Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team to Race RORC Transatlantic


Oyster Bay NY - The Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team is pleased today, to confirm their entry in the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race. The team will start their training in less than a week sailing the newly donated Class 40 Bodacious Dream from Southampton England to Lanzarote in the Spanish Canary Islands.

The RORC Transatlantic Race starts in Lanzarote November 29, off the coast of Africa and finishes 2700nm later at the Caribbean island of Grenada. With an impressive fleet of boats the race will be an intense proving ground for the team.

The ability to compete in this race marks an incredible opportunity for the Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team, which was formed almost 12 months ago by Oakcliff Grads, Dan Flanigan (23) and Hobie Ponting (23). The goal for the team has always been to sail the 2015 NYYC/RORC Transatlantic Race starting in Newport, RI with the finish in Lizard Point, UK.

The 6600 miles that will be sailed in the coming months aboard this Class 40 will give the core team a huge bucket of experience to pull from going forward. The generosity of Bodacious Dream LLC has made this possible.

The boat has an excellent pedigree, placing 2nd in 2012 Atlantic Cup and 1st in 2013. She also safely carried Dave Rearick around the world in a 2013-2014 solo voyage. Dave’s story is featured in the current Sailing Magazine.

“We have worked hard over the past 12 months to make our Ocean Racing Team a reality,” explained navigator Hobie Ponting. “Building your own team is difficult and it often seemed like it would never happen. And then all of the sudden we have a boat and a program and we are headed to Europe!”

The team of Oakcliff Grads, Dan Flanigan, Chris Kennedy (26), Andrew “OD” O’Donnell (27), and Hobie Ponting will be departing for England at the beginning of November where they will meet with the crew of Bodacious Dream to get a walk through of the boat before the handover.

After completing the race the team will go into full fundraising mode as they set their sights on the west to east transatlantic.

We are grateful for our current sponsors

Power Specialist Associates
Expedition Marine

Follow the team on Facebook www.facebook.com/oakcliffoceanracingteam


Dan Flanigan, 23, is from Tiverton, Rhode Island where he grew up sailing dinghies on Narraganset bay. Dan’s passion for engineering lead him to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering. After Bucknell he was accepted into The University of Southampton’s Yacht and Small Craft Design program where he earned his masters degree. While in University Dan found time to win IRC Nationals, Block Island Race Week, and secure the Around Jamestown Record (in an F18). Other notable results include the 2013 Marblehead to Halifax, Farr 40 World Championship, Garmin Hamble Winter Series, and Student Yachting Nationals.


Hobie Ponting, 23, grew up sailing catamarans in southeastern Wisconsin. After spending years in cats, he moved to big boat sailing out of South Shore Yacht Club on the shores of Lake Michigan. He was inspired by his mentors including Tim Kent and the day he graduated from college he packed his car and moved to the east coast to pursue professional sailing at Oakcliff. He has not looked back. Currently, Hobie is focused on offshore sailing, serving as a navigator and boat captain on boats in the 40-50 foot range. He has competed in notable races including Around Block Island, Marblehead Halifax, Ida Lewis Distance Race, and Newport Bermuda.

Chris Kennedy

Chris Kennedy, 26, is an aerospace engineer who first got his taste for sailing on scows and Melges 24’s in Wisconsin. After a successful college sailing career with the University of Virginia, Chris has been busy since joining Oakcliff Sailing in 2012. He has been competitive in many events such as Melges 24 Nationals, F18 Worlds, and was a C-Scow World Champion in 2011. A member of Riptide Racing, the #1 ranked team in the U.S., Chris has been match racing at the highest level, competing in the 2014 Congressional Cup along with two stints at the Bermuda Gold Cup. He has also raced offshore in the Newport Bermuda Race and the Chicago-Mac Race. Chris now looks forward to adding significant offshore mileage to his resume with the Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team in its debut transatlantic crossing in November 2014.


Andrew “OD” O’Donnell, 27. You might think growing up on a horse farm in upstate NY wouldn’t have anything to do with racing 12 Meters in Newport, RI but Andrew O’Donnell would tell you otherwise. People call him OD but it is his grit, brawn, and determination from his farm days that led him through two seemingly different worlds. OD is currently the Boat Captain and Program Manager for Temptation Oakcliff’s Ker 50. OD has had much success with Temptation taking her to impressive results in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race, 2014 NYYC Annual Cruise and the 2014 NYYC Annual Regatta among others.

Morvan Wins 2014 Oakcliff International and U.S. Grand Slam Series


Team Morvan celebrates their win of the 2014 U.S.  Grand Slam Series

Team Morvan celebrates their win of the 2014 U.S. Grand Slam Series

OYSTER BAY, NY (09.06.14) – In the dying afternoon breeze Pierre-Antoine Morvan crossed the finish line for the third time ahead of Chris Steele to take the event.


Morvan and team exchanged hugs and high fives as they celebrated their victory. “I am really happy with my team’s performance,” said Morvan with a huge grin across his face. “I am very thankful for my team and their support. They are a major part of my success.”


As a result Steele and 36 Below Racing clinched second in the event and second overall in the Series.


The U.S. Grand Slam Series saw Morvan on the podium at every stop and 2 event victories along the way.


Petit finals had Christopher Poole (Riptide Racing) and Eric Monnin go head to head battling for third place. Ultimately it was Monnin who was able to capitalize on the shifty conditions and take the victory securing third in the event and the U.S. Grand Slam Series.


2014 Oakcliff International Results:


1. Pierre-Antoine Morvan

2. Chris Steele

3. Eric Monnin

4. Christopher Poole

5. Dave Perry

6. Sam Gilmour

7. Charlie Lalumiere

8. David Storres

9. Maxi Soh

10. Mark Lees

11. David Niemann

12. Dustin Durant


2014 U.S. Grand Slam Series Results

  1. Pierre-Antoine Morvan
  2. Chris Steele
  3. Eric Monnin
  4. Christopher Poole
  5. Sam Gilmour
  6. Maximilian Soh
  7. David Storrs
  8. Taylor Canfield
  9. Johnie Berntsson
  10. Matt Graham
  11. Wataru Sakamoto
  12. Dustin Durant
  13. Dave Perry
  14. Ian Hollerbach
  15. Nathan Hollerbach
  16. Mark Lees
  17. Charlie Lalumiere
  18. Donald Wilson
  19. Chris VanTol
  20. David Niemann
  21. Peter Holz
  22. Steven Lowery
  23. Shane Diviney


High Stakes, High Hopes: Culmination of U.S. Grand Slam Series Tomorrow at Oakcliff

2014 International: Poole

OYSTER BAY, NY (09.06.14) – Aggressive boat handling and high stakes sailing put pressure on the umpire team today as they were pressed to make the correct calls.


Quarterfinals saw Dave Perry eliminated when the team fell out of sync after a call didn’t go their way. The winner the match, Eric Monnin, then went to semi finals.


Chris Steele progressed through quarters defeating Charlie Lalumiere after an exciting series of races with Lalumiere putting up a strong fight. “The team really rallied together after one loss to Lalumiere in the quarterfinals,” said Chris Steele of 36 Below Racing. Chris Poole and Pierre-Antoine Morvan also advanced to semi finals.


Semi-finals got underway with round robin winner Poole taking on this years pre determined winner of the Grand Slam Series Morvan. Poole and Morvan traded blows with Morvan coming out 2-1 in a first to three concluding tomorrow.


Thunderstorms brought the penultimate day of racing to an early close but with tomorrows forecast light and shifty the teams will be tested. The ability to change gears and stay focused will the key to success on the final day of racing.


Oakcliff International
(09.05.14) – With the round robin completed, Riptide Racing (Poole) distinguished themselves from the rest of the fleet with a 10-1 record.


“Throughout the round robin, our team had spectacular onboard communication,” said Christopher Poole, the winner of the round robin. “We were able to keep sailing strong in each match.”


After winning last year’s round robin and a disappointing finish in quarterfinals, Poole is looking to redeem himself this year with his newfound calm demeanor.


In addition to Poole, Steele, Perry, and Monnin have auto advanced to the quarterfinals by placing in the top four during the round robin.


Immediately after the round robin, the repecharge was sailed with the bottom eight teams. Morvan, Storrs, Gilmour, and Lalumiere advanced through to the quarterfinals.


Day two turned out to be an exciting day with four teams hooking the committee boat and numerous lead changes all around the course. As the teams moved into the repecharge round, the intensity increased with teams pushing closer and closer to the limits.


“As we enter the quarterfinals tomorrow, I hope the team will continue to sail at the level we have been sailing at during this event,” said Poole.


Day three of the event will start with the Quarterfinal Knock-outs at 10 a.m.


Teams Advancing to the Quarterfinals:


Christopher Poole

Chris Steele

Dave Perry

Eric Monnin

Sam Gilmour

Pierre-Antoine Morvan

Charlie Lalumiere

David Storrs



2014 Oakcliff International: Day 1 Report

Riptide Racing during their win against Neptune Racing

Riptide Racing during their win against Neptune Racing

OYSTER BAY, NY (09.04.14) – With the best match racers from around the globe, the 2014 Oakcliff International began with a remarkable level of competition during the first day of racing.


With lighter breeze in the morning, teams had to be on the top of their game. Riptide Racing, the current leader in the round robin, realized the importance of concentration against their toughest competitors.


“We did really well today,” said Christopher Poole, skipper for Riptide Racing. “When we were behind, we tried to keep our head in the game to stay in the match. With a better mindset, the team was meshing better and sailing fast.”


When teams lost their attentiveness, they made significant small avoidable mistakes. During Flight 2, Pierre-Antoine Morvan, current leader of the US Grand Slam series, and Dave Perry were battling downwind towards the finish line. With a penalty to kill, Morvan’s first kill attempt fell short after he did not reach a close-hauled course on port tack according to the umpires. During his second attempt, Morvan made contact with Perry, which gave him another penalty and cost him the race.


“During today, my team was able to learn a great deal during each race,” said Charlie Lalumiere, the skipper for the Oakcliff Sailing team. “It is an honor to be racing out here with these incredible teams and have the chance to learn from them is amazing.”


With a promising forecast of 6 -12 knots for Friday, racing is scheduled to begin with Flight 9 at 10 a.m.


Current results for the round robin are listed below:


Christopher Poole 6 – 1

Sam Gilmour 5 -2

Chris Steele 5 – 2

Eric Monnin 4 – 2

Maxi Soh 4 – 3

Dave Perry 4 – 3

Mark Lees 3 – 3

Pierre-Antoine Morvan 3 – 4

David Storrs 2 – 5

David Niemann 2 – 5

Charlie Lalumiere 1-5

Dustin Durant 1 – 5


For more information, please contact Samantha Pilz at pr@oakcliffsailing.org or visit www.oakcliffsailing.org.

Olympic Hopeful John Casey Applauds Oakcliff

Sarah Newberry, Dawn, and John Casey

By John Casey

After I arrive at Oakcliff Sailing Center, I’m refreshed. After all our ‘hello’s’ and ‘how you beens’, I sit at one of the many tables and begin to hear discussions I’ve heard before about the state of sailing in the U.S. and possible solutions. The refreshing part is the quickening pace the words flow into action. One of the actions I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of is the purchase and subsequent High Performance Camp for a fleet of eight Olympic Nacra 17s.

When Oakcliff became a US Sailing Training Center and acquired it’s Olympic fleet, I was excited to head to New York to help them get the project off the ground and into the water. Have you ever purchased a boat with an instruction manual? Probably not so many. I lent my multihull knowledge for a few days at the end of the 2013 summer and with the help of the Oakcliff team, Saplings and Acorns we had an assembly line of Nacras pushing out the large front bay door. Not long after, I came back to race the U.S. Nationals on Oyster Bay with the Nacra fleet in full force.

As this year’s summer approached, I received a call to come back to Oakcliff to coach their High Performance Camp. I arrived a few days early to get some of the Nacras back together after their trip to Miami for the US Sailing Team and European teams to train on during the winter, a gesture by Oakcliff that is actually a completely different compelling story. With the Nacras assembled, we were ready to receive this batch of Acorns.

The High Performance Camp was not just for Nacras, but also for the Olympic skiff, the 49er FX, so there were cat sailors and skiffies mixed together, all ready to go really fast. The wind cooperated. The first three days of the camp the breeze ranged from 15-20 knots, which gave the Acorns a real taste of speed. There was so much wind that only the very experienced cat sailors were able to drive and let the less experienced sailors crew. I was impressed. The ages of the Acorns were teenagers to the most experienced Acorn ever, Ed, who actually set the experience level to a new standard. They all picked up multihull sailing fast, listened and put my teaching into action. For me, the first three days were a blast, going fast and coaching technique on and off the water, with some long classroom morning hours as well. For our Olympic campaign I have relegated myself to the crew position, so driving for three days was pure joy.

The last day of our four-day camp, the breeze backed off so whoever wanted to steer around the course had at it. We had three Nacra 17s ripping around a short ½ mile course totally under control and racing hard. That was the moment I knew we did the camp right. After a few days of watching and learning, the Acorns took control, kept control, communicated properly, and made excellent decisions while having good technique. The long days of starting at 9 AM and ending around 7 PM (If they didn’t have Swedish Match 40 evening sailing, which is pretty amazing too) paid off. Mission accomplished! Really great group of sailors and new friends in this camp.

Thank you to the Oakcliff Staff: Dawn, Bill, Liz, Chris, Vlad, Ronnie, Ladi, and all the Saplings who were the glue to the daily routine. The words and actions are working!

2014 49er, 49er FX, and Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship: Final Day

OYSTER BAY, NY (09.24.2014) – Competitor’s main focus was on strategy for the final day of the 2014 49er, 49er FX, and the Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship at Oakcliff Sailing.

“Focusing on strategy was a gear change from previous days,” said John Casey, a part of the winning duo of Newberry/Casey for the Nacra 17 division. “We knew the medal race was going to be difficult for us, so we tried to take it as another race and stay relaxed.”

For most of the teams, the final medal race was going to be a make it or break it moment for them. Like Sarah Newberry and John Casey, Brad Funk and Trevor Burd also had an intense race to their podium finish.

“We needed a few things to happen during the medal race in order for us to win,” said Brad Funk. “We were close in points with the top boat (Fred Strammer and Zach Brown), so we had to put up a good fight around the course to secure our spot.”

The top three boats in each class were awarded with Gill Bucks thanks to Gill, one of our sponsors.

Also thank you to our sponsors Heron Financial and T2P.TV for their support of the 2014 49er, 49er FX, and Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship!

Congrats to all teams!

Final Results are as follows:



  1. Brad Funk/Trevor Burd
  2. Fred Strammer/Zach Brown
  3. Andrew Mollerus/David Liebenberg
  4. Tyler Macdonald/Harry Schmidt
  5. Mac Agnese/James Moody
  6. Paul Throop/Alex Throop
  7. Sam Gustin/Ian Woodbury


49er FX

  1. Wade Waddell/Ian MacDiarmid
  2. Paris Henken/Helena Scutt
  3. Debbie Capozzi/ Molly Vandemoer
  4. Kristen Lane/Maggie Shea
  5. Mayumi Roller/Kayla McComb
  6. Campbell D’Eliscu/Briggs D’Eliscu
  7. Michael Sabourin/Andrew Pearson
  8. Emily Dellenbaugh/ Elizabeth Barry
  9. Kate Shaner/Ellie Shaw


Nacra 17

  1. Sarah Newberry/John Casey
  2. Jeremy Wilmot/Louisa Chafee
  3. Enrique Figueroa/Franchesca Valdes
  4. Mike Easton/Katie Pettibone
  5. Sarah Streater/Matthew Whitehead
  6. Sophia Schultz/Nico Schultz
  7. Terri McKenna/Annie Gardner
  8. Cate Gundlach/Garrett Brown
  9. Joseph Bello/Christina Persson
  10. David Hein/Chris Manson-Hing


For more information, please visit our website http://www.oakcliffsailing.org or email Samantha Pilz at pr@oakcliffsailing.org.


Contact Information:

Samantha Pilz

Communications Director

Oakcliff Sailing

P: (516) 802-0368

E: pr@oakcliffsailing.org


About Oakcliff Sailing

Oakcliff Sailing, Oyster Bay, NY is the only complete training and coaching center in the world. Oakcliff’s Sapling and Acorn programs create complete sailors who are capable of sailing in any position, fixing every aspect of a boat and managing a small marine business.  Oakcliff trains sailors in match and fleet racing, inshore and offshore, fully crewed and short handed as well as providing access to historically significant classic yachts. Oakcliff is a non-profit organization open to all sailors of all ages and levels.   Oakcliff has also been named an official US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Training center with 8 each of the Olympic Classes: Nacra 17, 49er and 49er FX.