6ix Match Racing is back and excited for this year’s Match Racing season. Brandon Townsend and Alex Byczko are back for their 3rd year on the team with Taylor Self completing the trifecta, returning to the team after a seriously busy racing season on the 8 Metres last year.
This year for our bigger events we have added some great local match racing talent to round out the positions on the boat. Chantal Hearst and Alex Heinzemann travelled down to Oakcliff Sailing Academy in Oyster Bay, NY with us for this season’s first event. They formed the brain trust at the back of the boat with Hearst driving and Heinzemann calling the tactics.
Our first event took place April 20 - 23. Dave Perry, the legend, dropped a ton of tips and tricks on us in the pre race clinic. He refreshed all the racers on the new match racing rules, but mainly focused on nailing down crew positioning, sail trim, and streamlining the movements around the boat. Some great visuals coming out of his video debriefs!
The event saw light shifty winds and chilly weather making for some difficult racing conditions. Adding to the challenge was the incredible field of talent this event brought. Peter Wickwire, Canada’s Cup winner and at one point 14th in the world match racing rankings, and Peter Holz, currently ranked 24th and quickly becoming a mainstay on the Grade 2 circuit, were some of the notable entrants.
In the racing, boat speed was the top priority during the prestarts as both boats knew that less than perfect manuevers would be devastating when vying for position. Although, racing was conservative, we managed to gain a few penalties that were pretty damaging to our overall record for the weekend. This event flagged some boat speed, crew work, and tactical issues we will be practicing in the coming weeks before our next event. The clinic and regatta were great rust busters and have helped us develop a training plan for the season.
We want to thank Oakcliff Sailing for hosting another absolutely stellar event and Fogh Marine for providing us with our styling team gear!