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U.S. Match Racing Championship at Oakcliff Sailing Center

by Francis George, Oakcliff Sailing 16 Oct 2017 16:39 BST 13-15 October 2017
U.S. Match Racing Championship © Matthew Cohen Photography / www.cohenphotography.com

David Storrs and his international team won the Prince of Wales Bowl but it was second place finisher Pearson Potts and the Yankee Creole Racing team who walked away with the title of U.S. Match Racing Champion. Chris Kennedy and the Oakcliff crew took third and Janel Zarkowsky took fourth.

Storrs' (Fairfield, Conn.) team was comprised of Hayden Goodrick (Edwards, Colo.), Tom Powrie (Auckland, New Zealand), Laurie Jury (Auckland, New Zealand), and Sam Bell (London, England).

Potts' (Newport, RI) team includes Peter Bailey (Fairfield, Conn.), Bryce Kopp (Fairfield, Conn.), Pearson Potts (Newport, RI), Robert Savoie (Bristol, RI) and Lucas Adams (New York, NY).

The scoring line shows shut-outs in semifinals, petites, and finals, but none of the races were won until the finish. The deciding race of the finals saw an exhausting back-and-forth between Potts and Storrs. They split at the leeward gate with Potts leading but Storrs came back on starboard to start a dial down and Potts reacted late. Both boats ended up head to wind, bow to bow, with jibs down. Potts got a penalty and Storrs cleared ahead for the win. Heart rates were high all around. Potts' strategy going into the finals was to "keep his cool and focus on boat-handling" but Storrs' crew-work was unbeatable.

Kennedy let loose a relentless spree of starboard attacks in the prestart with Zarkowsky in their final match of petites. He forced her out beyond the pin and tacked back over to start with a two boat-length lead. She stayed hot on his heels for the rest of the race but couldn't catch him. "We're getting better every race. We're ready to carry this momentum all the way to the top," said Kennedy, who landed a spot on the podium with a third-place victory.

The 70-year old winner, David Storrs, eloquently thanked all involved including Oakcliff, US Sailing, and especially his crew. "It's been the greatest relationship I've had in sailing and I thank all of you for it," he said.

The 2017 U.S. Match Racing Championship is sponsored by Gill North America, Hobie Polarized Sunglasses, Old Pulteney, and Heron Wealth.

More information and full results on the event website.

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