A year match racing pays
This weekend international representatives from Germany, Switzerland, France and Slovenia joined British teams to match race in the RYA’s J/80 fleet. A bitterly cold, brisk wind blew on Saturday and resulted in some close racing during the round robin stages. The most exciting incident was Simon Shaw’s attempt to unwind a penalty on the final downwind leg in one of his matches.
By the end of the first day three teams dominate the leaderboard - these were Mark Campbell-James’s team of Dave Mason, Andrew Yates and Andy Clark (winners of the previous qualifier); Andrew Cornah’s team of Andrew Bryson, Guy Brearey, Rob Millar and James Roche, and Ian Williams’ team of Mark Nicholls, Hugh Styles and Ben Field. They all had no losses but they had yet to sail each other.
Sunday was cold again but the breeze had dropped. The closest match of the weekend was that between Eric Monnin (SUI) and Mark Campbell-James with the victory going to the Brit by the tiniest of margins. Williams suffered a loss against Pierre Antoine Morvan of France which gave the Frenchman enough points to reach the semi-final alongside Williams, Campbell-James and Cornah.
The semi-finals were the best of three races. Williams won his semi-final comfortably against Morvan, despite having to unwind a penalty in the first race. Cornah looked to be losing the second race of his semi-final against Campbell-James, when he found a handy puff on the final leg to also secure his place in the final .
The final went to two races with Williams winning both, though Cornah gave a good fight and lead for a while in the second race. Both gain invites to the JPMorgan Asset Management Challenge Final (10-12 March 2006) along with Campbell-James and Ian Percy who secured their places in an earlier qualifier.
The next qualifying weekend is on 14-15 January.
1. Ian Williams, Mark Nicholls, Hugh Styles, Ben Field
2. Andrew Cornah, Andrew Bryson, Guy Brearey, Rob Millar, James Roche
3. Mark Campbell-James, Dave Mason, Andrew Yates and Andy Clark
4. Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA)
5. Eric Monnin (SUI)
6. Andrew Willim (GER)
7. Jury Orel (SLO)
8. Simon Shaw
9. Alistair Hall