Graham and Julia Bailey and team representing Allen & Overy LLP (A & Eau) clinch title for second time 1/10/07

Graham and Julia Bailey and team representing Law firm Allen & Overy LLP (A & Eau) won the BMW City Challenge sailing trophy for the second time in a row at London’s Docklands on Saturday.

The defending champions including Kevin Young, Dylan Potter and former employee, Kirstin Gilbert managed to hold of some extremely strong competition clinching the title from second placed Nils Razmilovic and his all-star Etchells championship-winning team representing NIR Capital. In third place was JP Morgan Asset Management with Mark Campbell-James at the helm.

This year’s BMW City Challenge series began in May, and saw 32 teams compete in four heats throughout the summer on London’s Royal Victoria Dock using Berkeley Marine’s fleet of Beneteau First Class 8s. The event was jointly organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Berkeley Marine and hosted by BMW.

Winners of the four heats qualified automatically for the final, while the six next best finishers competed for the remaining four places in the semi-finals, which also took place on Saturday, in the morning prior to the final.

Staged in the waters of Royal Victoria Dock, against the striking city backdrop, the weather conditions held out and provided sufficient breeze (just) to complete four of the scheduled five races. Despite an impressive challenge from NIR Capital, who won two races outright, it was the consistent teamwork of the A & Eau crew that prevailed, securing top three finishes in the first three races. Despite also tying for second on 13 points, ‘The Wrecking Crew (Accenture) had to settle for fourth place after narrowly missing out on the prizes in the count back.

In fifth place overall were IPC Team IPC Marine Media (comprising Mike Shepherd, Tom Stevens, Sue Pelling and Simon Osgood) who sailed a consistent series and managed to beat the Royal Thames YC by six points.

Commenting on her overall win Julia Bailey from Allen & Overy LLP Partner commented: “We can’t quite believe it, it was a really tight regatta and the competition was definitely stronger than last year. The final race saw lots of place changes with us even lying last at one point, so we were absolutely delighted to discover we’d won. The series has offered a great opportunity to sail regularly throughout the summer. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be back next year to defend our title again.”

Along with the trophy, the crew will each enjoy a unique BMW driving experience around the famous Nürburgring race-circuit in Germany.

The winning teams will be presented with their trophies at the official BMW City Challenge prizegiving which will take place at The Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge on October 15.

Overall Results
1st A&Eau (Allen & Overy) 11 pts
2nd NIR Capital 13pts
3rd JP Morgan Asset Management 13pts
4th The Wrecking Crew 13pts
5th IPC Media 17pts
6th Royal Thames YC 23pts
7th Clifford Chance 26pts
8th Ernst & Young 28pts