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Oakcliff118

As part of their mission, Oakcliff Sailing will race in the Atlantic Cup with top up and coming sailors racing alongside a veteran offshore sailor . In Leg 1, Liz Shaw will team up with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Libby Greenhalgh. Liz and Libby will make Atlantic Cup history as the first all-female team to race. In Leg 2, Hobie Ponting will team up with co-skipper Andrew O’Donnell.

  • Boat Name: Oakcliff
  • Port of Registry: Oyster Bay, NY
  • Builder: Hakes Marine
  • Designer: Farr Yacht Design
  • Year Launched: 2012
  • Source of Energy Production: Hydrogenerator
  • Preparateur: Hobie Ponting

Libby Greenhalgh

  • Age: 35
  • Hometown: Brighton, UK
  • University: Undergrad from University of Southampton, Masters from University of Reading
  • What’s the one thing you do to protect the planet or our oceans? Recycle recycle recycle as much as possible and stop buying plastic bottles as much as possible……I don’t like seeing bottle-fish at sea that aren’t really bottle fish!!! #AtCup1Thing
  • Career Highlights
    2014-15 Navigator Team SCA Volvo Ocean Race

 

Liz Shaw

  • Age: 32
  • Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • University: Acadia University
  • How old were you when you first went sailing? 9 or 10 years old. My best friend was going to sailing school at our local club and I missed being able to play with her so I asked my parents if I could go too.
  • Career Highlights
    2015  – 3rd – ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships – Middelfart, Denmark
    2015 – 1st  – Doublehanded Class 40 SORC
    Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race
  • If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet? Freddy Mercury

Hobie Ponting

  • Age: 25
  • Hometown: Wisconsin
  • University: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? Watch out for those lobster pots!
  • How old were you when you first went sailing? Before I could walk. Dad took me out, mom told dad not to come home unless I was still with him.
  • Career Highlights
    2016 – 1st – Key West Race Week C&C30
    2014 – 1st- ORC Transatlantic IRC 1

Andrew O'Donnell

  • Age: 29
  • Hometown: Ancramdale, NY and Newport, RI
  • University: Hobart College
  • Career Highlight: 2014 RORC Transatlantic
  • Favorite type of music: Rap
  • What does taking care of the planet mean to you? The ocean is my passion and life, sustaining her health is an upmost concern.

Libby Greenhalgh

Describe yourself in one word. Encouraging

Do you play any other competitive sports? Yes, I play field hockey

What does taking care of the planet mean to you? It means a huge amount. I done a lot of travelling through my life and the more of the world I see the more impact you see we are having on the planet spoiling places that were previously not spoiled. On doing the Volvo Ocean Race it hit me even more the amount of floating rubbish we saw in some of the remotest parts of this planet was just unbelievable. We have a responsibility to slow this process down and start trying to fix it. After all we only have one planet with one very delicate ecosystem and it is truly beautiful and incredible place. I don’t fancy having to live on the moon!

If you had to convince someone to do their part in protecting our oceans, what would you say to them? Probably the above or something like, ‘we only have one planet with one very delicate ecosystem it is almost a miracle that this little dot we live on even exists and it is a truly beautiful and incredible place but will only stay so if the inhabitants work with it not against it.

What’s the one thing you do to protect the planet or our oceans? Recycle recycle recycle as much as possible and stop buying plastic bottles as much as possible……I don’t like seeing bottle-fish at sea that aren’t really bottle fish!!! #AtCup1thing

Tell us why Atlantic Cup Kids should vote for your team. We are a new team and the first time there has been an all female team in the Atlantic Cup and I think Kids should support us because we represent the diversity in the sport

 What makes you tough enough to race in the Atlantic Cup? Experience and probably a like any offshore sailing ever so slightly mad

For someone who doesn’t understand short-handed offshore sailing, can you explain it in less than 2 sentences? Imagine driving from the east coast to the west coast of USA with one other person in a convertible with the top down you can’t stop you have to take all your resources with you to fix your car to feed yourself

What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? It will be a challenging leg

How old were you when you first went sailing? Too young to remember

How did you get into competitive sailing? Through my family and my sailing club

Describe sailing to you in one word. Everything

In what way are you superstitious before a race? I am not specifically I am quite superstitious in general life ….don’t walk under ladders, greet single magpies etc

Number of transatlantic crossings under sail: 3

What is one of your goals for your sailing career? To do another Volvo Ocean Race and to compete in the Sydney to Hobart

What is your 2016 race schedule? Varied I am focusing a fair bit on inshore high performance racing as a navigator this year while also trying to do the big offshore races such as the Round Ireland, The Grigalia etc. I will be doing a fantastic race called the ThreePeaks Challenge for charity in June with Dee Caffari.

How did you meet your co-skipper?  Through a mutual friend Sally Barkow

What are the strengths of your co-skipper? Experience with the boat and racing and trimming….knowing how to make the boat go fast

What are your sailing strengths? Navigation and Weather

What do you like most about being offshore? What do you like least? Being with nature the oceans. Sleep deprivation!!!

What is your biggest fear of being alone on deck? I don’t have one I find it very peaceful

What makes you and your co-skipper a good team? We complete each other bringing strengths in different areas.

What do you see is your biggest challenge in this race? The newness of our team

How do you rate your chances in the Atlantic Cup? Who do you think is the favorite?Difficult to say I haven’t had a chance to assess the entrants, but I think we have a lot of the key building blocks in place for a successful team in this event so I think you should always back yourself as well.

Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? No that is not true, you have to get some sleep in order to make the right and race winning decisions.

Because of the limited number of sails you’re allowed to carry how does sail preservation and damage figure in your strategy? It is obviously a key element to strategy, but in offshore sailing there is a continual balance between the risk and reward of many aspects one being sail preservation as you don’t hit the dock each day and take anything that’s damaged to get repaired

 

 


 

 

Liz Shaw

Describe yourself in one word. Spirited

Did you or do you play any other competitive sports? Always and any sport would do; figure skating, soccer, basketball, skiing & snowboading, tennis, squash, track & field, ultimate frisbee, karate, badminton… I’ve tried it all but nothing has ever been as much fun or as satisfying as sailing.

What does taking care of the planet mean to you? It means making decisions today that will ensure a healthier planet for those who will follow us. Strength in numbers—if we all commit to doing the little things and making daily decisions to minimize our impact, we’ll all make a difference for those in future generations together.

If you had to convince someone to do their part in protecting our oceans, what would you say to them? I wouldn’t say much at all, I would try to show them. The amount of plastic in the water and found washed up on beaches is shattering. It is killing sea life and we’re losing the battle at keeping any balance in our oceans ecosystem. People can innocently feel detached from the damage that’s being done because the general population doesn’t spend much time afloat or underwater. We have to really show people what one plastic straw or piece of debris is capable of doing to an animal or plant and explain not only what beauty is being lost, but also why a clean and healthy ocean is imperative for a healthy planet.

What’s the one thing you do to protect the planet or our oceans? Recycle, use glass or metal multi-use containers for drinks and food, limit energy consumption in the home, beach clean-ups and the repurposing of items or donating of items to others. #AtCup1Thing

Tell us why Atlantic Cup Kids should vote for your team. Oakcliff at it’s core believes that youth are strong and capable. Our programming centers around taking young people who have goals and helping them to achieve them through training and coaching in competitive sailing. We are also the first ever female team to compete in the event so it is important to celebrate the diversity of our team and something new to the event. We need their support now so the torch can be passed along to them for the next Atlantic Cup!

What makes you tough enough to race in the Atlantic Cup? My tenacity and my resilience. I’ve got that special little sprinkle of wackiness that allows me to enjoy my way through even the most punishing of conditions.

For someone who doesn’t understand short-handed offshore sailing, can you explain it in less than 2 sentences? Imagine barreling down the highway in a car with no headlights for multiple days without stopping on a road that is constantly shifting below you, knowing where you are going but constantly changing how you are going to get there based on the changes in weather and eating and sleeping very little and on a strange schedule based on what needs to be fixed or changed on the car while it is still moving. This doesn’t nearly do it justice.

What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? It will present a lot of challenges for the teams but they will be rewarded with the beautiful coastline and wonderful people in Maine on arrival!

How did you get into competitive sailing? Thanks to my mom who was a non-sailor then, actually. I’m pretty competitive at everything I do so I was naturally drawn to racing almost right away but the reason I was able to continue to pursue it was that as soon as I could get myself around, she gave me the keys to the car, bought me a boat and allowed me the freedom to chase these crazy dreams.

Describe sailing to you in one word. Everything.

In what way are you superstitious before a race? Not superstitious, but I always call my mom on the way out to the start line.

What is one of your goals for your sailing career? To be part of a Volvo Ocean Race team

What is your 2016 race schedule? Atlantic Cup, Newport to Bermuda Race, and lots of coastal racing along with inshore and match racing at Oakcliff

How did you meet your co-skipper? Through Sally Barkow who is a mutual friend.

What are the strengths of your co-skipper? Clearly her meteorology and navigation skills are superior, and I’m told that she’s plenty of fun to be stuck on a boat with!

What are your sailing strengths? Hard work, tweaking and trimming to make the boat go, go, go.

What do you like most about being offshore? What do you like least? The challenge, both mental and physical, in a very beautiful but sometimes hostile environment is something that brings me back over and over again. Getting really bad knots in my long hair is the worst—but I have some pretty good tricks to avoid it now!

What is your biggest fear of being alone on deck? None, it feels amazing.

What makes you and your co-skipper a good team? We’re a great fit because of our differing strengths.

What do you see is your biggest challenge in this race? Finding a rhythm right off of the start line; we’re such a new team that it will be a priority.

How do you rate your chances in the Atlantic Cup? Who do you think is the favorite? No matter how we finish, we’ll be accomplishing something that I’ll be very proud of. Being the first female team to compete in this event is a great achievement and will be a nod to the few women who have completed the race before, but hopefully will set the tone moving forward. As for the favorites, call me on race day. Conditions will play a huge part because the field is deep and full of talent. With that said, I think that we have a great chance for a very strong result.

Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? A little bit of sleep is required to keep your brain and body functioning so that you are able to make good decisions and stay safe but I’m sure that we’ll all be working hard to keep the boats going fast. There will be plenty of time to catch up on sleep once we’re back on land.

Because of the limited number of sails you’re allowed to carry how does sail preservation and damage figure in your strategy? It’s always a balance. We will be constantly working to find that balance of pushing as hard as possible to be competitive, yet taking care of what gear and sails will get us to the finish line—it does us no good to have to retire from breakage.

What is your favorite type of music? Depends on my mood, music is a huge part of my life.

What your favorite song? Nina Simone – Sinner Man is one of the many…

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet? Freddy Mercury

What’s your favorite thing to eat when you’re offshore? Least favorite? Favorites are fresh fruit and my favorite freeze dried is Pad Thai flavor. Least favorite has to be anything that people spill everywhere and make the boat messy!

What is your favorite movie line?“The Dude abides.” – The Big Lebowski

What do you do to relax during your free time? I take my sweet dog The Artful Dodger to the beach or for a hike.

Do you have any hidden talents? Not so hidden but I speak a few languages and am built for travel and adventure. Oh, and I have a great party trick called the Newfie Doughnut…

Hobie Ponting

Describe yourself in one word. Ambitious

What does taking care of the planet mean to you? It means taking responsibility and being a steward for sustainability.

If you had to convince someone to do their part in protecting our oceans, what would you say to them? I would show them the oceans natural beauty, enough said.

What’s the one thing you do to protect the planet or our oceans? Beach Cleanups #AtCup1Thing

Tell us why Atlantic Cup Kids should vote for your team. I make a mean peanut butter, nutella, honey sandwich!

What makes you tough enough to race in the Atlantic Cup? Ambition

For someone who doesn’t understand short-handed offshore sailing, can you explain it in less than 2 sentences? Two Humans on a boat in the middle of the ocean trying to work with mother nature to achieve a goal.

What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? Watch out for those lobster pots!

How old were you when you first went sailing? Before I could walk. Dad took me out, mom told dad not to come home unless I was still with him.

How did you get into competitive sailing? College

Describe sailing to you in one word. Lifestyle

In what way are you superstitious before a race? I always make sure my finger nails and toe nails are an appropriate length

Number of transatlantic crossings under sail: 1

What is one of your goals for your sailing career? Win the Bermuda Race Double Handed

What is your 2016 race schedule? Atlantic Cup Leg 2 and Inshore Newport Bermuda Race

What are your sailing strengths? Preparedness          

What do you like most about being offshore? What do you like least? The Beauty of the Ocean

What is your biggest fear of being alone on deck? Not knowing that my crew is in trouble down below

What do you see is your biggest challenge in this race? Lack of experience racing in a large Class 40 fleet

How do you rate your chances in the Atlantic Cup? Who do you think is the favorite? We have as good a chance as anyone, you better believe that we will be as prepared as possible before we leave the dock. The favorite must be Tales, they have really figured out how to make that boat go. Impressive.

Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? Guess we’ll find out.

Because of the limited number of sails you’re allowed to carry how does sail preservation and damage figure in your strategy? I don’t know that it does. The legs are still relatively short so I reckon we will need to be pushing as hard as possible. Of course you still need to be smart, Probably shouldn’t have the A2 up in 25knts.

What is your favorite sports team? Green Bay Packers  

What is your favorite type of music? Folk

What your favorite song? Wild World – Cat Stevens

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet? James Madison

What’s your favorite thing to eat when you’re offshore? Least favorite? Chicken With Black Bean Sauce is the best. Worst would be Lamb

What is your favorite movie line? From Top Gun

Carole: Hey, Goose, you big stud!

Goose: That’s me, honey.

Carole: Take me to bed or lose me forever.

Goose: Show me the way home, honey.

What do you do to relax during your free time? On the boat, minesweeper off the boat Rock Climbing

Do you have any hidden talents? If I tell you they wont be hidden.

Andrew O’Donnell

Describe yourself in one word. Calm

Did you or do you play any other competitive sports? Rowing, Down Hill Mountain Biking, Dog Walking

What do you do to relax during your free time? Longboard.

What does taking care of the planet mean to you? The ocean is my passion and life, sustaining her health is an upmost concern.

If you had to convince someone to do their part in protecting our oceans, what would you say to them? If water follows the path of least resistance, think of how and were your waste goes.

What’s the one thing you do to protect the planet or our oceans? Spread the word.

Tell us why Atlantic Cup Kids should vote for your team. Youth education is exciting and serves as a foundation to the Earth’s future. I’m just as excited to share my experiences on the ocean as I am to race across them.

What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? It’ll be fun racing past my home in Newport but we’re lucky this leg is a bit longer compared to the past NYC to Newport leg.

What do you see is your biggest challenge in this race? Lobster pots.

Describe sailing to you in one word. Wet

What is your sailing career highlight? 2014 RORC Transatlantic

What is your 2016 race schedule? Many local races and a few offshore.

How did you meet your co-skipper? Sailing

What are the strengths of your co-skipper? His attitude and he is very organized and able to have a linear train of thought in all situations. Hobie is always looking for that extra 1/8th of a knot of speed.

What makes you and your co-skipper a good team? We communicate well. I’m a very quiet and self-reserved person except when racing.

How do you rate your chances in the Atlantic Cup? Who do you think is the favorite? Andrew O’Donnell and Hobie Ponting.

Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? No, sleep helps.

What’s your favorite thing to eat when you’re offshore? Hot sauce.

  • Leg 2, Day 2…

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