by Jake Fish
Skipper Dave Perry (Southport, Conn.) with crew Mark Rehe (Harper Woods, Mich.) and Chris Museler (Portsmouth, R.I.) won his fourth U.S. Match Racing Championship today after defeating Taylor Canfield (St. Thomas, USVI) in the finals 2-0.
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On a sunny, windy Sunday afternoon off Newport Beach, Perry claimed his fourth Prince of Wales Bowl.
The four-day US Sailing National Championship was hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, Calif.
Perry advanced to the finals after edging skipper Chris Nesbitt (San Diego, Calif.) earlier this afternoon in six thrilling matches. After winning the first match, Nesbitt battled back to win the next two. In match three, a 0.75 penalty deduction was applied to Perry for causing boat damage during contact on a Rule 14 violation by Nesbitt.
Perry was forced to win three straight matches to advance, which his team achieved due to their great starts. Team Perry went 14-5 this week overall.In a first-to-two-wins finals series between two generations of match racers, Perry won two straight over the number one seed Canfield in the finals. 'This time the old prevailed over the new, so the young guys still have to go through us,' smiled Perry. 'I love aggressive sailors who love to win and hate to lose and Taylor is one of those guys. He has beaten me before and I know how good he is. We need guys like him in the sport.'
Canfield sailed with Tod Reynolds (Chicago, Ill.), Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.) and Jennifer Wilson (Chicago, Ill.) this week. They were 15-1 overall, including the Single Round Robin, First Knockout Series and this afternoon’s semifinal three-win sweep over skipper Brian Angel (El Segundo, Calif.).
Also, Canfield defeated Perry in a first round match on Friday.Angel, a two-time U.S. Match Racing Champion, and crew Michael Delanty (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Steven Natvig (Redondo Beach, Calif.) defeated Nesbitt and crew Travis Wilson (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Steven Pickel (San Diego, Calif.), 2-1 in the Petit Finals to finish third. Perry, the top ranked U.S. match racing skipper by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), won his first U.S. Match Racing Championship back in 1982. He also won in 2006 and 2008. The 2011 Championship marks his third title representing the Pequot Yacht Club (Conn.).
Museler won with Perry at the 2006 and 2008 Championships. Perry is also the women’s match racing coach for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.
Sunday was the best day of sailing all week for the competitors. Breezes ranged from 10 to 12 knots throughout most of the day with heavy chop. Racing was conducted between Balboa Pier and Newport Pier.
Perry received an invitation to race in the 2012 Knickerbocker Cup and 2012 Ficker Cup, two Grade 2 events and World Tour Qualifiers.
The U.S. Match Racing Championship is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Gill North America, Hobie Polarized Sunglasses and Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky. Please visit the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USMRC.htm for results, daily reports, photos and video highlights and interviews. The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event