The European teams will consist of Lars NORDBJERG from Denmark, world number nine, and winner of the 2004 Nordic Championship and the Danish up and coming young sailor, Peter WIBROE, who is number 35 in rankings.
Also competing is British helm Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES who has already qualified for the Final in March following his team's win on the second weekend. Fellow Brits Ian BUDGEN and Richard SYDENHAM, members of the former GBR Challenge Americas Cup team, will also be competing on their return to British match racing. Nick CHERRY, just off to compete in the World Youth Match Racing in New Zealand, and John GREENLAND, who won last weeks Match Racing Development Squad Weekend, complete the British teams.
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 defended against Ian WILLIAMS too well, became the first European Finalist by winning the third JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge weekend.
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 5/6 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:
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) - 7
Lars NORDBJERG (DEN) - 9
Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR) - 28
Peter WIBROE (DEN) - 35
Nick CHERRY (GBR) - 61
Ian BUDGEN (GBR) - 322
John GREENLAND (GBR) - 333
Richard SYDENHAM (GBR) - 1138
Final team TBC