The conditions were as fierce as the competition this weekend at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.
Ten teams from the United States, Canada and Bermuda battled 30 knot plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season. With Sunday’s even more aggressive forecast looming the race committee ran eight hours of punishing races on Saturday to complete a full round robin. The uber-close competition left the organizers with the hefty task of breaking multiple ties to see who the hero would be. And here is where the real story begins…
Young-gun Christophe Killian from the Balboa Yacht Club in southern California got the win by coming out on top of a three-way tie with Canadian Nicholas Kroeger and Bermudian Lance Fraser. Killian’s match racing resume is impressive, including a win at this year’s Rose Cup, the US Youth Match Racing Championship, and that earned him an invitation to this event.
Even more impressive was Killian’s command on the water competing in the Swedish Match 40s, the largest boat used on the circuit in extreme conditions. “It’s my first time ever driving a boat with a wheel,” admitted the College of Charleston freshman as he stood accepting his prize with his young co-ed team in front of the experienced field that included six skippers ranked in top 100 of ISAF’s Match Racing Rankings.
The prize giving was held Sunday morning after racing was cancelled due to extreme winds with 50kt gusts howling down the harbor: Oakcliff Sailing events are about joining together to compete and learn. With all teams staying in the newly renovated bunkhouse fun is definitely a factor
Executive Director Dawn Riley stated that while “…three days of partying and one day of racing,” is not the ideal ratio, all competitors at the 2014 edition of the Halloween Invitational were offered top-of the line racing in competitive boats “and that’s a success for everyone involved.”
2014 Oakcliff Halloween Invitational Results:
1. Christophe Killian, USA – 78%
2. Lance Fraser, BER – 78%
3. Nicholas Kroeger, CAN – 78%
4. Peter Holz, USA – 56%
5. Chris Johannessen, USA – 56%
6. Chris Poole, USA – 56%
7. Jon Hammond, USA – 56%
8. Landon Gardner, CAN – 33%
9. Chris Foley, USA – 11%
10. Derek Webster, USA – 0%
Full Results: https://www.oakcliffsailing.org/results/