OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (November 4, 2015) – Racing was varied and intense in the Halloween Invitational, a Grade 3 Match Race Regatta hosted by Oakcliff Sailing. Skipper Chris Poole and his team, Riptide Racing, came away victorious with an overall record of 12-1. Sailors faced light and variable winds with cold temperatures on Saturday and moderate winds with warmer temperatures on Sunday.
Riptide Racing remained undefeated through the round robin stage and chose Charlie Welsh, from Boston University, as his competition for the semifinals. After an early loss, Welsh and his team were able to hand Poole his first and only loss of the weekend to even the series at one apiece. Poole responded with a start-to-finish win over Welsh to advance to the finals.
In the other semifinal, skippers Peter Holz and Lance Fraser battled back and forth with Fraser coming out on top, 2-1.
In the first race of the finals, Poole and Fraser split at the start and each sailed to opposite laylines. On converging at the windward mark, Poole had secured a three boat length lead which he never conceded.
In the second race, Poole earned a penalty early by running into the back of Fraser during prestart. Fraser led for the majority of the race until the final upwind leg when Poole was able to overtake Fraser, however still with a penalty to burn. Deciding not to burn the penalty on the windward layline, he rounded just ahead of Fraser and called for no spinnaker hoist. Fraser came around with speed and was forced high above Poole on port tack. Fraser then attempted to gybe back to starboard but in the attempt clipped the stern poles of Riptide Racing earning a penalty of his own.
With cancelling penalties, Poole narrowly led Fraser into the finish to claim his victory, 2-0, in the finals of the 2015 Halloween Invitational.
When asked about his success, Poole credits his team’s experience from recent regattas as a major factor.
“I’m pretty stoked with my team. We put ourselves in a couple of bad spots, but I think coming out of Gold Cup myself and Chris [Kennedy, tactician] have learned to keep a more level head and not get too flustered about things. And that’s why we were able to sail away a couple of times with a penalty and clear it elsewhere – especially against Lance [Fraser]. That was just good, calm sailing.”
Poole and Riptide Racing recently competed in the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda. According to ISAF, Poole is currently ranked #29 in the world and #4 in the USA.
The Halloween Invitational was the final regatta hosted by Oakcliff in the 2015 racing season. For a full rundown of the racing this weekend, check out @OakcliffSail on Twitter. For photos of the event, click here. If you would like high resolution files, please email Scott Guinn at email@example.com.
- Chris Poole
- Lance Fraser
- Peter Holz
- Charlie Welsh
- Doug Shannon
- Alexander Heinzeman
- Doug Reynolds
- Kathryn Shiber
- Eniko Szekely
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