Williams wins again
The wind reached 30 knots during the round robin and the high calibre international field had to reef the boats for the second day of racing.
Williams (GBR) and Philippe Presti (FRA) fought it out for the top slot in the round robin. However with only one flight of races left to sail Mark Campbell-James (GBR), Eric Monnin (SUI), Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) and Peter Wibroe (DEN) were all within reach of the semi-finals.
Campbell-James comfortably won his last match to secure his place in the semi-finals, while Wibroe was against Monnin in his final match with the winner set to gain the second semi-final place.
It was an intense battle with many penalties but Monnin was the victor.
On the final day of racing, the fifth-sixth place sail-off, the semi-finals and finals were sailed in shifty windy conditions. The semis were a first to three points format in which Williams beat Campbell-James 3:1 and Presti beat Monnin 3:1.
The finals were the first to two points. In the first match the Frenchman Presti was early at the start – a valiant recovery saw him nearly catch up but Williams took the first point. In the second match Presti was again early and Williams took an easy win to secure his place in the Grand Final (7-9 March 2008).
Williams was delighted with his victory but commented on how much colder it was to sail in Great Britain compared to the other match race events he had been to recently!
The Danish team had high praise for the event, suggesting is one of the best on the match race circuit with the race organisation and management being first class and the club’s proximity to the airport making it so easy for overseas competitors to attend.
1-Ian Willliams (GBR), Gerry Mitchell, Simon Shaw, Mark Nicholls
2-Philippe Presti (FRA), Gilles Andre, Julien Falxa, Erwan Israel
3-Mark Campbell-James (GBR), Dave Mason, Andrew Yates, Rob Gullan
4-Eric Monnin (SUI), Marc Monnin, Simon Brugger, Jean-Claude Monnin, Loris van Siebenthal
5-Peter Wibroe (DEN), Jeppe Rasmussen, Phillip Gule, Jonas Huiid-Nielsen
6-Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), Plauchet, Le Bihan, Renault
7-Ali Hall (GBR), Annie Lush, Tudor Owen, Gaz Owen
8-Christian Hamilton (GBR), Charlie Somerset, Dave Cheshire, Kirsty Law, Lauren Martel
9-Andy Green (GBR), Jonathan Taylor, Will Howden, Nat Ives
10-Chris Van Tol (USA), John Van Tol, Mike Hoey, Don Wilson
2007-08 RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series Dates:
Winter Challenge 3 (Grade 3 19 - 20 January
Winter Challenge 4 (Grade 3) 26 - 27 January
Winter Challenge 5 (Grade 2) 8 - 10 February
Women’s Winter Challenge (Grade 2) 22 - 24 February
Winter Challenge Final (Grade 2) 7 - 9 March 2008