Consistency Pays at Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race Regatta

Published on August 27th, 2017

Oyster Bay, NY (August 27, 2017) – Nine teams and twenty seven competitors were served a mixed bag of conditions at the second annual Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race for sailors with adaptive needs. Pauline Dowell (Boston, Mass.) and her crew of Christian Thaxton (Sommerville, Mass.) and Kay VanValkenburgh (Boston, Mass.), who are return customers of this event, walked away unscathed without a single loss on their score line. They even bested Rio Paralympic silver medalist, Rick Doerr, who made his debut in match racing this weekend, and earned a second place spot after a tiebreaker with Charles Rosenfield.

Day One of racing was challenging with no more than four knots of breeze but Day Two saw 6 knots gusting 8, which was perfect for the competitors who were coached all weekend by two America’s Cup legends, Dave Perry and Dave Dellenbaugh. Perry commented to Dowell and her crew after their winning race today,” Your sailing was fundamentally sound and consistent; you let the other teams make the mistakes. I’m so proud of you guys.”

Dowell, who is heading to the Blind World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan, Wisconsin later this year, has sailed with Thaxton for two years and VanValkenburgh for three. “We have very specific communication on the boat; it’s like a specific sailing language,” Pauline remarked. “This year I sailed with my regular crew and that made a big difference. I also sailed at the Blind Nationals where Dave Perry was coaching and we are constantly referring to the notes and his coaching information.”

“This has been a tremendous opportunity,” Rick Doerr commented, “and I’ve really enjoyed the clinic and regatta. We’ve learned so much about boat handling and sailing in really tight quarters while applying rules to those situations. This has been my and Charles’ first match racing regatta and I will absolutely be back next year.”

Returning to take part in the clinic and regatta were Clagett fleet racing regulars, Charlie Rosenfield and Tim Ripley, who teamed up in the Sonar after spending many years in the singled-handed 2.4mR. Joining Ripley and Rosenfield for this regatta was Ripley’s childhood sailing coach, Stu Caplan (Larchmont, N.Y.), who taught him how to sail at the Sea Legs program in City Island. “It has been a great regatta and I enjoyed the company on the boat!” Rosenfield commented, “We had great boat handling and I enjoyed the better breeze from last year. I will be back next year for sure and hope that Stu will be able to sail with us again.”

Final results
1 Pauline Dowell, Christian Thaxton, Kay VanValkenburgh
2 Rick Doerr, Charles McClure, Betsy Perry
3 Charlie Rosenfield, Tim Ripley Stu Caplan
4 Julia Dorsett, Carol Whitmer, Karen Miller
5 Duane Smith, Donoray Bickham, John Lubrano
6 Gerry Tiernan, Dennis Moran, Greg Murphy
7 David Caras, Mike Hersey, Rachelle Pontes
8 Unbreakable tie – Dave Whalen, Spencer Raggio, Joesph Brooks and Jim Dickson, Clarence Greene, Debora Abrams-Wright

Event Details

About The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race:
Founded in 2016, The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race event is a match racing event open to both adaptive and able-bodied sailors from the US and outside the US. At least the skipper should identify as having a disability.

The Clagett, whose motto is “Reach for Success”, and stated mission is “to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition,” has joined with Oakcliff Sailing, a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The event will be hosted by The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY and supported by Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, SailAhead and the Warrior Sailing Program.

Source: Event Media


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