Briton Andy Green wins JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Series Final 13/3/07

The grand final of the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Match Racing Series this weekend saw the British teams dominate proceedings at Queen Mary Sailing Club with Andy Green(pictured with trophy)taking victory.

The round robin on Friday and Saturday saw close racing, and some upsets as the teams battled hard to secure a place in the semi-final.

An international field including the only women’s team led by France’s Claire Leroy, lined up against a strong Scandinavian presence consisting of Finland’s Jon Eriksson, world number ten Staffan Lindberg and Sweden’s world number eight Bjorn Hansen, as well five British teams and an entry from Switzerland.

The biggest upset of the weekend came during the final round robin match. The pre event favourites, last year’s winner and European Champion Staffan Lindberg (FIN) and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) were tied and went into a deciding knock out race. Hansen took the win, securing his place in the semi-final. Eric Monnin (SUI), and Britain’s Mark Campbell James and Andy Green progressed with ease to the semis, each losing just two races.

The final on Sunday saw excellent racing conditions with a southerly 15-knot breeze allowing for some fast and close match racing. Andy Green dominated his semi-final races against Eric Monnin (SUI), taking three straight wins.

In contrast, the second semi-final was not as straightforward – Mark Campbell James sailed very aggressively, pushing Hansen into several penalty situations. On the final run of the second race, Campbell James forced Hansen to tack away whilst he was offloading a penalty, a move that Campbell James was penalised for and had half a point deducted from his score line. This forced another two races to decide which of the teams made it through to the final. The final two races were equally hard fought, including a tacking duel consisting of over 30 tacks. Campbell James came through to secure the win he needed to book his place in the final.

The final was an intense competition between Green and Campbell James, each battling hard for supremacy. Campbell James, sailing with Andy Yates, Andy Clark and Dave Mason, took the first race, with Green’s team of Mark Williams, Jonathan Taylor and Graham Sunderland pulling the lead back in the final run to secure the next.

The final tiebreaker was close, the boats were neck and neck until Green rounded the last mark just ahead of Campbell James, an excellent hoist saw the team accelerate away and take the victory and the overall title.

Overall Results
1 – Andy Green (GBR) 425, Jonathon Taylor, Graham Sunderland, Mark Williams

2 – Mark Campbell James (GBR) 26, Andy Yates, Andy Green, Dave Mason

3 – Eric Monnin (SUI) 18, Loris Von Siebenthal, Marc Monnin, Jean Claude Monnin, Simon Brugger

4 – Bjorn Hansen (SWE) 8, Mathias Hermansson, Pontus Meijer, Mattias Bredin

5 – Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 10, Daniel Walberg, Magnus Hansson, Carl Johan Uckelstam

6 – Jon Pinner (GBR) 178, Christian Hamilton, Tom Haywood, Jeremy Fowke

7 – Nick Cherry (GBR) 52, Nick Houchin, Tom Odell, Connor Myant

8 – John Greeland (GBR) 117, Tim Burnel, Charlie Cumberly, Nick Butt

9 – Jon Eriksson (FIN) 63, Pasi Palmu, Jan Marrsson, Peter Anton

10 – Claire Leroy (FRA) 193, Opheile Thoron, Elodie Bertrand, Morgane Gautier, Marie Riou