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Better than a pickle dish

Published on September 18th, 2019

While we’ve yet to meet an aspiring Olympian that doesn’t need money, making them earn it isn’t usually how it works, but that’s the magic behind the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series, a three stage series held in Oyster Bay, NY. Rather than appealing for good will, they need to chase it on the race course.

The Triple Crown Series is open to five of the Olympic events – 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, 470 Men, and 470 Women – with each class having a $100,000 Prize Grant Pool to be split between the three Triple Crown Series events.

But there are two stipulations: only fleets with a minimum of eight teams are eligible for the full grant, and only the top three finishers get cash. This not only motivates top teams to excel but also build the fleet, providing both short and long term gains.

Action began with the first stage on September 14-15 when overcast skies but great winds, 12 gusting to 18 knots, greeted the competitors. The race committee took advantage of the conditions on day one and pushed the competitors in the 49er and 49erFX classes to fight it out for 6 races, double the typical amount for a skiff class. The 470s also were pushed with 7 longer courses.

The race committee tried to get sailing in on day two but only had enough wind to squeeze in one 470 race. No Nacra 17 teams attended.

In the final results, Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson took 1st place in the 49er class by just 1 point over Judge Ryan and Hans Henken. The 470 Women also had tight racing with just 2 points separating Carmen and Emma Cowles in 1st and Atlantic and Nora Brugman in 2nd. Stu McNay and Dave Hughes took all but one bullet due to a rudder issue in the 470 Men’s class and Paris Henken and Anna Tobias took first in 49er FX.

While McNay and Hughes received $16,666 in prize grants, the other fleets did not have eight on the starting line so the prize grants were awarded at 50% per the Notice of Race. The next two stages of the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series are to be held September 28-29 and October 5-6, with more of the classes looking to be be 8+ strong.

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