Saplings Show What They’re Made of at June Grade 4 Match Race Regatta with Coaching by Dave Dellenbaugh
OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (June 24, 2017) – Saturday morning began with torrential downpours and talk of a postponement at Oakcliff’s June Grade 4 Match Race Regatta. Seven teams gathered around Bill Simon, Race Director and OA, eager to hear what he’d decide. After checking the radar and with a little bit of local knowledge about Long Island Sound’s often temperamental weather, Bill made the call to go out and race with just a brief half-hour postponement. His gut served him well because by 10:00 the competitors were rigging their boats underneath a hot June sun and blue skies.
Racing started in about 10 knots of breeze but by the end of the first round robin it had doubled to 20. During the third flight, the two female skippers went toe to toe in an exhausting back and forth. Eniko Szekely lead Robyn Lesh and her team of Saplings on the first upwind leg. Eni covered Robyn tightly, tacking on top of her at every turn. Eni rounded the weather mark in first but a botched kite set and gave Robyn an opportunity to take the lead. She held it all the way through the second weather mark rounding but rounded the wrong mark which kept her in front but disqualified her. Robyn was able to get some sweet retribution later though; she locked down the win during their Round Robin 2 match-up.
Meanwhile, Bryce Kopp and his crew had been sailing with undefeated dominance on the race course. Their spinnaker work in particular gave them big gains, with sets that were consistently cleaner than anybody else’s. Bryce’s first loss was to Jim McNally when he missed a change of course and rounded the wrong weather mark. He needed that victory to stay tied with Robyn for first place but at that point lost the tie breaker. With some flights not completed it is still neck and neck at the top.
By 5:00 the sailors were exhausted and Bill made the call to go in for the day. This morning not even a scrap of the big breeze from yesterday remained. Race Committee went into postponement for four hours until it finally filled in by about 2:00pm with about 12 knots gusting 15 from the South and held just long enough to get three races off.
The match up of the day was between the two leaders: Robyn Lesh / Chris Kennedy and Bryce Kopp. They started out dead even off the line with a penalty on Bryce but he was able to cancel it out later in the race. By the time they made it to the leeward mark the wind went light and Robyn chose to go around the left gate. Bryce chose the right gate which had a big payoff. He also had consistently better boat speed for most of the race. That victory over Robyn solidified his win for the event.
- Bryce Kopp
- Robyn Lesh
- Hugh MacGillvary
- Jacon Mayer
- Eni Svekely
- Doug Shannon
- Jim McNally
Oakcliff Sailing is a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The center can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by calling (516) 802-0368.