06 Oct More Than A Million Dollars Awarded Throughout Oakcliff Triple Crown Series
October 4, 2020 (OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK) – Stage 2 of the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series saw 60 sailors compete in three Olympic classes: the 470, 49er, and 49erFX. US Sailing Team athletes, Dave Hughes and Stu McNay, followed their win at Stage 1 with another victory in Stage 2 in the 470. Brothers Chris and Duncan Williford (Lauderdale Yacht Club) managed to pull off the same in the 49er. The standings in the FX were shaken up quite a bit from Stage 1 with local high school sailors Steve Hardee and Nick Gargiulo (Stony Brook School) coming out on top.
The Oakcliff Triple Crown series was designed to directly reward campaigning Olympic athletes with financial assistance based on their sailing performance. It is the only regatta in these classes that offers prize grants and, since its inception in 2017, Oakcliff has awarded over one million dollars to aspiring Olympic athletes.
This year, there were many young Olympic hopefuls getting their first experience in an Olympic-class regatta. The Race Officials put them through the paces with a full 15 races in all classes. Not only do the prize grants provide invaluable support to them as they lay the foundation for their campaigns, but the experience in the boats is a tremendous source of momentum.
“For us, the Triple Crown has been huge,” said Duncan Williford. “It’s our first regatta that we’ve done together and it has provided much-needed experience for our campaign. This is an unparalleled opportunity for youth sailors to hop in Olympic-class boats like this and get their feet wet and see what the next level is like. We personally coach a lot of the 29er kids who stepped up into the 49er and FX this weekend and they had a blast. We’re worried it will be hard to convince them to go back!”
The Oakcliff Triple Crown series also served as a huge training opportunity for the US Sailing team athletes in the 470. Carmen and Emma Cowles (US Sailing Team), who took second place, have been training throughout the COVID pandemic in Buzzard’s Bay with Hughes and McNay.
“We have seen a lot of progress training with them and, with all of the events being cancelled, we have been able to get into a really consistent training schedule,” said Emma Cowles. “Usually we do three-week training blocks sailing every day and then take a week off. The Triple Crown was really nice because we got to sail against other people and see how much progress we’ve made.”
The Oakcliff Triple Crown is scheduled to return next year but in its original format: three weekends with two days of racing each, instead of two weekends with three days of racing which we tried out this year. Follow Oakcliff on Facebook or subscribe to their newsletter on their website to get updates on the Triple Crown and their other programming.