Webster clinches win at Socially distanced Grade 5

Webster clinches win at Socially distanced Grade 5

June 20, 2020 (OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK) – The five teams that raced Match 40s in Oakcliff’s June Grade 5 Regatta were served a mixed bag of conditions. The regatta started in a shifty 4 knot Northerly that swung and built to a gusty 10-12 knot Southerly. At the end of the round robin, Derek Webster and Doug Shannon were tied with three points each but Derek took the top spot in the tiebreaker, which was determined their match in the round robin. Oakcliff Boat Captain, Ariel Nechemia, took third place.

“I’d say good communication throughout the day was the winning strategy for us,” Webster commented. “The wind was really up and down and then there were a lot of shifts on the race course. We talked a lot and tried to anticipate our moves before we made them so everyone could be prepared and it worked out great.”

Webster, who has his second child due in two weeks, still plans on racing the Taylor Trophy next weekend and then spending most of the summer with his family. He and his understanding wife are contemplating another appearance at Oakcliff towards the end of the season.

Shannon and his crew also cited good communication about the wind shifts as a key component of their strategy on the course. On their final approach to the start they would run through all their homework once more, asking questions like, “Do we still like the right? Is the line still committee favored? Has the tide shifted?” They were proud to say that they won every single start, even in the race they lost to Webster. “We beat him off the line but he found more breeze on the right and did a great job of keeping it simple and keeping his lead.”

This regatta was Oakcliff’s second time using their COVID Safe Boating Protocol, which has been featured in Newsday and Sailing Magazine. Even though local regulations have loosened up in New York, Oakcliff is committed to upholding a higher standard of safety for their Supporters and sailors.

“Kudos to everyone at Oakcliff for how they set it up,” said Webster. “ It was super thoughtful. Safety was taken seriously but it was not impractical. I’m grateful to enjoy the fruits of that labor, especially because I have a young kid at home with another on the way.”

Oakcliff will continue to host regattas this season while most other yacht clubs and sailing organizations have thrown in the towel or are entirely ignoring social distancing and safety. The next regatta is a Grade 3 on July 23. In the meantime, we are offering socially-distanced fleet racing and sailing sessions for our Supporters on Lasers, Sunfishes, Classics, and Match 40s.

Learn more about how to become an Oakcliff Supporter and safely get sailing this summer.