Building American Leaders Through Sailing

Young Teams Sweep Awards at July Grade 4

FullSizeRender

OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (July 26, 2016) – Fifty-five sailors, most of them first time match racers filled 10 Match 40s in Oakcliff Sailing’s July Grade 4 Clinegatta. Sponsored by Regatta Ginger Beer, and coached by renowned match racer Dave Perry, 10 teams spent the first two days participating in the clinic, learning techniques and practicing drills, both in the classroom and on the water.

“Perfect conditions, clear skies and plenty of wind,” Lindsay Winter, an athlete training at Oakcliff described the first day of the regatta. Racing got tighter as the day went on and the competitors became more comfortable with the format of racing and the boats. Unfortunately Sunday couldn’t compete with Saturday’s conditions, and racing was called off due to lack of wind. Patrick Shanahan, a talented skipper from Brown who sailed with his brother Brendan, ultimately prevailed, leading the pack undefeated.

Oakcliff Sapling and recent MIT graduate Robyn Lesh came in second place, coming in just two points behind Shanahan. She worked hard throughout the event, including asking questions and writing notes well into the night. Jimmy Gieseke, the youngest skipper at the event at 21, came in just one point behind Lesh to score third place.

The conditions were favorable for match racing, with winds blowing around 5-10 knots, and gusting between 12-15 knots. Temperatures were on the hot side, in the low 90s, but with the winds being what they were, there were no complaints. The second day was absolutely scorching, with the temperatures the same as Saturday, but with no wind to cast relief on the baking sailors.

“This was one of the best clinics I’ve ever coached,” exclaimed Dave Perry after the first day of the regatta. He started Friday’s debrief by telling the teams, many who had never match raced before, “I don’t grade individually, I grade by group. As a group, you all get As for enthusiasm, everyone’s attitudes were just incredible.”

The event wouldn’t have been held if it wasn’t for the formidable efforts made by the organizing authority, umpires, mark boats and the race committee, who were able to get a full round robin of 9 races off in one day, which ended up being the only scored races of the whole event.

Final results:
1 – Patrick Shanahan
2 – Robyn Lesh
3 – Jimmy Gieseke
4 – Pearson Potts
5 – Travis Carlisle
6 – Sean O’Halloran
7 – Derek Webster
8 – Danielle Gallo
9 – Eniro Szekely
10 – Doug Shannon

Oakcliff Sailing is a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The center can be contacted by email at race@oakcliffsailing.org or by calling (516) 802-0368.

For more information:
Ivy Binns
Media and Public Relations
Oakcliff Sailing
pr@oakcliffsailing.org

Enthusiasm and Perseverance Prevail Despite Light Breeze at Inaugural Event

The_Group
OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (July 17, 2016) – An inspirational group of 24 sailors and countless volunteers gathered this weekend to take part in the inaugural Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race for sailors with adaptive needs. Led by the always entertaining Coach Dave Perry, eight teams dove head first into the world of match racing, many for the first time in their otherwise prolific careers. Silver medalist Jen French (St. Petersburg, FL) led the way in Sunday’s racing and remained undefeated throughout the event.

Close on her heels was Julio Reguero (San Juan, Puerto Rico) who raced with his son, Andre, and finished just one point behind French. In third was Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, CT) racing with fellow 2.4 m sailor Tim Ripley (Randolph, NJ) as well as last minute addition, Betsy Perry (Southport, CT).

Despite challenging conditions with shifty winds ranging from 0-5 knots and temperatures approaching the triple digits, the energetic group refused to let the sun get the best of them. Providing on-the-water support throughout the weekend was a remarkable team of volunteers from the SailAhead and Warrior Sailing Program.

After racing on Sunday, Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, RI) commented on match racing saying, “It’s a really fun way to sail. I would love to spend more time doing it.” She, like many others, also expressed a desire for more breeze saying, “I’ve had enough light air racing for a while now.”

At the awards ceremony, winning skipper Jen French presented Coach Dave Perry with a yellow Warrior Sailing Program hat as a token of appreciation for his efforts on and off the water. “He’s a phenomenal coach,” remarked Tim Ripley, “the way he keeps things organized on the water is amazing. He’s very skilled at herding cats.”

On Saturday, sailors received coaching on the intricacies of match racing before hitting the water to practice. Afterwards, the group gathered at Oakcliff Sailing to enjoy a barbecue and evening of laughter and socialization. During which, it was announced that the event would become a permanent fixture in the racing calendar, much to the delight of the sailors in attendance. Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI), Timmy Larr (Oyster Bay, NY), and Bill Simon (Oyster Bay, NY), among others, were also thanked for their efforts in organizing the event.
Final results:
1 – Jen French, (St. Petersburg, FL)
2 – Julio Reguero, (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
3 – Charlie Rosenfield, (Woodstock, CT)
4* – Sarah Everhart Skeels, (Tiverton, RI)
4* – Andy Fisher, (Greenwich, CT)
6 – Dan Evans, (St. Petersburg, FL)
7 – Pauline Dowell, (Charlestown, MA)
8 – Dave Whalen, (Lake George, NY)
* = unbreakable tie 

About The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race:  Founded in 2016, The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race event is a match racing event open to both adaptive and able-bodied sailors from the USA and International. At least one person on the boat should identify as having a disability. The Clagett, whose motto is “Reach for Success”, and stated mission is “to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition,” has joined with Oakcliff Sailing, a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The event will be hosted by The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY and supported by SailAhead and the Warrior Sailing Program.

 

Supported by:
Wounded Warriors Logo
Sail Ahead_with text

Umpiring at the World Match Racing Tour

WMRT.com

Photo courtesy of Ian Roman

Report from Oakcliff’s Race Program Director Bill Simon:

The adventure started with an invitation from Craig Mitchell followed by finding that I was to be umpiring with Richard Slater, Chief Umpire, Miguel Allen and David Tallis who all have America’s Cup and lots of other top end experience. Richard Slater is one of the main architects of the Test Rules for match racing that we are using at all of the match racing in the country. In the down time I have had an opportunity to hear why the test rules were developed and what it was they were trying to be accomplish. Joining me on this adventure were Greg Kiely and Kathy Lindgren who are or were on the US Match Racing Championship Committee. It has been a week of education and improvement in my umpiring. 

There are so many differences to the mono hull game I am used to. It starts with a totally different course configuration with a reaching entry, 4 minute starting sequence with a 2 minute prestart from prep and entry to a high speed reaching blast off to the reach mark and a dive to the leeward gate, which is there before you know it. There are few dial ups (sorry Dial Up newsletter) instead there is a fish tale back to the start where each boat tries to get the other boat into irons or tacking away before they pull the trigger and scream towards the first mark. This can frequently determine the outcome of the race. Each race is in the vicinity of 8  -10 minutes and can be anywhere from 5 to 8 legs. They can start and finish on either port or starboard and the finish was set up just feet off of Fort Adams park which is lined with spectators, camera men and commentators. 

There are windward and leeward gates and the boats can touch any of the inflatable marks and frequently they bash right into them. Sometimes they even drag them along which is not fast. The course has boundaries, which are very tight that require the teams to tack and jibe to keep the boats together and put a premium on boat handling. Johnnie Berntsson was leading in one race and couldn’t release his traveler to jibe at the last gate mark and lost the race and was eliminated from the series in about one second. There are penalties for going outside the boundaries so as an umpire I had to change my focus from watching for mark hits to watching the boundaries. Eric Monnin was leading in his last race until he went over the boundary and got a penalty. 

There are several different types of penalties and they all have different ways of completing them. Some are losing two boat lengths while others involve getting two boat lengths behind the other boat. 

There were some of the best multihull and match racers in the world there. Their control of these ultra light and fast carbon fiber speed machines was just amazing. Just as any type of match racing, boat handling and speed are the required entry base of the pyramid. We saw lots of passes through boat speed and handling and just getting a puff at the right time. 

It was such a treat for me to be here with these sailors, many that I know from coming to Oakcliff Sailing over the years, umpires and race officials. Certainly winning team Taylor Canfield, Hayden Goodrich and his team come to Oakcliff frequently. Other sailors included Will Tiller who sailed with Phil Robertson, Brad Farrouk who once sailed with Will Tiller now sails with Ian Williams. 40% of the skippers have been to Oakcliff and probably a higher percentage of all the sailors have been here. Following on my America’s Cup course marshall experience it has been a great opportunity for an event organizer to see these world-class events up close and what it takes to put them on.  

An excellent adventure for a match race organizer and umpire. 

Holz and Gardner Duke It Out at Breezy Grade 3

SEG_1731

OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (May 15, 2016) – Eight teams competed over two very windy days of racing at Oakcliff for a chance to qualify for three of the four match race Grand Slam events this season. Skipper Peter Holz secured the victory after a thrilling final series against Canadian Landon Gardner.

The Saturday round robin included onboard coaching from Coach Dave Perry and Oakcliff staff. With breeze building steadily throughout the day, competitors finished the day with windswept hair and tired arms.

But the breeze would only continue to build. Sunday began with a manageable 8-10 knots but again built steadily throughout the day to recorded gusts of 33 knots.

Skippers Peter Holz, Sean O’Halloran, Landon Gardner, and Taylor Self advanced to the semifinal stage. Holz and Gardner went on to sweep their opponents 3-0 and advance to the finals.

Third place went to Canadian Taylor Self who jumped out to an early lead over Oakcliff Sapling Sean O’Halloran in the best of one petite final. Both skippers were competing in their first ever match racing event.

The final series between Holz and Gardner was an exhausting back and forth. Entering the matchup with an unblemished record, Holz found himself trailing early in race one and unable to recover. Race two had a similar feel until the final leg when Holz summoned an unexpected burst of speed to overtake Gardner and even the series at one apiece. Holz went on to win race three and appeared to have race four in the bag until Gardner hooked him downwind on the final leg. With extreme conditions, both teams opted not to fly their kites and instead to simply duke it out with jibs alone. Gardner was able to push Holz past the finish line, spin back up, kill a penalty, and poke his bow across the line to force the series into sudden death.

With everything on the line, both skippers opted to push their luck and fly their spinnakers downwind in the final race. Holz skillfully maneuvered himself into a powerful right-of-way position on the first downwind leg forcing Gardner to gybe and pick up a flag in the process. Gardner continued to lead Holz around the race course but was ultimately unable to kill off his penalty.

“We knew it was going to be a battle with Landon [Gardner],” said Holz. “If we didn’t win that second race it would have been a pretty big feat to come back from.”

In the end it was Holz’s downwind prowess and boat-handling that won him the regatta. “Kite work gave us a huge advantage. All props to the team, they won us a bunch of races and I lost us the only two.”

Holz will receive invitations to the Chicago Match Cup, the Detroit Cup, and the Oakcliff International.

Final results:
1 Holz
2 Gardner
3 Self
4 O’Halloran
5 Shannon
6 Hickey
7 Carlisle
8 Gallo

Oakcliff Sailing is a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The center can be contacted by email at race@oakcliffsailing.org or by calling (516) 802-0368.

For more information:
Scott Guinn
Director of Public Relations
Oakcliff Sailing
pr@oakcliffsailing.org
(845) 664-8012

Oakcliff Partners with Dream Yacht Charter to Present Wednesday Night Racing

DSC_0936_Reduced

OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (April 27, 2016) – In a continued effort to expand horizons, Oakcliff has partnered with Dream Yacht Charter to encourage sailors to get out and sail. Last year over 70 different sailors participated in the Wednesday Night Series and this year the goal is to double that number. Sailors who frequently participate in the racing will receive discounts on charters all across the globe.

The Wednesday Night Series presented by Dream Yacht Charter will begin May 4, 2016 and carry on every Wednesday through September 14, 2016. Sailors will race on Oakcliff’s fleet of 40 foot keelboats with onboard coaching from Oakcliff staff including America’s Cup winner and two-time Whitbread around the world racer Dawn Riley.

Dream Yacht Charter, a luxury yacht charter group with over 700 yachts and 43 destinations, offers bareboat sailing, all-inclusive crewed yacht charters, and popular all-inclusive by the cabin sailing opportunities. With such a range, Dream is able to provide vacations on board monohulls and catamarans up to 80 feet to every level of sailor.

“It makes perfect sense to partner with training centers like Oakcliff and other sailing schools in order to enable the students to take their newfound love of sailing with them to some of the world’s most stunning destinations. Our by the cabin charter product makes for an easy get away on the water, with the trappings of the most exquisite all inclusive vacation,” says Brittany Riley of Dream Yacht Charter.

Sailors who participate in at least five of the Wednesday Night Series will receive a 5% discount on charters. Those who attend at least ten times will receive a 10% discount.

“I am excited by the by the cabin charters, no longer do I have to worry about having a date or even friends!” says Riley. “I can explore the many parts of the world almost at the drop of a hat.”

Those interested in participating should sign-up on the Oakcliff Calendar at oakcliffsailing.org/calendar or by calling the office at (516) 802-0368. Discounts are available only for Oakcliff Supporters.


About Oakcliff Sailing
Oakcliff Sailing is a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The center offers weekly racing throughout the summer and can be contacted by email at race@oakcliffsailing.org or by calling (516)802-0368.

About Dream Yacht Charter
With over 700 yachts in over 40 destinations Dream Yacht Charter is the largest growing charter company on the globe. Our expertise ranges from providing a full range of the most sought after yacht brands to our sailors to operating a five-star all-inclusive crewed yacht and by the cabin sailing program. With Dream Yacht Charter guests can do as much or as little sailing as they would like while enjoying the beauty of their on water vacation.

Dream Yacht Charter

 

Oakcliff Fields First Ever All-Female Team for Double-handed Atlantic Cup

USA 118 placed first in class in the 2014 RORC Transatlantic/James Mitchell Photography

USA 118 placed first in class in the 2014 RORC Transatlantic/James Mitchell Photography

OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (April 19, 2016)  – Libby Greenhalgh and Elizabeth Shaw have officially entered as the first ever all-female team for the 2016 Atlantic Cup. The two women will sail the first leg of the race from Charleston, South Carolina to New York City, New York.

Libby Greenhalgh/Team SCA

Libby Greenhalgh/Team SCA

Greenhalgh was a two time British Olympic team meteorologist and navigator for Team SCA on the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. Hailing from Brighton, England, Greenhalgh will join Canadian and Oakcliff graduate Elizabeth Shaw.

In addition to her role in the Volvo Ocean Race and with the Olympic team, Greenhalgh has a total of three transatlantics and is a 1720 Class European and National Champion.

Elizabeth Shaw/Oakcliff Sailing

Elizabeth Shaw/Oakcliff Sailing

Among her list of accomplishments, Shaw was Canada’s youngest National Race Officer. She finished onboard the Class 40 in the 2015 double-handed SORC Pineapple Cup and third in the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships. Throughout the year she consults on Oakcliff’s inshore, offshore, and high performance programs.

Hobie Ponting, an Oakcliff graduate and staff, will lead the team from New York City to Portland, Maine on leg two and will conclude the Atlantic Cup in Portland with the fully crewed inshore leg three. He is currently searching for a co-skipper to join him for the second leg of the race.

Hobie Ponting/Oakcliff Sailing

Hobie Ponting/Oakcliff Sailing

Ponting was part of the original team that acquired the boat after its donation in 2014. Since then he has sailed over 10,000 nm on the boat including the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race (1st in class, second overall), the 2015 Ocean Race North (3rd overall), and the 2015 Annapolis to Newport Race.

The Atlantic Cup currently features 12 different teams hailing from six different countries. Sailors will compete double-handed, meaning two sailors per boat, with an additional non-sailing third member to serve as an onboard reporter. Oakcliff will be hosting an Onboard Reporting/Media training program in the week leading up to the event to prepare and train reporters. Applications are still being accepted.


About The Atlantic Cup
The Atlantic Cup presented by 11 th Hour Racing is, at 1,045 nautical miles, the longest offshore in the Western Atlantic. The Atlantic Cup was created and is owned by Manuka Sports Event Management. It started in 2011 as a concept event and grew to a multi-stage race. Since its inception, the Atlantic Cup has aimed to be the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the United States. The race is sailed solely in Class40s, a monohull race boat designed for shorthanded racing.

The Atlantic Cup ran annually in May from 2011 through 2014. After 2014, the race moved to a biennial event. The course in 2011 was a sprint from New York to Newport with an inshore series in Newport. From 2012-2014, the race was a three-stage event that started in Charleston, South Carolina included a stop-over in New York City and finished in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2016, the Atlantic Cup will continue to comprise of three legs, with stop-overs in Charleston, S.C., Brooklyn, N.Y., and for the first time, Portland, Maine.

For more on the Atlantic Cup, visit AtlanticCup.org

About Oakcliff Sailing
Oakcliff Sailing is a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The center can be contacted by email at race@oakcliffsailing.org or by calling (516) 802-0368.

For more information:
Scott Guinn
Director of Public Relations
Oakcliff Sailing
pr@oakcliffsailing.org
(845) 664-8012

Storrs and Shaw Secure Championship Bids at Oakcliff Grade 3

April Grade 3_StorrsLalumiere (1 of 1)

OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (April 17, 2016) – The first weekend of match racing in 2016 at Oakcliff is in the books. After a full day of racing Saturday and a windless Sunday, David Storrs came away with a 2 point victory over Charlie Lalumiere.

Nine teams, including three female skippers, gathered at the Grade 3 to compete to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Open and Women’s Match Racing Championships. Storrs, an Oakcliff board member, will receive an invitation to the U.S. Open Championship and Elizabeth Shaw, Oakcliff’s training program director, will receive an invitation to the Women’s Championship.

On Saturday, ten flights and over forty races were completed resulting in a three way tie for second between Lalumiere, Vogel, and Shaw. Storrs remained undefeated throughout the weekend. Other than some unfortunate contact resulting in a full point deduction for Storrs, the day progressed smoothly with a steady eastern breeze ranging from 5 to 10 knots.

Sunday, however, saw far less fruitful conditions. Eager to complete the knockout stages, race committee attempted one race Sunday morning in fleeting conditions but were forced to abandon only minutes into the sequence. Competitors remained on the water through the afternoon but were ultimately unable to complete any races. As a result, the final standings were taken from the completed round robin stage.

The 2016 U.S. Match Racing Championship will be held at San Diego Yacht Club on October 7-9 and the 2016 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship at Annapolis Yacht Club on September 9-11.

“I am looking really forward to that competition,” says Shaw, “but I am mostly excited to have qualified this weekend with an all Oakcliff team.”

Shaw’s team included three Oakcliff graduates, an Oakcliff supporter, and recent arrival Sean O’Halloran who will be training this summer as part of the Oakcliff Sapling Program.

Lalumiere, who placed second, is also an Oakcliff graduate and is currently aiming to compete in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Oakcliff’s next match racing regatta will be held May 12-15 with coaching from Dave Perry. The winner of that event will receive an invitation to the Oakcliff International, Chicago Grand Slam, and the Detroit Cup. Check out the Oakcliff calendar for more information.

Final results:
1 Storrs (7 points)
2 Lalumiere (5 points)
3 Vogel (5 points)
4 Shaw (5 points)
5 Holz (4 points)
6 Shannon (4 points)
7 Kent (3 points)
8 Gallo (1 point)
9 Brooks (0 points)

Full scoring available here.

Oakcliff Sailing is a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The center can be contacted by email at race@oakcliffsailing.org or by calling (516) 802-0368.

For more information:
Scott Guinn
Director of Public Relations
Oakcliff Sailing
pr@oakcliffsailing.org
(845) 664-8012