Our friends at Oakcliff in Oyster Bay, NY have announced their 2021 match racing schedule. The season includes something for racers of all levels as Oakcliff continues to support the pathway from sailor to seasoned match racer in a COVID-safe sailing environment.
When it comes to training the next generation of match racers, Oakcliff has been at the forefront, making this discipline available to all. Oakcliff is expanding and turning their series of one-day Grade 5 regattas into Clinegattas, with a day of drills on Saturday followed by round robin racing on Sunday. Practice will also be available to all Oakcliff Supporters most other Saturdays. This is the perfect opportunity to try out match racing without the pressure of a regatta.
“For a long time we’ve been running our match racing drills on Tuesday evenings, but COVID helped us rethink both what was possible and what was needed,” said Race Program Director Patrick Burks. “This past fall the Grade 5s were our most popular events introducing more racers to match racing, so we’re doing our best to aid those newer teams and get more people on the water.”
For those wanting to take their match racing up a notch, the season also includes Grade 4 and Grade 3 “Clinegattas.” The Clinegattas start on Friday with a clinic led by an expert coach and combine classroom work, sailing drills and an evening debrief. The coach will then be on the water for the first day of racing following one team per match on the racecourse and debriefing with them in between matches.
Saturday drills and Clinegattas are a great way for college or post-college sailors to dip their toes into match racing, one of the most affordable and sustainable ways to continue sailing as an adult. Match racing skills and lessons learned translate to all other types of racing. For experienced match racers, Oakcliff will host the Oakcliff International as a stop on the US Grand Slam series, as well as the World Match Racing Tour. They will also host the World Match Racing Tour Academy, a training program designed for athletes aspiring to compete on the Tour.
Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, Oakcliff will continue to implement their COVID Safe Boating Protocol for summer racing. This includes requiring sailors to form their own “quaranteams” – a group they have either been quarantining with or feel safe being in close contact with. Sailors wishing to stay overnight at the Oakcliff Bunkhouse must provide a negative COVID test and sign Oakcliff’s COVID-19 Affidavit.
Oakcliff is always looking for volunteer Race Officers and Umpires. If you’re interested, contact Patrick Burks at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the full schedule and request an invitation, visit oakcliffsailing.org.. ■