There was one American on Oracle Team USA when it won the America's Cup in 2013.
Oakcliff Sailing is out to change that.
Located In Oyster Bay, NY on the north shore of Long Island, Hunt and Betsy Lawrence founded Oakcliff in 2005 to raise the caliber of US sailing. It now has a strong group of directors, coaches, industry leaders and alumni - not the least of which is Dawn Riley (first woman to manage an America's Cup sailing team) and Dave Perry (Board of Trustees and the highest ranked US sailor on the ISAF Match Racing Ranking List - see my prior post about his book of racing rules!) Please check out all their programs on their website.
I met Stephanie Roble at the 2013 Pro-Am at The Bitter End Yacht Club. And we met up at Charleston Race Week this past April. On July 12th, I took a very early train to Syosset, NY on Long Island and cabbed it to Oakcliff where Stephanie and her Epic Match Racing crew were vying for the US Women's Match Racing Championship. You may already know she WON. But what you don't know is that there were several days of long hours which included no wind, some wind and lots of wind resulting in not flying the genoas.
I was lucky enough to catch a ride on the Committee boat, courtesy of Bill Simon, the Race Program Director at Oakcliff. And for those of you who don't "get" match racing - and I am still trying to understand the rules (see Wikipedia) it can be confusing. It has very little to do with fleet racing rules. Two boats race against each other, shadowed by a referee boat. There are protests, discussions of protests and lots of great sailing.
Stephanie is the third ranked Women's Match Racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. I wish there had been an Oakcliff when I was growing up. So how do we get US sailing back on top?
Support the sport!
I can, and do, support Epic Racing and Oakcliff Sailing. I hope you will too. Oakcliff is a 501 C 3 and you can donate to Stephanie on the ILYA.org site. And follow Stephanie and her team.
They are EPIC!