Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team Wins RORC Transatlantic Race

Andrew O'Donnell, Dan Flanigan, Chris Kennedy, Hobie Ponting winning jump

Andrew O’Donnell, Dan Flanigan, Chris Kennedy, Hobie Ponting winning jump

First in IRC One Second Overall

Grenada – Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team has finished 1st in class and 2nd overall in the RORC Transatlantic Race marking 3,100 miles raced in their epic 7,000 mile ‘delivery’ of Oakcliff’s new Class 40.

Immediately after the finish Hobie Ponting exuded “That was epic, we have crossed an ocean the first time any of us have done it and it feels fantastic. The last 24 hours was the hardest of all. We had very little wind and it was frustrating having spent days charging along at 20 knots. We have all worked so well together and we have finished this race better friends than we started.” He added ‘we don’t know what day it is right now and a shower, some good food and a bed with sheets is top priority.”

Less than 2 months ago Oakcliff received a call that the Bodacious Racing Team in Chicago wanted to donate their Class 40 sailboat to Oakcliff. The detail that the boat was in Hamble, England was quickly remedied when the core of the Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team motivated to create and execute a plan that had them flying to the UK with coach, top short-handed sailor, and also Oakcliff graduate Jeffrey MacFarlane. In the UK they would take possession and deliver the boat to the Canary Islands off of the West coast of Africa to start the RORC Transatlantic Race.

It was a wild trip across the brutal Bay of Biscay but they made it to the start line. Coach Jeff left them here as they headed off to race from Lanzarote, Gran Canaria to Granada, which is surprisingly close to Venezuela – only 230 miles. After some much deserved R&R and a little spiced rum they will hop back onboard and deliver the boat to Charleston, SC. It is arguable that they couldn’t possibly have sailed any more distance in transporting the boat from England to the US but what an opportunity. To put it in perspective: they will have sailed well over 7,000 miles – longer than any one leg of the Volvo Ocean Race and almost a third of the way around the world!

“This is just one of the exciting and life-changing opportunities that Oakcliff is providing to young hungry athletes who come to Oyster Bay to test themselves in the extreme world of Ocean Racing, the uber-competitive match racing world or to aim for the Olympics” explained Executive Director Dawn Riley. Applications for Oakcliff’s 2015 training programs are open and can be accessed through http://www.oakcliffsailing.org

The team of Dan Flannigan, 23 (Rhode Island), Hobie Ponting, 23 and Chris Kennedy, 26 (Wisconsin) and Andrew “OD” O’Donnell, 27 (New York) are all keen to get home to America to see their families and friends and, if they can make it on time, they will have many stories to share around the Christmas Tree!

Oakcliff is proud to have the following partners:  Heron Financial, The Better Chip, Gill, Spinlock, Expedition Navigation and yacht racing solutions , Katadyn Watermakers , Sea Logic a B&G Dealer, Power Specialist Associates.

Wet & Wild Win for Young Team at Halloween Invitational


The conditions were as fierce as the competition this weekend at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the United States, Canada and Bermuda battled 30 knot plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season. With Sunday’s even more aggressive forecast looming the race committee ran eight hours of punishing races on Saturday to complete a full round robin. The uber-close competition left the organizers with the hefty task of breaking multiple ties to see who the hero would be. And here is where the real story begins…

Young-gun Christophe Killian from the Balboa Yacht Club in southern California got the win by coming out on top of a three-way tie with Canadian Nicholas Kroeger and Bermudian Lance Fraser. Killian’s match racing resume is impressive, including a win at this year’s Rose Cup, the US Youth Match Racing Championship, and that earned him an invitation to this event.

Even more impressive was Killian’s command on the water competing in the Swedish Match 40s, the largest boat used on the circuit in extreme conditions. “It’s my first time ever driving a boat with a wheel,” admitted the College of Charleston freshman as he stood accepting his prize with his young co-ed team in front of the experienced field that included six skippers ranked in top 100 of ISAF’s Match Racing Rankings.

The prize giving was held Sunday morning after racing was cancelled due to extreme winds with 50kt gusts howling down the harbor: Oakcliff Sailing events are about joining together to compete and learn. With all teams staying in the newly renovated bunkhouse fun is definitely a factor

Executive Director Dawn Riley stated that while “…three days of partying and one day of racing,” is not the ideal ratio, all competitors at the 2014 edition of the Halloween Invitational were offered top-of the line racing in competitive boats “and that’s a success for everyone involved.”

2014 Oakcliff Halloween Invitational Results:

1. Christophe Killian, USA – 78%
2. Lance Fraser, BER – 78%
3. Nicholas Kroeger, CAN – 78%
4. Peter Holz, USA – 56%
5. Chris Johannessen, USA – 56%
6. Chris Poole, USA – 56%
7. Jon Hammond, USA – 56%
8. Landon Gardner, CAN – 33%
9. Chris Foley, USA – 11%
10. Derek Webster, USA – 0%

Full Results: http://www.oakcliffsailing.org/results/

This is what 50 knots looks like at the dock

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.