Hollerbach Edges Dellenbaugh for U.S. Match Racing Championship

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (October 5, 2014) – Taking a deep breath after winning his second U.S. Match Racing Championship, Nathan Hollerbach allowed, “Going five races deep against Dave Dellenbaugh in the Final was stressful, I won’t kid you. This was the most competitive match racing I’ve ever had.”

Hollerbach_USMRC14With courses set along the San Francisco cityfront, under the windows of host St. Francis Yacht Club, the windward-leeward legs were either with or against currents that topped two knots in all three days of racing. Ebb currents were especially taxing because weather mark roundings compressed the distance between boats, and the counter-current extended time on the leg. “Racing downwind against the current was just exhausting,” Hollerbach said. “In that, you have to stay calm and not be your own worst enemy when you see the other guy catch a puff. I swear, this took a few years off my life.”

As high points skipper after two round robins, Hollerbach had his choice of opponents for the Semifinals. He took local Russ Silvestri (“We knew he was fast; he knows the place and he knows the boats”) and quickly fell behind, 1-2, in a first-to-three contest. He had to come back from that along with his team of Taylor Canfield, Mike Rehe and Maggie Shea.  He did, and they did. “They were tough,” Hollerbach said.  Then in the Finals the Hollerbach team fell behind 1-2 to Dellenbaugh, who was one race win away from what would have been his fourth championship title, 30 years after winning his first.

That was not to be, but Dellenbaugh called this, “Perhaps the best day of match racing I’ve ever had. Something like 90 percent of the time, the boats were a length apart or less.”

October being a transition time in the San Francisco Bay seabreeze—and with a high pressure system driving offshore flow over the region—there were delays waiting for wind on Friday and Saturday, but superb conditions for playing the game when the time came. Often that meant 9-10 knots over flat water, in matched J/22s. On Sunday, the fog and the breeze were already in at sun-up, and it was game on.

Through the Round Robins, much of the tightest racing was the Battle of the Daves, Dave Dellenbaugh versus Dave Perry, both of Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, CT. Is it something in the water?

In the Petit-Finals, Silvestri, representing the host club, went 2-1 to win against Perry, four times the US Match Racing Champion. A Dellenbaugh win would have tied him, so the outcome was his consolation.

Only a few years ago the St. Francis Yacht Club made a commitment to build a fleet of boats for match racing and team racing. Yes, it’s a big “ka-ching” in the pocketbook, but the payoffs are huge.

*Race report provided by Kimball Livingston.
*Photo credit to Chris Ray.

Here is a sample of today’s social media coverage:


Media & Coverage

  • For results, standings, photos, Twitter updates, and more information on the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Championship, please visit the event website.


  • The winner was named the U.S. Match Racing Champion and the skipper’s name will be engraved on the Prince of Wales Bowl, a perpetual trophy that will be kept on display at US Sailing.
  • Winning skipper qualified for the Nations Cup and 2015 Ficker Cup. Winning skipper also received an invitation to the 2015 Chicago Match Cup June Qualifier regatta.
  • US Sailing Medals will be awarded to teams placing first through third.

The U.S. Match Racing Championship is sponsored by Gill North America, Old Pulteney and Hobie Polarized Sunglasses. This US Sailing National Championship is a Sailors for the Sea – Clean Regattas certified event.

US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the exclusive importer and distributor of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, US and Canada. Gill is a worldwide apparel and accessories brand serving the marine industry with over three decades of experience. Gill specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company develops and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Gill products are available through hundreds of independent dealers and select West Marine Stores. For further information, please contact: Gary Barker at 941-505-2111 or gary.barker@gillna.com.

About Old Pulteney
Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky is strongly rooted in the whisky’s nautical heritage and is commonly referred to as ‘The Maritime Malt.’ Old Pulteney is the Official Scotch of US Sailing and recently released a limited-edition ‘Navigator’ expression, commemorating the brand’s sponsorship of the 2013-2014 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Crafted in Pulteney Distillery in Wick, Scotland, the distillery was founded in 1826 by James Henderson in the heart of “Pulteneytown,” one of the largest fishing ports in Europe. Each Old Pulteney expression is carefully crafted and carries the windswept and rugged character of the North and the salty, fresh air of the North Sea. It is distributed by International Beverage, Inc. Visit Old Pulteney on Facebook or at www.oldpulteney.com for more information.

About Hobie Polarized
Hobie Polarized is a leading designer, developer, marketer and distributor of polarized eyewear. The brand’s innovative lens technology allows total glare reduction, 100% UV protection, enhances contrast and provides optimum visual acuity. The company’s products are sold worldwide and are used by watermen at all skill and lifestyle levels. The Hobie Polarized headquarters is located in Plainview, New York. For further information, please visit the company’s website at www.hobiepolarized.com.