By Nancy Mellon | Photos by Kristin Hunter
A familiar name is going on the Prince of Wales Bowl awarded to the winner of the US Match Racing Championships: Dave Perry.
For the fourth time, Perry won the match racing trophy, topping the field in five days of sailing hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club last week and weekend.
The event is the culmination of a nationwide series of events with the aim of determining the adult US Match Race Champion. It is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 3 event.
The first two days of racing included very light wind on the first day, good wind to start on the second day, then heavy fog. When the racers could no longer see the marks or each other, racing was postponed. When it cleared, an additional set of 6 races was held.
On Saturday, the conditions improved and the round robin series of races was completed. Taylor Canfield lost only one race in the round robin and emerged as the one to beat. With good wind, there was time to complete Stage 3.
Stage 3 consisted of a series of races between 1st and 8th place, 2nd and 7th place, and so on. First team in each pairing to score 2 points won that round and moved on to Stage 4. In the end, the four losers are scored 5th thru 8th overall based on their rankings in the Stage 1 Round Robin.
Sunday was the best day of sailing all week for the competitors. Breezes ranged from 10 to 12 knots throughout most of the day with heavy chop. Racing was conducted between Balboa Pier and Newport Pier. The Stage 4 – Semi Finals were held on Sunday. Regatta leader Taylor Canfield was given the choice of which team to race against – he chose Brian Angel, who was ranked 3rd overall after Stage 3. That left 2nd ranked Chris Nesbitt racing against 4th ranked Dave Perry.
The Semi Finals are a best of 5 series. When that was concluded, the top two teams (Perry and Canfield) moved on to the best of 5 Finals and 3rd and 4th (Angel and Nesbitt) moved on to the best of 3 Petit Finals.
The final results were: Perry, of Southport, Conn., in first with his team of Mike Rehe and Chris Musler; Taylor Canfield of St Thomas, VI, and his team of Tod Reynolds, Stephanie Roble and Jennifer Wilson in second; Brian Angel of King Harbor Yacht Club and his team of Michael Delanty and Stephan Natvig holding third; and Chris Nesbitt of Balboa Yacht Club and his team of Travis Wilson and Steven Pickel in the fourth spot.
The Prince of Wales Bowl was presented to now four-time champion Perry at a reception after racing on Sunday. Perry is the top-ranked U.S. match-racing skipper by the International Sailing Federation. As the winner of this event, Perry will receive an invitation to race in the 2012 Knickerbocker Cup, a Grade 2 event and World Cup Qualifier.
Additional information is available at the official website for this event which is http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USMRC.htm as well as at http://www.2011usmrc.blogspot.com/ and www.balboayachtclub.com.