08 Oct Oakcliff Strengthens US Olympic Squad
OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (October, 7, 2019) – The third and final stage of the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series wrapped up with big breeze in five Olympic classes: Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX, 470W, and 470M. For the 49er and Nacra sailors, this regatta was the last stop in North America before taking a break to spend time with family, and then booting up for Worlds in Auckland, New Zealand (Nov 29 – Dec 8).
“The Oakcliff Triple Crown Series has been the perfect domestic training that we’ve needed leading into Worlds,” said Anna Tunnicliffe-Tobias who took first in the 49erFX with skipper Paris Henken. Neither of them are any stranger to the pressure of Olympic competition. Henken competed in the 2016 Rio Games where she took 10th in the 49erFX and Tunnicliffe-Tobias earned a gold medal in the Laser Radial in 2008.
In the 470 Men’s division, Olympic veterans Stu McNay and Dave Hughes completed a hat trick with their third win of the series, earning a total of $50,000 of prize grants to fund their campaign for Tokyo 2020. Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson won the first two stages and narrowly missed a hat trick of their own in Stage 3. They finished just two points behind Ian Barrows and Mitchell Kiss.
“It was really shifty, keep-your-head-out-of-the-boat racing,” said Kiss. “First you had to spot the puff but then you had to get to it. Sometimes you got lucky and it came to you. Other times it didn’t.” Barrows, his skipper, added, “We were just trying to talk constantly throughout the day to make sure we were staying in the lifted pressure.”
While the Oakcliff bunkhouse was filled with Olympic sailors and hopefuls from the US, Canada, and Mexico, Executive Director, Dawn Riley, took the opportunity to gather them for a meeting to discuss the future of Olympic sailing and how to best allocate the resources available. While no decisions were made, one thing is clear: Oakcliff will ramp up its involvement in Olympic Sailing and continue to support the athletes with resources and quality training opportunities.
“The Oakcliff Triple Crown Series has been a huge benefit to our campaign since year one , especially financially,” commented Atlantic Brugman who took second in the 470 Women’s division with her sister Nora, finishing just two points behind Carmen and Emma Cowles. “The prize grants we’ve won have allowed us to do a lot of racing internationally and that is huge for us so we’re really happy that Oakcliff has put together this series. It really helps the athletes.”
In the hard-fought Nacra 17 class, Riley Gibbs and Anna Weiss found victory. After finishing just shy of first place in Stage 2, this win put them in first overall for the series. “Our training schedule is typically four days on, one day off,” commented Weiss. “We push hard in the gym and on the water and with nutrition. We try to get an edge any way we can.”