Thursday, October 20, 2016

Snow Frosts J/22 US Sailing Match Race Champs!

J/22 sailing US Match Race Championship- Prince of Wales Trophy (San Diego, CA) – San Diego Yacht Club hosted the 49th edition of the U.S. Match Racing Championship for ten very talented teams- their goal, to win “mano-a-mano” and win the coveted Prince of Wales Bowl.  The #3 ranked match racer in the country, Nevin Snow from San Diego YC may be moving up the rankings following this weekend’s triumphant performance. The San Diego native earned his first Prince of Wales Bowl in impressive fashion by winning 17 of 18 races, including a 3-0 win over three-time champion, Dave Dellenbaugh (Easton, Conn.) in Sunday’s Final series. Crewing for Snow was Nick Kaschak (San Diego, Calif.), Alex Curtiss (Lake Bluff, Ill.) and Peter Busch (San Diego, Calif.).

On Friday, the winds started 4-5 knots and built up to 11-12 knots in the afternoon. Controlling the pre-start was really important, as always in match racing, but there were quite a few split starts where the lead changed several times because of shifts and patchy wind conditions.

Sail-handling was excellent on all the boats, which was a great example of the competitive nature of fleet. Overall, there were very few penalties and the penalties that did occur were at the start, some were at windward mark and some at bottom left corner of the race course.

One of those most exciting racing of the day was Breault vs Durant in flight 6. After a fierce battle of jibing and luffing, Breault took the win. At the top of the fleet, Snow finished 7-0 and Dellenbaugh finished 6-1.

Nevin Snow commented on the day’s racing, “Everyone was good out there today, so it felt nice to win all of our races. Every race was nervously tight. Tomorrow we want to make sure that we keep our momentum going. We don’t want to become complacent after winning the first day of races.”

David Dellenbaugh said, “Other than losing the last race, it was a good day. There was perfect wind velocity for match racing and the matches were very well run. I was sailing with my two daughters, Becca and Emily and today was Emily’s first time formally match racing.”

Saturday started with more wind in the morning than Friday. Overall, the average wind speed for the day was 8 knots. On day 2 of racing, skippers were focused on good starts and boat handling. Spinnaker handling was also massively important throughout the day. On Friday and even more so on Saturday, many passes downwind were happening.

Since rule 17 was recently deleted from match racing, it was evident that competitors were taking the opportunity to luff people downwind. There were a fair number of penalties again today all over the race course.

The eight skippers that progressed from the round robin to the quarterfinal were Snow, Dellenbaugh, Merrick, Darden, Durant, Lalumiere, Breault and Natvig. The match-ups for the quarterfinal were Snow vs Natvig, Dellenbaugh vs Breault, Lalumiere vs Darden and Durant vs Merrick. The first skippers to get three wins progressed to Sunday’s semi-finals.

Snow and Dellenbaugh both won their first three races and Lalumiere won during the fourth. Durant and Merrick were the only pair left to race a fifth race which Merrick won. Durant carried two penalties, burning one during the race without a chance to burn the second penalty.

At the end of Saturday, Snow was undefeated for the whole weekend, so far winning 12 races. Dellenbaugh had only lost one race- to Snow.

Snow said, “Boat speed was my key today. I wanted to focus on going fast and tried not to get caught up in what the other boats were doing.  We’re taking it race by race tomorrow. I think every race between the 4 in the quarterfinal will be tight. Our approach is to keep it cool and calm through the races and maintain that attitude throughout the last day.”

Dustin Durant commented, “We had a rocky start to the whole regatta. We ended up 5th in the round robin which we were pleased with. We had a decent quarterfinal, tying it up 2-2, but having penalties in race 5 didn’t help. All in all, the team did well.”

For Sunday’s racing, Nevin Snow chose Colin Merrick to sail against in the Semi-Final round. Consequently, David Dellenbaugh had to sail against Charles Lalumiere.  Snow won his round 2-1 while Dellenbaugh won 2-0.  In the finale, Snow went 3-0 against Dellenbaugh.  In the Petite Finale, Lalumiere, a recent graduate from Dartmouth Sailing Team, went 2-1 against Merrick to take third for the regatta.   For more Prince of Wales Bowl/ Adult Match Race sailing info