Mixed fortunes for British champions in China

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The Independent Online

Two British champions were at the bookends of the 11-boat fleet contesting the second Extreme Sailing Series of the season in Qingdao, China.

Top of the heap was Paul Campbell-James defending his 2010 crown in the 40-foot catamaran class, but now with the Prada-backed Luna Rossa team from Italy.

Still struggling to achieve lift-off was the twice former world match racing champion, Ian Williams, who skippers a double-headed attack with his GAC-Pindar crew.

Williams recently won the Congressional Cup match race grand prix in Los Angeles, but he launches his bid for a third championship win on the World Match Racing Tour when it opens for business in Marseille next month.

Luna Rossa’s win was not sure until the final races, when they held off a strong performance by the Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker. The former America’s Cup holder which took away the America’s Cup from ENZ and then defended it successfully in Valencia, Switzerland’s Alinghi, could only manage fifth.

And Sweden’s Artemis team, going full steam for the next America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013, skippered in China by Santiago Lange, now part of Juan Kouyoumdjian’s yacht design team, was one place further back in sixth.