Raising the level of USA match racing

Published on August 29th, 2022

Started in 2011, the US Grand Slam Series provides a match racing schedule of four successive events that attract both domestic and international interest. As an additional incentive, the team with the best score in 2022 will be invited to compete on World Match Racing Tour at the 2023 Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA.

After Chris Poole (USA) won in Chicago, and Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) won in Detroit, Dave Perry (USA) claimed the penultimate stage at the Oakcliff International on August 25-29 in Oyster Bay, NY.

Perry won in an epic battle with Peter Holz right up against the time limit and the committee boat. He and his team came away with $2500 in Prize Grants and Hobie Sunglasses for all. Poole rounded out the leaderboard besting Megan Thompson from New Zealand who was sailing with a mostly female crew, adding coach Ruben Corbett at the last minute.

Racing in Oakcliff Match 40s, Perry’s team included Congressional Cup expert Steve Flam, America’s top female match racer Nicole Breault, up and coming skipper Cormac Murphy, and Youth Match Race World Champion Daniel Pegg.

“There are a lot of young teams here which is the best thing for the sport,” said Perry, an active instructor of match racing. “We have been working so hard to raise the level of American match racers. There was a time when it was rare to see the ‘stars and bars’ up there at all, and now it is on a more regular basis. I couldn’t be more proud. The U.S. is back on the world stage again which is a great place to have us.”

Perry notes the only 4 races he lost before the finals were to young teams, but he showed his wisdom in the final race to wipe off a penalty before the finish to take the title (see video).

The 2022 US Grand Slam concludes August 31-September 3 at the Thompson Cup in Oyster Bay, NY. With scoring based on the best three of four events, Poole holds the edge over Bernaz with both teams competing in the finale in a who-beats-who showdown for entry into the Congressional Cup.

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