Germany’s Carsten Kemmling secured the first place in the prestigious RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series Final in March skippering his crew to Challenge Series 1 victory at Queen Mary Sailing Club over the weekend (24-25 November).
Alongside five British teams, match racers from Turkey, Holland, Germany and Italy competed in the RYA’s fleet of J80’s at Queen Mary in the Grade 3 event.
Sailing in a variable breeze of around 10 to 15 knots, Mark Campbell-James (GBR) with his usual team of Dave Mason, Andrew Yates and Andy Clark dominated the round robin without losing a race.
The rest of the round robin was hotly-contested with semi final places undecided until Nick Cherry had completed a re-sail against the Dutchman Jelle Roos, following an incident in the final moments of the last match of Saturday.
Joining Campbell-James in the semi finals were Cherry (GBR) (second in the round robin), Kemmling (GER) (third) and Ed Hill (GBR) (fourth), leaving Simon Ferrarese (ITA) and Jon Pinner (GBR) to contest for fifth and sixth place.
Both semi-finals were over after two flights - Campbell-James cruised through his while Kemmling unwound a penalty at the finish of his second match with only a few inches to spare to secure the other place in the final.
The final was close but again was over after two flights.
Kemmling won the first match in which there was a fierce tacking duel of 14 tacks as Campbell-James tried to pass.
In the second match having been penalized at the leeward mark first time round Campbell-James had to unwind it on the final leg. However Kemmling held his nerve under extreme pressure, winning by a short margin and gaining a German victory.
Kemmling said 'The standard at these events is very high and we are delighted to reach the final. Queen Mary is an ideal venue for us to come to for a weekend' RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series 1 Results:
1. Carsten Kemmling (GER), Georg Hecht, Urs Wihlfahrt, Christoph Wahling
2. Mark Campbell-James (GBR), Dave Mason, Andrew Yates, Andy Clark
3. Nick Cherry (GBR), Matt Adams, Sam Richmond, Gaz Owen
4. Ed Hill (GBR), Christian Hamilton, Charlie Somerset, Kirsty Law, Lauren Martel
5. Jon Pinner (GBR), Tom Heywood, Adam Richards, Matt Pinner
6. Simon Ferrarese (ITA), Arborea Claudio, Giuseppe Filippis, Tom Dawson
7. Jelle Roos (NED), Frans Hin, Chicl de Leeaw, Marc Bocmans
8. Orkun Soyer (TUR), Onursal Soyer, Conor Byrne, Ismail Inan
9. David Tabb (GBR), Ben Scroggie, Robert Kemp, Jason Foster
Round two of the Series takes place at Queen Mary on 7 - 9 December. 2007-08 RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series Dates:
Winter Challenge 1 (Grade 3) 24 - 25 November
Winter Challenge 2 (Grade 2) 7 - 9 December
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