Byline: Nancy Mellon
NEWPORT BEACH — Dave Perry won his fourth US Sailing Match Racing Championship — having won previous titles in 1982, 2006 and 2008 — during the culmination of a nationwide series, at Balboa Yacht Club, Oct. 12-16.
Perry, of Southport, Conn., was presented with the Prince of Wales Bowl at a reception after racing on Sunday. Perry is the International Sailing Federation’s top-ranked U.S. match racing skipper.
As the winner of this event, Perry received an invitation to race in the 2012 Knickerbocker Cup, a Grade 2 event and World Cup qualifier.
The first two days of racing in the Class 3 event off Newport Beach included very light wind on the first day, good wind to start on the second day, and 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 six races was held.
On Saturday, conditions improved and the round-robin series of races was completed. Skipper Taylor Canfield of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 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 first and eighth place, second and seventh place, and so on. The first team in each pairing to score two points won that round and moved on to Stage 4. In the end, the four non-winners were scored 5-8 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.
In the Stage 4 semifinals on Sunday, Canfield, the regatta leader, was given the choice of which team to race against. He chose Brian Angel of King Harbor Yacht Club, who was ranked third overall after Stage 3. That left second-ranked Chris Nesbitt of Balboa Yacht Club racing against fourth-ranked Perry.
The semifinals were a best-of-five series. When they concluded, the top two teams — Perry and Canfield — moved on to the best-of-five finals. Third and fourth teams — Angel and Nesbitt — moved on to the best-of-three petit finals.
The final results are: 1st: Dave Perry (skipper) with crew Mike Rehe and Chris Museler; 2nd: Taylor Canfield (skipper) with crew Tod Reynolds, Stephanie Roble and Jennifer Wilson; 3rd: Brian Angel (skipper) with crew Michael Delanty and Stephan Natvig; 4th: Chris Nesbitt (skipper) with crew Travis Wilson and Steven Pickel.