The action was intense in Oyster Bay on the third and final day of the 2015 U.S. Match Racing Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing. Dave Perry (Southport, Conn.) continues to make history at this premiere match racing event by adding his name to the Prince of Wales Bowl for the fifth time. He proved that he is still at the top of his game in the competitive match racing circuit here in the U.S. Perry announced that this would be his final U.S. Match Racing Championship at the awards ceremony.
In a Finals match-up between two skippers representing the Pequot Yacht Club (Conn.), Perry defeated David Storrs (Southport, Conn.) in this afternoon’s Finals showdown, 2-0. Perry was joined by a very talented crew that included Chris Museler (Portsmouth, R.I.), Doug McLean (Glendale, Calif.), Steve Natvig (Redondo, Calif.), and Jon Singsen (Cos Cob, Conn.).
“This year I put together a team that could commit to three regattas this year, including the Prince of Wales Qualifer, Oakcliff International, and this regatta,” explained Perry. “I think we were really strong as a team. There were so many races where we had better spinnakers set or better communication and better decision making, because we worked together for three regattas.
“In my tenth year at Prince of Wales Bowl, since coming back into the sport (14th overall), this is the most competitive field I’ve seen at this event. What I love is that there are so many young teams and young skippers out here. Our youth program is starting to generate some really strong sailors.
“I love how there is no margin for error in match racing. There is no margin for error in tactics, boat speed, boat handling, or decision making. One mistake can cost you the race.
“This is one of my most favorite places to sail out of. It’s a great atmosphere. We try and do it at the highest possible level. You get great racing, great support, and great organization in a casual atmosphere.”
Perry has won the U.S. Match Racing Championship more than any other sailor. He also won in 2011, 2008, 2006, and 1982.
“This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” said Perry. “It’s really the passing of the torch. We’ve been working so hard to bring youth match racing to the U.S. Having said that, it’s so cool we can play a sport into our 60s and 70s. There are very few sports where you can compete at a National Championship against these young and very talented people.
“I look forward to this spectacular event every year. This was a great way to end it. I want to thank you all.”
This US Sailing National Championship launched on Friday, as the 10 teams embarked on a fast and furious round robin stage. Perry came out of the round robin nearly unscathed with eight points in nine races (8-1) to finish the stage as the #1 ranked team. His only loss came at the hands of David Niemann (Madison, Wis.), who finished #3.
The top eight teams advanced to the Quarterfinal knock-out series. Perry made a bold decision and selected Niemann as their Quarterfinal opponent. Perry and company responded with three straight points (3-0) for the win, as they advanced to the Semifinals.
Perry selected Charles Lalumiere (Falmouth, Maine), who entered the Quarterfinals with four points from the round robin and ranked #6. Lalumiere advanced to the Semifinals with a win over Peter Holz (Glenview, Ill.) in the Quarterfinals. Despite notching the series at 1-1 in race two, Perry won the final two races, including the clincher on Monday to advance to the Finals.
Storrs completed the round robin stage with six points and ranked #2. They broke a 1-1 tie in the Quarterfinals with 2015 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Champion, Nicole Breault (San Francisco, Calif.), by winning races three and four.
After dropping the first match to Christophe Killian (Newport Beach, Calif.) in the Semifinals, Storrs came from behind with three straight wins to advance to the Finals. Storrs’ skilled crew consisted of Rod Dawson (Auckland, NZL), Andrew Estcourt (Hood River, Ore.), Brian Janney (San Diego, Calif.), and Ricky McGarvie (Beaumaris, NSW).
Teams representing their home sailing organizations went one-on-one for the Prince of Wales Bowl. Helms qualified for this national championship through a series of events run throughout the country. Invitations were also issued to the winning skippers at each of the 2015 U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifiers, the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Champion, and the 2015 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Champion.
This championship was contested in the Match 40 with up to five or six crewmates per team including the skipper.
Oakcliff Sailing runs an extensive match racing program throughout the season that includes competitive regattas and instructional clinics. In 2014 they hosted the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship.
For a tremendous rundown of the play-by-play racing this weekend on Twitter, final standings, photos, and more information from the 2015 U.S. Match Racing Championship, please visit the event website.