Windy City For The Win
Get ahead and stay ahead was the winning strategy at Oakcliff’s June Grade 3 Regatta. With great starts all day that’s exactly what Peter Holz and the Windy City Racing Team did to come out on top. They were followed close behind by Chris Poole of Riptide Racing and Pearson Potts of Yankee Creole Racing, the 2017 US Match Race Champions. This win qualifies Holz for the Grand Slam Series.
“Winning the start was big,” said Holz’s trimmer, Alex Nugent. “It allowed us to stick to our plan right off the line.”
With only one flight raced on day one, most of the action happened on the second day in a shifty 12 knot breeze gusting 16. “It was shifty enough that you could make a comeback if you were behind but good starts were still key,” said Pott’s floater Joanna Kinkade.
Race Committee was able to finish the first round robin but the time limit only allowed for one more round robin with the top four boats, which included Oakcliff Sapling Hugh Dougherty and his team of fellow trainees. It was only Dougherty’s second time competing in a match racing event and he said, “It was awesome to move on to the second round robin but I wouldn’t have had a chance of getting there without the Dave Perry clinic.”
Dave Perry spent two days before the regatta doing a clinic that included chalk talks and on-the-water drills with five of the eight teams. He also rode along on their boats during the racing to provide first-hand feedback.
Sara Stone, another Oakcliff trainee and one of two female skippers in the regatta, put one of Perry’s strategies to the test in an interesting race with Peter Holz. She started with an early penalty for not keeping clear of Holz on starboard at the entry. He led her by two boat lengths until the leeward gate where she started to catch up. She overtook him and had a four boat-length lead coming into the finish but still had a penalty. She knew the move: spin ‘n’ win around the pin. She executed it perfectly just like Perry taught her but Holz came flying in on starboard just after she crossed the line and, even though she was gybing to keep clear, the umps didn’t think she had crossed and awarded the win to Holz. Perry caught the situation on camera and the umps admitted afterwards that it was a bad call but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
Oakcliff is proud to say that within weeks of introducing them to match racing, two of their Saplings had such competitive results in a Grade 3 regatta. To learn more about their programs, visit their website at OakcliffSailing.org