As the results stand after three events in the Grand Slam Match Racing Series, the top contenders are David Gilmour (AUS), Chris Steele (NZL), and Nicolai Sehested (DEN). Because each of these sailors will also be competing at the Oakcliff International, the results of the Grand Slam Series will come down to how well their teams sail during this last event.
Some other up-and-coming teams to look out for at the Oakcliff International are Robert Hughes, who will be sailing with world number one skipper Taylor Canfield and three members of his match racing team, USOne; David Storrs, who has enlisted the help of Stephanie Roble (6 in ISAF Women’s rankings as of August 28), her tactician Maggie Shea, and local Oakcliff sailors Mike Komar and Jay Kehoe for the event. Local sailor Chris Poole is also a good one to keep your eyes on as he proved his match racing skills and knowledge of the Match 40s at the Knickerbocker Cup, coming out with a fourth place finish, pushing them just into the top five in the cumulative standings. Joining Chris Poole’s team for the last event is world-renowned match racer, Dave Perry. With such high stakes going into the culminating event, these mixed teams are stacked with talent and should make the racing even more interesting.
With events in Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Port Washington, New York; and Oyster Bay, New York, the Grand Slam Series has become well known and invitations are highly sought after by high-level match racers from around the world. In addition to tough competition, sailors are enticed by the prizes that the Series offers. The Knickerbocker Cup and Oakcliff International have, respectively, $19,000 and $10,000 in prize money that is distributed among the top ten finishers and the winners of the Detroit Cup and Knickerbocker Cup receive invitations to the Bermuda Gold Cup, a stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. The Series’ overall winner gets an invitation to two coveted events in 2014, the 50th running of the Congressional Cup and the Chicago Match Cup, the only US stop on the World Tour.
The racing is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 5 and go through Sunday, September 8 in the Oakcliff’s fleet of ten Match 40s. Two thirds of the teams competing here also sailed in the penultimate event of the Series, the Knickerbocker Cup at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, taking advantage of getting to know the bigger boats after coming out of Tom 28s in Chicago and Ultimate 20s in Detroit.
The complete lineup for the Oakcliff International is full of highly ranked international match racers, experienced sailors with local knowledge, and mix-and-matched teams with lots of potential. The skippers will be:
Nicolai Sehested - DEN
David Gilmour - AUS
Eric Monnin - SUI
Chris Steele - NZL
Dustin Durant - USA
Mark Lees – GBR
Chris Poole – USA
Ashlen Rooklyn – AUS
Stratis Andreadis – GRE
Magnus Sandberg – SWE
David Storrs – USA
Robert Hughes - USA
For more information visit Oakcliff International
by Dawn Riley
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9:18 PM Tue 3 Sep 2013GMT
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