The NYC Match Racing Club had a huge contingent at Oakcliff Sailing Center in Long Island, NY, for a 4 day clinic and “Grade 3” regatta in late May. Annie Mitchell returned to help the local PRO run the races. Bruce Brown wore his umpire hat and whistle again. Stephen Jones sailed with Bill Gladstone (of North U fame). Breck McFarlane, Chris Clarke and skipper Magnus Sandberg were the core of Team National YC, with local Jacon Mayer on the bow and Queen’s sailor Lance Fraser.
The competition was intense for the 3 international teams, and 5 American teams. Each team had 7 races on Saturday, and each lasted ~20 minutes. The light and patchy breeze on Saturday made for difficult tactical and strategic decisions, with better wind on the left of the course, and the typical match racing tactical advantage on the right of the course. The forty-foot Swedish Match 40 sailboats, sailed by just five people, require precise crew work for the boat handling needed on such a short course.
Team National YC finished Saturday’s round robin with a 5-2 record, in a three-way tie for 2nd. As a result, Team National YC sailed in the semi-finals on Sunday – always the goal for Saturday!
On Sunday, in much heavier breeze, Team National YC lost in the semi-finals against Peter Wickwire and his crew from RCYC, RYC and YYC. After just a few minutes to regroup, they went on to beat Mike Quaglio’s local team to finish 3rd overall. Wickwire’s team lost to the eventual regatta winner Polish skipper Krysztof Rosinski and his Open Yachting team.
This 3rd place finish qualifies Team National YC for the Oakcliff Grade 2 Match Race Regatta in September 2012. This Grade 2 regatta is a major international event and will feature top-ranked match racing teams from 5-8 countries. Its winner will earn a berth in a World Match Race Tour event.
Team National YC will sail at events in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Rochester and Toronto in 2012, including a major Grade 2 event at the Chicago Match Race Center in early June.
Thank you to National Yacht Club’s members and board of directors, and to all NYC Match Racing Club members who sail with and against us, allowing us to hone our match racing skills, and represent National YC to the best of our abilities.