Top line-up expected at this weekend's JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge

Two teams from the top ten of the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings add to one of the most exciting line-ups yet in the fourth weekend of the JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge on 29-30 January. The teams, headed up by number seven world ranked sailor Ian Williams (GBR), who was runner-up in the third weekend, will return to hopefully book his place in the final on the 5-6 March.

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 helmsman Mark Campbell-James who has already qualified for the final in March following his team’s win on the second weekend. Fellow British sailors 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 week’s 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

Name/Nationality/ISAF Ranking

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