Russ Silvestri advances to U.S. Match Racing Championship

Published on May 26th, 2015

The St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA) hosted on May 23-24 the first of two U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifiers being held in 2015, with the second event on Sept 5-6. Conditions were challenging with an ebb tide shifting to a flood, and winds from 13 to 23 kt.

Russ Silvestri dominated the event with 13 wins and only one loss, earning a berth at this year’s U.S. Match Racing Championship on October 10-12, 2015 at Oakcliff Sailing Center, Oyster Bay, NY. In second place was Nicole Breault with 11 wins and three losses. Both had been favored to be on top of the leaderboard, as they had earlier qualified to represent North America in the upcoming Nation’s Cup match racing event in Vladivostok. Up-and-coming college sailors Jack Thompson and Jack Barton tied for third, with Thompson winning on the tie-breaker. Event details.

This Qualifier was held using the Club’s fleet of identical J/22s and was the second of seven Qualifiers taking place across the country this summer. According to Regatta Chair Bruce Stone, who also heads the U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee for US SAILING, the qualifying format for the U.S. Match Racing Championship is a major change from the past.

“Qualifiers are now open to competitors from around the country regardless of their home area,” explains Stone, “and skippers can apply to race in more than one Qualifier – Oakcliff Sailing Center, St. Francis YC, San Diego YC, Bayshore YC (Detroit), Chicago Match Race Center, and Annapolis YC – in a variety of keelboats, April through September. In previous years, qualifiers around the country were limited to people from that region. We have opened it up so people can venue shop, traveling to places that are interesting to them or play to their skills, i.e. windy or light conditions, or different types of boats used by the host club.”

Click here for qualifier schedule.

Report by U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee

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