Oyster Bay, New York – Sunday morning, April 14th just over one month after top US Match Racer and Oakcliff board member David Storrs passed away, 97 competitors and volunteers boarded their boats for the David Storrs Memorial Qualifier for the USMRC. With no wind and heavy fog, the teams proceeded to close into formation. The boats gathered, the fog lifted and the spirts of the competitors were buoyed by being together to celebrate the memory of a friend and competitor. Peter Holz led a simple cheer – 3-2-1 “Stor-zy!”
The boats headed to the race area where the winds came up for the semifinals and Peter Wickwire, perhaps buoyed by a special guest on board, Landon Storrs, advanced to the finals to meet Peter Holz.
The finals came down to the last race, winner take all and it was truly a duel! With Wickwire leading off the start, Holz came back to even when they split at the leeward gate. Holz got a penalty on Wickwire on the second upwind. Wickwire ahead. On the run to the finish, with Wickwire carrying a penalty and the boats only separated by feet, a massive luffing match ensued. Holz got the hook on Wickwire but copped a penalty. Offsetting penalties and Wickwire went for the luff as Holz rolled him and HE got a penalty!!!!! Boat boats cross the finish overlapped but with Wickwire holding the last penalty Holz gets the last laugh and the win. He also gets an invitation to the US Match Racing Championships to be held at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco California October 3-6.
Wickwire loved having Mrs. Storrs on board and just wished she could have stayed to give them luck for the finals. Holz added, “Stor-zy wouldn’t have it any other way – coming down to the last race”
All match racing at Oakcliff includes coaching, in this case it was graduate and staff member Chris Kennedy who returned from his current post at Melges Boatworks, to lead the clinic. His main goal was to help teams ‘shake the rust off’. But also gave out a prophetic suggestion regarding getting rolled downwind “always try to get the last laugh”. Chris is one of a talented and varied group of guest coaches for the 2019 season. Next up, will be long-time teammate of David Storrs, Hayden Goodrick. He will be coaching the Grade 4 Clinegatta, May 16-19.
Thank you to our sponsors, Trio Sportswear who donated shirts for all competitors and volunteers, Regatta Craft Mixers and Stone Brewing who kept the competitors refreshed and Foiling Ribs for VIP transport.