10 Sep Poole Wins: Brady is Back
September 10, 2023 – World number 1 ranked match racer, Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing bested 55th ranked Gavin Brady and his True Blue racing team at the Oakcliff International claiming the Grand Slam title. The finals between Brady and Poole was first-to-two. Brady was leading out of the round robin and won the first match of the finals but was OCS in the next two races opening the door for Poole.
Dave Hood, representing Long Beach Yacht Club grabbed 3rd over Pearson Potts’ Guardians of the Monohull. Hood was also on hand to present the winner of the Grand Slam Series with an invite to the Congressional Cup. The winner of the International received the last invitation to World Match Racing Tour’s Bermuda Gold Cup. Poole already earned his invitation to the Congressional Cup as last year’s winner and has an invite to the Bermuda Gold Cup October 2-7 so both spots were awarded to second-place, Gavin Brady.
Brady who is launching himself and his team back onto the World Match Race Tour and sailed Match 40s for the first time in 15 years at last week’s Thompson Cup. “We used to sail these boats 15 years ago so sort of taking a bit of time to remind ourselves what they perform like … we’re starting to feel a bit more comfortable on the boats.” Brady competed in all 4 stops on the Grand Slam Series, including the Oakcliff International, the Thompson Cup hosted by Seawanhaka using Oakcliff’s Match 40s and the Chicago Grand Slam and Detroit Cup.
Regatta Director Patrice Rachlin gave a shout out to the volunteers who navigated some of the hottest days of the summer so far. “I can’t say how important the support teams are for making a Grade 1 international event a success”. Day 1 all teams sheltered in the air-conditioned Oakcliff Bunkhouse waiting for a breeze that never filled. A late ‘cocktail breeze’ filled in on day 2 allowing the race committee and mark set teams to complete more than half of a round-robin before running out of daylight. The round robin finished on Day 3 just in time for some thunderstorms to roll through. The fourth and final day was reserved for the top four teams as they competed in the finals and petite finals.
The Oakcliff International with teams representing, Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa included skippers as young as 20 years old mixing it up with the top of the leaderboard and vying for $10,000 in Prize Grants. Some will be back for the last 3 events of the Oakcliff season, Grade 5 Clinegattas September 16-17 and October 14-15 and the always fun and sometimes surprising Halloween, Grade 3 October 28-29.