Poole wins finale but Gifford wins Slam

Published on September 3rd, 2021

Eight teams from six countries competed in the Thompson Cup, the fourth and final stop in the Grand Slam Series of U.S. Grade 2 match races. The event was sailed in Match 40 class yachts on September 1-4 at Centre Island, NY.

With plenty of breeze for the first three days, the Race Committee successfully completed 91 races, including round robins on the first two days of competition. But with a calm forecast on day four, the event concluded with an accelerated repechage, semi-finals, and finals to conclude a day early.

During the round robin stage, local Chris Poole garnered 14 wins against zero losses, while knocking off Alistair Gifford’s Kiwis three to nil in the semifinals to advance to the championship. On the other side of the bracket, match racing guru Dave Perry emerged from the repechage to blank Aurelien Pierrioz (FRA) in the semis and move on to the finals.

The all-American final saw multiple lead changes as Perry and Poole duked it out over four races. In the end, Poole took the finals three matches to Perry’s one, keeping the Thompson Cup at home.

As the final event of the 2021 US Grand Slam, Gifford edged out Poole in cumulative points to win the title and receive an invitation to next year’s Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA.

Final standings:
1. Chris Poole, USA
2. Dave Perry, USA
3. Alistair Gifford, NZ
4. Aurelien Pierrioz, France
5. Rocco Attili, Italy
6. Ruari Finnegan, Ireland
7. Ted Blowers, UK
8. Peter Bailey, USA

Notice of US Grand Slam SeriesThompson Cup detailsUS Grand Slam Overall Results

PHOTO: Winning team (left to right): Mal Parker (Trimmer), Matt Cornwell (Bow), Chris Poole (Helm), Ryan Wilmot (Main), Bradley Mclaughlin (Pit)

2021 Grand Slam Series:
August 6-8: The Chicago Cup – Chicago YC – Tom 28
August 19-22: International Match Race for the Detroit Cup – Bayview YC – Ultimate 20
August 27-30: Oakcliff International – Oakcliff Sailing – Match 40
September 1-4: The Thompson Cup – Seawanhaka Corinthian YC – Match 40

For information on Grand Slam Series, click here.

Source: Robyn Philip-Norton

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