OYSTER BAY, NY (August 14, 2016) – Over four brutally hot days of racing, Christophe Killian (USA) and his team came away victorious at the 2016 Oakcliff International. Eight of the top match racing teams in the world converged at Oakcliff for the first event of the 2016 GRAND SLAM Series.
Three round robin races were completed over the first three days of racing. Dave Perry (USA) led the way with 17 wins and only four losses. He was followed by fellow Oakcliff Board Member, David Storrs (USA) at 14-7, as well as Jeremy Koo (MAS) at 13-8, and Christophe Killian at 12-9. On the final day of round robin racing, Killian’s team elected to retire from their final three races in favor of allowing all competitors to escape the heat and rest up for the final day of racing.
Three international teams were in attendance at the event including Koo who finished second overall, Connor Miller (GBR), and Harry Price (AUS).
The semifinals featured matchups between Koo and Perry, Storrs and Killian. Koo seemed to be dialed in as he ran away with each race sweeping Perry 3-0 to advance to the finals. The matchup between Killian and Storrs was more of a battle, as a prestart penalty on Killian caused him to drop a race to Storrs. Killian seemed to play the shifts just slightly better than his competitor, giving him the slight advantage over Storrs as he advanced to the finals, 3-1.
“We wanted to try to consolidate as often as possible. Once we got our lead we would try to fleet race while keeping the other boat in mind,” said Killian after racing.
The finals, a first to three competition, were very evenly matched as Killian and Koo traded blows back and forth. Eventually it was all tied up at 2-2 and one final race would determine the winner.
“It was pretty stressful,” said Killian, “There was a fair amount of luck involved, but keeping our heads out of the boat allowed us to position ourselves where we wanted more often than [Koo] could.”
Ultimately a slow gybe from Koo allowed Killian to extend his narrow lead downwind and finish just ahead of the trailing Koo. Christophe Killian, along with Howard Meyers, Jack Thompson, Avi Lessman, and Chris Johannessen, would win their second event in two weeks at Oakcliff.
“Everybody was dialed in this weekend, nobody was giving us an inch,” said Killian.
An excellent race committee and umpire team, led by PRO Sharon Bernd and Chief Umpire Bruce Cook, completed a total of thirty-five races in all manner of conditions. Thursday and Friday, race organizers dodged thunderstorms by racing in multiple locations. Saturday and Sunday, shifty but consistent breeze allowed for fluid racing.
This event, sponsored by Ocean Navigator, was the first of three events in the GRAND SLAM Series. Chicago Yacht Club will host the next stop August 18-21.
1 – Christophe Killian (USA)
2 – Jeremy Koo (MAS)
3 – Dave Perry (USA)
4 – David Storrs (USA)
5 – Peter Holz (USA)
6 – Connor Miller (GBR)
7 – Harry Price (AUS)
8 – Alexis Gesualdo (USA)
Full results here.