Oakcliff Triple Crown Stage 2: Perseverance Pays Off
OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (October 1, 2017) – Survival was the name of the game on day one of Stage 2 of the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series. Pouring rain and a 15-knot Northerly gusting 18 left the competitors fatigued and shivering at the end of the day 1. Conversely, there was no racing on day 2 due to lack of wind but overall, perseverance and performance were rewarded with just over $80,000 of prize grants being distributed across the fleet consisting of five Olympic-classes: 470 Men’s and Women’s, 49er, 49er FX, and the foiling Nacra 17, which was raced for the first time in North America this weekend.
Riley Gibbs/Louisa Chafee (USA) in the Nacra and Amanda Clark/Ian MacDiarmid (USA) in the 470 showed unmatched dominance with nothing but bullets on their score lines. Ali ten Hove/Mariah Millen (CAN) performed nearly as well in the 49er FX with all wins and one third place to grab their second Triple Crown win. Fellow Canadians, William Jones/Evan DePaul, had a harder fight to win the 49er class, ending up just two points ahead of Ian Barrows/Mitchell Kiss and three ahead of Nevin Snow/Mac Agnese who put in extra effort to travel overnight and compete fresh off their stop on the World Match Race Tour in Chicago.
Saturday’s visibility was low and the breeze was puffy but the teams who spotted the pressure and stayed in it came out on top. “If you can be in the pressure, you’re plaining and that’s going to get you ahead,” said Ian MacDiarmid, who crewed for two-time Olympic 470 sailor Amanda Clark. She added, “Our game plan was to get out left so we set up a little lower than the fleet. We have pretty good speed, not so sure about our height, but it’s nice to be able to get forward fast so we can tack across.”
Keeping the boat under control was key. “Clean maneuvers and staying upright [was our winning strategy],” said Mariah Millen. “Yeah it was really patchy out there,” added her skipper, Ali ten Hove. “It was all about anticipating the pressure, and staying upright because a lot of teams weren’t.” William Jones and Evan DePaul took a swim in Race 4 when their spinnaker halyard got snagged during a douse and dragged them over; but with all of their other races resulting in podium finishes, they had the leeway to drop that race.
Oakcliff’s staff have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks retrofitting Nacra 17’s into foiling. Louisa Chafee and Riley Gibbs arrived early and helped set up their chartered boat. “We were feeling pretty confident going in,” said Riley who tied for third in the Red Bull Foiling Generation last year and just returned from Europe where he and Louisa competed in the inaugural foiling Nacra 17 Worlds. Riley and Louisa are both members of the US Sailing Team roster and hope to represent the US in the 2020 Olympic Games.
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