Day 2 at the Oakcliff Invitation began with a light northerly, filling in Cold Spring Harbor from across Long Island Sound. The breeze veered east and eventually came all the way south at 1:00 PM, which promised a strong and steady seabreeze.
The pecking order was established as the competitors sailed eight full rounds in superb wind, for a total of 11 rounds completed of the 18 that will comprise a double round-robin. In a round-robin, each team competes against every other team once; by sailing a double round robin before breaking to quarterfinals, each competitor gets to face everyone else twice, as both the starboard- and port-entry boat.
The races were sailed in Oakcliff Sailing Center’s 10 Swedish Match 40s, a forty-foot racer modelled after the International America’s Cup Class. The Match 40s are well suited to Oyster Bay, where the breeze is often light and variable, but they are also extremely stable and balanced in heavy air. Today they shined in 10-12 knots of breeze, making for exciting but manageable racing.
Oakcliff’s fleet of Match 40s is the largest in the world. With large, open cockpits, a powerful sail plan, and an umpire spot at the back, they are ideal for coaching and training. Oakcliff Sailing Center is open to the public and provides all levels of training on their Match 40s, Melges 24s, Farr 40s, and custom IRC racers.
The lead at the Grade 2 Invitational now belongs to Laurie Jury (New Zealand), who is also leading in the Grand Slam series. He and his crew won all eight races today, for a total record of 10-1 . Just behind him are Will Tiller (New Zealand) who is 8-3, and Dave Perry (USA), also 8-3. A full scoresheet is appended.
With plenty of wind, there was also plenty of excitement today. In round 5, Tiller seemed to find an invisible wind, rolling Perry from leeward, tacking at the wind-line and crossing him, and winning five boat lengths ahead. The race was eventually thrown out due to the wind shift, but Tiller won the redo as well.
In round 8, Allam (Great Britain) was luffing Lumijarvi (Finland) during the final leeward leg. Lumijarvi headed up, but then tried an insane jibe, smashing into Allam and earning himself a black flag (disqualification).
In round 10, Canfield (US Virgin Islands) and Jury were trading tacks near the windward mark. Canfield, after an unsuccessful dial-up, forced Jury to avoid while tacking to starboard. Umpire Dave Pelling gave Canfield a penalty, and a red flag to boot because by fouling Jury, Canfield gained the inside of the mark. He promptly sailed out of the two-boat-length circle to clear his penalty. “Unfortunately,” said Pelling, “his bow came back into the circle before he jibed,” invalidating his turn. After sailing fully clear and doing another circle, “he just gave up.”
Photos and video from Day 2 are avaible on the Oakcliff Facebook group and on Oakcliff’s Vimeo page. Pressure on the competitors will increase as the double round-robin is wrapped up and elimination rounds begin. Laurie Jury will be working to hold on to his lead, in the Oakcliff Invitational and the larger Grand Slam series, but fellow Kiwi Will Tiller is hot on his heels.
Laurie Jury New Zealand 10
Will Tiller New Zealand 8
Dave Perry United States 8
Taylor Canfield U.S. Virgin Islands 7
Nicolai Sehested Denmark 6
Reuben Corbett New Zealand 5
Mike Buckley United States 4
Oli Pekka Lumijarvi Finland 2.5
Robbie Allam Great Britain 1