WILLIAMS will go head-to-head with long-time rival RICHARD, who has a World Ranking of #3, one behind WILLIAMS and is second seed at this event. WILLIAMS and RICHARD have begun an epic battle on the international match racing circuit, coming up against each other several times in the past year and will continue to fight it out at the Winter Challenge event.
With the score 2-1 in WILLIAMS favour - WILLIAMS beat Richard in the final of the Bermuda-based ISAF Grade WC King Edward II Gold Cup, RICHARD beat WILLIAMS in the semi-final of the ISAF Grade WC Monsoon Cup, Malaysia and WILLIAMS beat RICHARD again at the semi-final of the ISAF Grade 1 Auckland Match Racing Cup - RICHARD will be pulling out all the stops to even the score.
Other Strong Contenders
Strong contenders this weekend will also include Briton and finalist, Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES. Also in contention and hoping to secure the two remaining places in the final is world #10 Staffan LINDBERG (FIN). Another potential finalist includes Peter WIBROE (DEN), who has shown consistent top five finishes throughout the circuit this year.
The remaining international field includes, Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), eighth in last year's final, Rasmus VILTOFT (DEN), Jure OREL (SLO), Eric MONNIN (SUI) and British sailor Christian HAMILTON, looking to make his mark this weekend after losing out in the earlier rounds of this series.
With four Britons, WILLIAMS, Andy GREEN, CAMPBELL-JAMES and John GREENLAND, already booked in for the final, it should be a strong weekend of racing as the remaining European contingent aims to secure the last two spots in the final.
The series continues on the following dates:
Women's Winter Challenge: 23-25 February 2007, ISAF Grade 2
Winter Challenge Final: 9-11 March 2007, ISAF Grade 2