A New Zealand team has won the Grand Slam match racing series for the second time in two years after Team Vento Racing took out the Thompson Cup in New York today.
Team Vento Racing, made up of Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron performance programme sailors Jordan Stevenson, George Angus, Jake Erson and Mitch Jackson as well as Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron sailing director Laurie Jury, claimed the final event of the series after the last day of the Thompson Cup was abandoned due to a lack of wind at the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in New York.
They finished the second round robin with 14 wins, one ahead of fellow Kiwis Knots Racing.
Knots Racing won last year's Grand Slam and have gone on to enjoy a terrific year that has seen helm Nick Egnot-Johnson climb to No 4 in the match racing world rankings.
The Grand Slam is made up of four match racing events, the Chicago Match Cup, Detroit Cup, Oakcliff International and Thompson Cup, with the team with the highest accumulated points across the four events winning the series.
Vento Racing were fifth in Chicago, won the Detroit Cup, finished third in Oakcliff and then claimed the Thompson Cup.
Stevenson ended the Grand Slam with 265 points overall, with American Chris Poole finishing second on 245 points. Egnot-Johnson was third with 160 points, an impressive result considering Knots Racing competed in the final two events in New York only. Celia Willison sailed in one event to finish the series in 21st overall.
“It’s been a pretty awesome tour and we’ve come a long way since the first event, which I think our results show," said Stevenson, who is likely to jump up the world rankings from his present position of 31. "We started out a bit shaky with a fifth-placed finish in Chicago but we got better and better as the tour went on. To come out with two regatta wins as well as the overall grand slam title, we are really stoked.
"I’d really like to thank everyone out on the water, all the judges, and everyone on the race committee boat, not just at this event but at all four events. I’d also like to thank my crew for a really good few weeks over here, as well as Laurie Jury who has come over and sailed with us at these last two events and taught us lot. Lastly, I would like to thank the RNZYS for being a cool yacht club back home and allowing us to represent them at these amazing events.”