By Sam Crichton
Twenty-four sailors with adaptive needs gathered in Oyster Bay, NY for the third annual Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race Clinic and Regatta, which was hosted by Sagamore Yacht September 28 - 30, 2018. The WaterFront Center donated their Sonars for use in the event, and Warrior Sailing Program rigged them with the adaptive equipment.
Holmberg, Barrengos and Long won every match in this year’s event. © Francis George
Five-time U.S. Match Racing Champion Dave Perry and America’s Cup legend Dave Dellenbaugh gave the competitors a crash course on match racing, from the basics all the way through to advanced penalty skills. The practice day was a case of practicing what they were taught and the first day of the regatta executing these skills.
From left to right are Clagett Regatta President Judy McLennan, the winning team of Kevin Holmberg, Noah Barrengos and Jeff Long, and Oakcliff Sailing Race Director Bill Simon. © Francis George
Kevin Holmberg (Tampa, FL) and his crew of Noah Barrengos (San Francisco, CA) and Jeff Long (Newport, R.) came out on top, not losing a single match. Holmberg first competed in the Clagett Regatta seven years ago but this was his first time match racing and competing in the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race. Holmberg usually races in the singlehanded 2.4mR class and recently raced in the World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan, WI. “I really enjoyed sailing with a crew and have learned a lot this weekend,” said Holmberg. “I’m looking forward to doing some sailing in the WETA trimaran soon.”
Improving on their 2017 result and finishing in second place was the team of skipper Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, CT), Tim Ripley (Randolph, NJ) and Stuart Caplan (Larchmont, NY), who only lost one match out of seven over the two days of racing. This trio commented after sailing that they continue to learn so much from the coaches and racing in the match racing format that they hope they can do a lot more. Caplan actually coached Ripley over 25 years ago and said, “I’ve learned so much here at this regatta. It is concentrated learning and unbelievable tutelage.”
Rounding out the podium was the team of skipper Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ) Matt Amatruda (Guilford, CT) and Charles McClure (Brookline, MA). Doerr, who raced with McClure at this regatta last year, said after sailing, “This year we had better breeze and the level of competition has stepped up a level. It’s great to see teams bringing great sailors to the mix and I enjoy wrapping up the summer sailing season with this regatta.”
Coach of the last three Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race Clinic and Regattas, Dave Perry remarked, “The improvement in the racing between the first day and the final day today has been very notable. Overall the racing level has become better.” For more information, visit clagettregatta.org.
Sam Crichton is an event management consultant who grew up in the Australian Outback. Now living in Newport, RI, she’s been a member of The Clagett Team for many years.