The Challenge took place in the Royal Yachting Association's fleet of J80s at Queen Mary Sailing Club in Sunbury, with a total of nine teams taking part, including international teams from Denmark and Germany.
The round robin stage of the competition started on Saturday in light winds, with very mixed results with lower ranked sailors beating those ranked above them. The drama of the day saw Ian SOUTHWORTH (GBR) collide with Olympic medallist Jensen at the windward mark. Jensen received a penalty and as a result Southworth won the race. Jensen had been involved in a number of incidents throughout the day, but the race against Southworth resulted in her only loss, and therefore gave her seven wins out of eight to win the round robin.
At the end of the round robin racing on Saturday, four boats were tied on four wins and four losses, therefore following a count back, Shaw and Southworth went through to the semi-finals.
The wind on Sunday was very light and there was only just enough to start racing, but by late morning the wind improved. Andrew CORNAH showing the greatest transformation returned with a renewed determination to win all of his remaining three races in the round robin, taking him to second place overall.
The first of the semi-finals saw Jensen take on Southworth and win two races to go through to the final. Cornah took on Shaw in the second semi-final, but at one race apiece, could not quite break past the winner of the first weekend, Shaw went through to the final winning the third race by less than a quarter of a boat length. Having only reached the semi-finals due to a count back on Saturday, Shaw was lucky that he was on better form for Sunday's racing.
The fifth and sixth place sail-off was a battle between Jan Eike ANDRESON (GER) and Mark LEES (GBR), with Lees winning the third race to win 2-1 and take fifth position.
The overall final between Jensen and Shaw saw an exciting first race with Shaw leading as they crossed on the beat, but Jensen raced harder and faster to overtake Shaw. Jensen went on to win the second race comfortably to become the winner of the fifth weekend, and first female helm through to the JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge Series Final in March.
The petit-final for third and fourth place, was a battle between Southworth and Cornah. The first race was won by Cornah, and with Southworth failing to enter properly and receiving a penalty in the second race, Cornah never looked back and took the well-deserved third place in the weekend.
Winning helm, Dorte JENSEN, was pleased to be in the final: 'We had an excellent crew and good boat speed. The whole weekend has been really good for us. It's a great thing to have an event in the wintertime because usually we are not able to actually take part in match racing - just training. We're really looking forward to coming to the final.'
The JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge began on 27/28 November 2004 in conjunction with the Royal Yachting Association, and will continue through to the Final on 5/6 March 2005. The race weekends are held at the Queen Mary Sailing Club, Sunbury. More than 250 sailors from across Europe are expected to enter into one of the seven JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge race weekends, in the lead up to the Final in March.
1, Dorte JENSEN, Niels GRAMKOV, Henning LAMRENSEN, Jan Eli Andersen - DEN
2, Simon SHAW, Nick WILCOX, Ashley CURTIS, Duncan MACDONALD - GBR
3, Andrew CORNAH, Dave CHESHIRE, Sam CARTER, Hamish WALKER, Orwin MURRAY - GBR