Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

2019 Kilroy Realty U.S. Match Racing Championship: Potts retains Prince of Wales Bowl

by US Sailing 6 Oct 2019 22:30 PDT 4-6 October 2019
Pearson Potts and his crew claimed the Prince of Wales Bowl and the U.S. Match Racing Championship for the second year running © Scott Armstrong/St. Francis Yacht Club

The Kilroy Realty U.S. Match Racing Championship in San Francisco Bay started with two days of long postponements that yielded what chief umpire Glenn Oliver termed "champagne conditions." The scheduled 28 total matches over two round-robins went as planned. But with no significant winds to permit the start of semifinal racing, Sunday at St. Francis Yacht Club turned into a "lay day" that nobody wanted. Not even Pearson Potts (Newport, R.I.), the chief beneficiary of the cancellation.

Potts, who sailed to a 12-2 record over the Friday and Saturday sessions to take first place in the round-robin, thus successfully defended his national championship. After racing was called off, Potts raised the Prince of Wales Bowl as he did in Chicago last year, and the Boston resident has been named U.S. champion for the third year running. With the victory, Potts also earns a berth in next April's Ficker Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club.

"We came in to defend; we never really saw ourselves [that way]," Potts said, "so we tried to win rather than defend. Any time you come to St. Francis...there are so many currents and variables." Potts and his crew of Robert Savoie (Bristol, R.I.), now also a repeat champion, Lucas Adams (Middletown, R.I.) and Tim Siemers (Mapple Grove, Minn.) sailed the USMRC under the name Guardians of the Monohulls, a nod to the incumbent, classic America's Cup design.

Peter Holz (Glennview, Ill.; Chicago YC) ran second to his close friend Potts with a 10-4 mark over the two days, for the best USMRC finish of his career. By going 7-0 on Saturday to finish 9-5 for the weekend, 17-year-old Jeffrey Petersen is thought to be the youngest skipper in USMRC history to stand on the podium, finishing in third. The other semifinalist Nicole Breault ended up in fourth, also the best USMRC finish of her decorated match-race career.

"We love going against Potts," said Holz, who skippered a USMRC entry for the fourth time in five years. "We've got a pretty even record against him over the years, and it's always a good battle, so it's pretty disappointing that San Francisco didn't turn it on today." Holz's Windy City Racing crew included IG Schottlaender, John Hammond and Ellis Tonissi.

"When I come up to these regattas, I want to show that youth sailors can do just as well anyone else in the room," said Petersen, who in 2017 set the mark for youngest-ever skipper at this championship, when he sailed to ninth place as a 15-year-old. "I'll tell you this," Petersen added, "I'm gonna try to be the youngest winner of the [Prince of Wales] Bowl in the coming years." His Cricket Racing crew this week consisted of Max Brennan and Ken Sherb, both 18, and Daniel Pegg, 16.

"I feel good about our results. I know we made mistakes, and I wish I could get those races back, because they ended up counting a lot," said Breault, who competed with longtime Vela Racing teammates Dana Riley Hayes and Hannah Burroughs, and with Jack Barton, who was sailing with Breault for the very first time.

"For two days, we had very challenging conditions but excellent boat handling and highly competitive teams. The seawall came into play and some teams played it very, very well," said Event Chair Bruce Stone, who also noted the significance of both a female skipper and a youth crew among the final four. "This is a very difficult place to sail—anywhere else in the country, they would have been able to get a race off, but we have some current here and we had some unusual wind direction today because of the excessive heat, so we couldn't really race across current and set a fair racecourse."

That said, Stone was quick to praise the Race Committee, headed by St. Francis Race Director Graham Biehl, match umpires and the rest of the organizing team for running the best races possible. "I think they did a phenomenal job. I mean, the wind and tide lined up perfectly on the first two days of racing, so we were racing into a flood. The ebbs picked up at the end of each day and we were able to readjust the racecourse pretty quickly without losing any time. The mark boat team are very accomplished at that and I think we have a great group of volunteers here making it happen."

52nd U.S. Match Racing Championship Overall Results:

1. Pearson Potts, Boston, Guardians of the Monohulls
2. Peter Holz, Glennview, Ill., Chicago YC
3. Jeffrey Petersen, Santa Ana, Calif., Balboa YC
4. Nicole Breault, San Francisco, St. Francis YC
5. Chris Nesbitt, San Diego, San Diego YC
6. Ryan Seago, Grosse Pointe, Mich., Bayview YC
7. Cameron Feves, Long Beach, Calif., Cabrillo Beach YC
8. Allie Blecher, Long Beach, Calif., California YC

For additional information about this Championship, visit the event website.

Related Articles

US Sailing Leadership Forum LIVE session
Please joins us for this informative evening of knowledge share If you play a role as professional or volunteer at your local sailing organization, including community sailing centers, sailing schools, class associations, and yacht clubs, please joins us for this informative evening of knowledge share. Posted on 7 May
US Sailing confirms eight athletes for Tokyo 2020
Earning selection to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) released Guiding Principles for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Selection Procedures, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Posted on 6 May
2020 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships cancelled
Athlete Selection system for the 2020 Youth Worlds is now under review The US Sailing Championship Committee Chairs made the decision to officially cancel US Sailing Championships for youth scheduled in 2020 following weeks of collaboration and consultation with championship host clubs around the country. Posted on 5 May
Online International Safety at Sea course open
US Sailing approves policy changes to safety at sea training The US Sailing Offshore Committee and US Sailing Safety at Sea Sub-Committee have approved the following policy changes to Safety at Sea training. Posted on 24 Apr
2020 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships postponed
Originally scheduled for June 20-24 at Pensacola Yacht Club US Sailing and the Pensacola Yacht Club (Fla.) have collectively decided to postpone the 2020 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Posted on 14 Apr
Introducing the new Starboard Portal
A new video channel that keeps sailors connected to their sport The Starboard Portal is a new video channel that keeps sailors connected to their sport with resourceful videos and live content featuring a collection of the most knowledgeable experts in the nation on a variety of topics. Posted on 26 Mar
Tokyo 2020 Games officially postponed to 2021
CEO of US Sailing appreciates the clarity this decision provides In an official statement released today, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee issued the following joint statement announcing the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Posted on 25 Mar
Recent travel restrictions and event cancellations
US Sailing addresses athletes in Europe following recent travel restrictions Due to the travel restrictions from Europe that were announced by the U.S. on Wednesday, March 11 amid the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and recent event cancellations and postponements Posted on 12 Mar
New day for offshore sailing as opportunities grow
A new spotlight shines onto a previously established area of our sport With the inclusion of offshore sailing into the 2024 Olympics, a new spotlight shines onto a previously established area of our sport. Posted on 11 Mar
US Sailing publishes 2019 Reach Impact Report
Accepting applications for Reach Grants through Friday, March 13 US Sailing's Reach initiative has released it's 2019 Impact Report. Launched in 2012, Reach is US Sailing's STEM education initiative. Posted on 11 Mar
Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERMackay BoatsHenri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTER