Light air day at Oakcliff International
Published on September 3rd, 2019
Oyster Bay, NY (September 3, 2019) – After the first round robin of the 2019 Oakcliff International Grade 2 match race regatta was completed yesterday, the participants started today with a three-way tie for first place between Chris Poole, Nick Egnot Johnson, and Anna Ostling Kjellberg.
The Round Robin #2 started today with sunny skies, diminishing incoming tide and 4-5 knots of breeze. In Flight 4, Celia Willison ducked Kim Kling on port about halfway up their first windward leg. Kling continued on starboard to the left side of the course and found some increased pressure. He rounded the weather mark three boat lengths ahead and slowly extended his lead for the first half of the downwind leg. Willison rode a nice puff to close the gap back down to three by the leeward gate rounding.
They both went around the left gate and Kling covered Willison when she tacked back to port. They sailed all the way to the right side of the course. Kling dialed in his upwind mode and made gains the whole leg to round the weather mark with a comfortable lead. He sailed a clean, conservative downwind leg. Willison started to close the gap but there wasn’t enough time left. Kling won the match.
Matt Whitfield on port entry got the leeward cross in his pre-start entry against Nick Egnot-Johnson. He led out into the playground and pushed back to the start line. He kept a free bow and then went for a hook but EJ pulled ahead out of his control to start clean off the line. He threw in a quick tack to port and Whitfield followed.
They both tacked back to starboard and EJ maintained his position to windward with a gap. EJ rounded the weather mark with a three boat-length gap. He added another boat length to his lead and rounded the right gate. Whitfield split and EJ tacked to cover. EJ held a fast, high upwind lane and rounded the weather mark four boat lengths ahead. Any chance of Whitfield making a comeback was extinguished by an hourglass on the set. Egnot Johnson beat Whitfield.
Elswhere, Anna Ostling Kjellberg over Dave Perry and Jordon Stevenson over Ethan Prieto-Low.
Round Robin #2, Flight 5, started in lessening breeze, 3-4 knots and sunny skies. Dave Perry (port entry) and Matt Whitfield had a dial-up with each boat scrambling their jib right before the start and just below the committee boat. Perry was on starboard to leeward and initiated the dial-up.
Perry fell off to starboard with his bow narrowly clearing the committee boat to start the race with a boat length lead. Whitfield tacked to port early and Perry covered. Perry led around the weather mark but Whitfield wasn’t far behind, only about two boat lengths. Perry could not extend his lead on the downwind. He rounded the right gate while Whitfield split.
Perry tacked to cover and Whitfields tacked and ducked on starboard. Perry let him go and continued on port to the right side of the course. Unfortunately, Perry got stuck in a big glassy patch which left the door wide open for Whitfield to pull ahead. By the time Perry’s breeze filled in, Whitfield was well ahead and wons the race.
Nick Egnot Johnson (Port entry) started with a two boat length lead against Ethan Prieto-Low. EJ kept a tight cover on PL until he tacked away to Port. PL held for a few boat lengths past his line before tacking back to Port but, as he crossed the middle of the course, he was forced to tack back to avoid two downwind boats.
PL got stuck on the left side of the course where the breeze went light. EJ rounded the weather mark well ahead. At that point it was a game of get ahead, stay ahead. EJ stayed in the pressure and sailed away clean for the win. In subsequent races, Chris Poole over Celia Wilson and Jordon Stevenson over Kim Kling.
The breeze continued to drop so, the Oakcliff International sailors waited in postponement for the breeze to pick back up. The race officials completed the first round robin yesterday and made it through 5 flights out of 9 in the second round robin today.
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.