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Brits win 2005 Knickerbocker Cup

British sailor Mark Campbell-James, with crew Andy Clark, David Mason, and Andrew Yates, won the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup in Port Washington, N.Y., in late August.

On the fourth and last day of racing, Italian Matteo Simoncelli’s Match Race Team was up against Simon Minoprio of New Zealand; and Campbell-James against fellow Brit Ian Williams in the semi-finals, in a best of three series.

The first match between Campbell-James and Williams was close, but Campbell-James prevailed. 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.

Simoncelli also moved into the finals with a 2-0 win over Minoprio. In the finals, it was Campbell–James against 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 to give him another chance at the Cup, and despite being behind by 10 boat lengths most of the race, the Italians found a good puff of wind and overtook the Brits on the last downwind leg. 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.

This was a “big win for us,” said Campbell-James.“Beating the other British team three times when they are ranked seventh in the world is a big deal for us,” he said, then noted his team’s diligence. “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.”

Now the young team from Great Britain, ranked 23rd in the world, has won the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup and will have their names engraved on the Cup along with match-racing stars like Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Ed Baird and Roy Heiner.

Round-the-world race will stop in NYC

New York City sports commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba announced the city would host the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race during its port visit in May 2006.

The international sporting event began on Sept. 18, in Liverpool, England, and returns after 10 months of intense bluewater competition. Some 200 international sailors — a mix of amateurs and professionals — competing in the world’s longest race will visit New York in late May 2006 as part of the final leg of their 35,000-mile competition.

“New York City is the business capital of the world, and to provide New York Clipper with a fighting chance we invite corporate sponsors to use this unique opportunity to billboard their business around the globe,” said Robin Knox-Johnston, chairman of Clipper Ventures and the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world.

Clipper 05-06, the fifth running of the company’s flagship event, will be divided into seven individual crew legs as the 10 identically matched 68-foot yachts contend for the coveted Clipper Cup. Jonathan Bailey, 38, will skipper the New York Clipper from the United Kingdom, and selected berths will be available for sailors interested in racing on various legs of the race.

The fleet’s nine-day stopover at Liberty Landing Marina after racing from the Caribbean will be a popular decision among the amateur crews. Those interested in becoming a crewmember should visit www.clipper-ventures.com .

Rye sailor crowned at Junior Championships

After three days of hard-fought competition, US Sailing crowned the nation’s junior sailing champions in single-, double- and triplehanded events of 2005. The winners have been named to the U.S. Youth Sailing Team.

This year’s U.S. Junior Singlehanded Champion is Cameron Cullman of Rye, N.Y., representing the American Yacht Club. The U.S. Junior Doublehanded Champions are Cole Hatton and Blair Belling, both from Newport Harbor, Calif., representing Newport Harbor Yacht Club. The U.S. Junior Triplehanded Champions are Ted Hale, Evan Aras, and Joe Morris from the Annapolis Yacht Club, Md.

New Yorkers win U.S. Youth Multihulls

Race organizers and competitors of the U.S. Youth Multihull Championship in Panama City, Fla. rushed to complete the regatta before Hurricane Katrina arrived, fitting in as many races as possible on Aug. 26 and Aug. 27.

For Michael Siau of Manlius, N.Y., and Sam Ingham of Rochester, N.Y., it wasn’t as much of a tight squeeze: the two came out with a bang on the first day, winning all six races. With those results, the team had practically secured the championship and the battle went on for second and third place.

After four additional races on Saturday, local sailors Evan Miller of Panama City, Fla., and Kyler Hast of Lynn Haven, Fla., took second overall, with Cameron Biehl of San Diego, and Pike Harris of Coronado, Calif., finishing third.

U.S. sailors win gold, silver at World Games

Andrew Campbell of San Diego, and Anna Tunnicliffe of Norfolk, Va., sailed in with the gold and silver medals respectively on the final day of the sailing competition at the 2005 Summer World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.

A second-place finish in Race 11 and a sixth in Race 12 pushed Campbell, a Laser sailor from Georgetown University, past home country favorite Turkey’s Kemal Mutlubas for the gold medal.

Tunnicliffe, a Laser Radial sailor from Old Dominion University, who entered the day in second place needing to finish ahead of Poland’s Katarzyna Szotynska was unable to do so, finishing eighth and fourth to Szotynska’s sixth and first.

“I’m pretty excited about how the overall event went,” said Tunnicliffe. “It is a good step forward going toward the Olympics [Beijing in 2008].”

In her first international competition, Jenny Gervais of Charleston, S.C., and St. Mary’s College of Maryland finished in 15th place. On her World University Games experience Gervais commented, “It was a very good experience. It was an eye-opener for sure, but I had a good time and I learned a lot. I know what to expect next time around. It is awesome to be here in something set up like the Olympics. It really gives me something to work for.”

Taugher battles light winds for Singlehanded

Kevin Taugher was comfortable with a big lead before the last two races of the 2005 U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the George O’Day Trophy in Long Beach, Calif., but he’s been sailing long enough to know that no lead is too big to lose.

Confronted by the lightest winds of the three-day regatta and a fleet of Sunday boat drivers crossing the Laser racecourse close to shore off Seal Beach, Taugher admitted, “I was a little worried. It was very light, and with the powerboats going through it was also very choppy” — conditions that favored lighter and luckier competitors.

But even with two fifth-places — his worst finishes in nine races — by day’s end his agony had turned to the ecstasy of his first national championship. Runner-up Reed Johnson, 19, of Toms River, N.J., cut Taugher’s 18-point lead to a final 13 with a fourth and a first. Taugher, 33, of Huntington Beach, is a member of the host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

Thomas Barrows, 17, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, was the first-day leader and recaptured his form in more favorable conditions with a pair of seconds to finish third overall.