Mark C-J comes out on top

At final of the Knickerbocker Cup match racing

Monday August 29th 2005, Author: Andrea Watson, Location: United States
Mark Campbell-James (GBR), with crew Andy Clark, David Mason, and Andrew Yates, has won the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup.

Quarter finals were dispensed with and racing began on Sunday, the fourth and last day of racing, with Matteo Simoncelli (ITA), and his ITway Match Race Team up against Simon Minoprio (NZL) and Campbell-James (GBR) vs. Ian Williams (GBR) in the semi-finals, in a best of three series.

The first match between Campbell-James and Williams was quite close but Campbell-James prevailed and crossed the finish line first. The second match between the Brits had Williams ahead at the first mark, but Campbell-James was able to overtake him, and go on to win, giving them a 2-0 score, and moved the team into the finals. Matteo Simoncelli also moved into the finals with a 2-0 win over Simon Minoprio. In the finals, it was Campbell–James vs. Matteo Simoncelli in a first to three points race to win the Cup. Simoncelli won the first match with the next three points going to Campbell-James. In the last match of the day, Simoncelli needed to win this match and give him another chance against Campbell-James and at the Cup, but when they were behind by at least 10 boat lengths for most of the race, it looks like it was time to pack up and go home. But the Italians woke up, found a good puff of wind and caught the Brits on the last downwind leg, and overtook them.

With spinnakers flying, it looked like another photo finish was in the making. But a win was not to be for the Italians, for when both team had to jibe to make the finish line, Campbell-James jibed inside Simoncelli, took his wind and sailed to victory.

According to Campbell-James, “we just got beat in the first race, but won the start on the next two and lead the whole way. Every time they tacked , we’d tack on them. In the petit-finals, a first to two point series, Ian Williams (GBR) beat Simon Minoprio (NZL) 2-1, with Minopro winning the first match, and Williams coming on strong to take the next two matches.

This was a “big win for us,” said Campbell-James. “Beating the other British team three times when they are ranked 7th in the world is a big deal for us. We always felt we were at least as fast as everyone else. By the time the semi finals and finals came around, we thought we had the best boat handling. When the air was light on Manhasset Bay and all the other teams were waiting for the wind to come in, we were out there practicing and then practicing some more.” Their diligence and hard work paid off, and now this young team from Great Britain, who was ranked 23rd in the world, has won the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup and will have their name engraved on the Cup along with match racing stars like Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Ed Baird and Roy Heiner.

2005 Knickerbocker Cup final results

Mark Campbell-James (GBR) 1
Matteo Simoncelli (ITA) 2
Ian Williams (GBR) 3
Simon Minoprio (NZL) 4
Terry McLaughlin (CAN) 5
Brian Angel (USA) 6
Laurie Jury ((NZL) 7
Scott Dickson (USA) 8
Peter Wibroe (DEN) 9
Martin Angsell (SWE) 10
Jon Singsen (USA) 11
Christian Hamilton (GRA) 12

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