OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (July 30, 2017) – Competitors were served a mixed bag of conditions at Oakcliff’s July Grade 4 Match Race Clinegatta. Despite a rainy, big-breeze forecast that had PRO Patrick Burks worried, the conditions on Saturday turned out to be a manageable 15-20 gusting 25 with no rain. Pearson Potts and his team showed unmatched dominance going undefeated in Saturday’s round robin.
Sunday was a completely different day with a dying northerly, allowing Liam McCarthy (who sailed with Oakcliff graduate, Kate Beauregard) to break Potts’ winning streak in the first match of the semi-finals. Pearson struck back hard and beat Liam in their next two matches, solidifying victory for the regatta.
Dave Perry coached a two-day clinic before the event and on Saturday he recruited the assistance of his wife, Betsy, to ride along opposite him as they rotated through the fleet. This allowed Dave to be on board each team for one race and give immediate and invaluable coaching. His parting words were that he was “amazed at how quickly everyone progressed,” adding, “two days ago you were sailing, today you were match racing!”
With three teams made up of Oakcliff Saplings and brand new Inshore Acorns and three of the nine teams being led by females, it was a great training experience across the board. Supporter Jim McNally is a perfect example; he got his first taste of match racing last summer and started training seriously this Spring and today, just a few months later, he made the semi-finals of a Grade 4. The pace of improvement and level of aggressive match racing impressed and challenged all. Including the umpires!
Pearson said that the key to success on his team was to “Trust the guy next to you. Everyone stayed focused on their own job and that way we sailed the boat as best as we possibly could.”