Fierce competition at Oakcliff International
Published on September 2nd, 2019
Oyster Bay, NY (September 2, 2019) – Nine international teams are match racing at the 2019 Oakcliff International Regatta, September 2-4, in the SM40 class yachts. This is the third event in the 2019 US Match Racing Grand Slam Series. The Grand Slam is a series of four Grade 2 match racing events in the USA in which the overall winner receives an invitation to the 2020 Congressional Cup.
The nine teams are from four countries, and include last year’s winner, Nick Egnot-Johnson, and runner up, Dave Perry. With 12 knots of breeze gusting 14 and rain lines sweeping through, the competition in the first flight of the round robin was fierce. The results were Anna Ostling Kjellber over Ethan Prieto-Low, Dave Perry over Nick Egnot-Johnson, Matt Whitfield over Kim Kling and Jordan Stevenson over Chris Poole.
Chris Poole (Port entry) and Dave Perry open up Flight 3 with long dial up that ended with Poole escaping with steel balls to lead into the playground. They have a big split start and Perry went far left. When he comes back on port, Poole tacked in front of him. Perry tacked away. Poole lead around the weather mark by three boat lengths. Perry took back a boat length.
Perry and Poole simugybe. Perry gybed again and shaved another boat length off Poole’s lead. Poole goes up early with the jib and Perry waited to the last second which put him right on Poole’s stern. They split the gate with Poole slightly ahead. He tacked to cover and started a tacking duel. Poole rounded the weather mark one boat length ahead. Perry stayed hot on his heels but could not pass. Poole took the win. In the subsequent match-ups, Matt Whitfield over Ethan Prieto-Low, Jordan Stevenson over Celia Willison, and Nick Egnot-Johnson over Anna Ostling Kjellber.
In Flight 4, Kim Kling got the windward cross in her prestart entry against Celia Willison. They took the fight deep and started a circling battle that ended with Kling leading back to the line, until Willison got the hook and started a dial up. Willison started tight to leeward with her bow out. They both banged the left corner and tacked on lay to the weather mark. Willison rounded slightly ahead. They gybed and Kling got the hook and started a luffing battle.
They both doused early and Kling lead through the gate. Willison followed her around the left gate, gets the windward lane, and tacked early. Kling covered and they have a tacking duel. Kling makes slow, steady gains to round the weather mark with a two boat length lead. A slow set gave Willison an opportunity to cut the gap in half but Kling found her wheels and pulled away. Kling wins. Elsewhere, Nick Egnot-Johnson over Matt Whitfield, Ostling Kjellberg over Dave Perry, and Jordan Stevenson over Ethan Prieto-Low
In Flight 8, Nick Egnot-Johnson, defending champion, started to leeward with his bow out against Jordon Stevenson, a fellow kiwi who recently won the Detroit Cup. Stevenson tacked away and Egnot-Johnson covered. EJ extended his lead and rounded the weather mark three boat lengths ahead. He sailed a fast downwind leg and leaves no opportunity for Stevenson to catch up. He rounds the left gate and Stevenson followed. He tacked and EJ covered. EJ sailed clean and fast to round the weather mark with a comfortable lead and won. In other matches, Chris Poole over Anna Ostling Kjellberg, Celia Willison over Matt Whitfield, and Kim Kling over Dave Perry.
After the first round robin of the Oakcliff International Grade 2 match race regatta, there is a three-way tie for first place between Chris Poole, Nick Egnot Johnson, and Anna Ostling Kjellberg.
Nick Egnot-Johnson, New Zealand
Kim Kling, Sweden
Anna Ostling Kjellberg, Sweden
Dave Perry, USA
Chris Poole, USA
Ethan Prieto-Low, Australia
Jordan Stevenson, New Zealand
Matt Whitfield, Great Britain
Celia Willison, New Zealand
The Grand Slam Series is a series of four Grade 2 match racing events in the USA in which the overall winner receives an invitation to the 2020 Congressional Cup, the 56th edition of this Grade One match race regatta held in Long Beach, CA. For Notice of Race, click here.