italy and Russia. The second weekend's victory went to Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES and his crew who fought off further competition from British, Swiss, Russian and American teams. Eric MONNIN from Switzerland, who successfully overcame the challenge from Ian WILLIAMS, became the first European finalist by winning the third weekend. The fourth weekend was won by world number seven Ian WILLIAMS who defeated fellow top ten match racer Lars NORDBJERG in what was billed as one of the most exciting line-ups yet. The 2004 Olympic Yngling bronze medallist Dorte JENSEN (DEN) fought off Simon SHAW to become the very first female helm to go through to the Final.
More than 250 sailors from across Europe are expected to compete in at least one of the seven race weekends in the run-up to the Final on 4 - 6 March 2005. The weekends are aimed at giving sailing enthusiasts the opportunity to receive coaching and training during the winter period as well as providing world-class competition on home soil.
The line up for the weekend is as follows: Name/Nationality/ISAF Ranking
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) 7
Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) 12
Stefan MEISTER (GER) 23
Mark CAMPBELL JAMES (GBR) 28
Carsten KEMMLING (GER) 41
Christian HAMILTON (GBR) 47
Simon SHAW (GBR) 99
Ali HALL (GBR) 110
Ian BUDGEN (GBR) 322
The next JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge is the women-only weekend on 26/27 February 2005 at Queen Mary Sailing Club, Sunbury.