Amanda Callahan Wins First New England Regional of 2017

Posted June 12, 2017

On a beautiful Rhode Island weekend, Amanda Callahan managed an unmatched level of consistency over nine races that featured a little bit of everything to win the first New England Sunfish Regional Championship of 2107 on June 10-11.

Callahan took control of the 23-boat regatta on Sunday by tallying nine points in four races that day, to move ahead of day-1 leader Bill Brangiforte. She finished the nine-race championship with a net of 23 points to Brangiforte’s 29. Scores include one throw-out, so there was a net of eight races. FULL RESULTS HERE

Rounding out the top 5 were Scott Greenbaum (40 points), Andy David (44 points) and Alan Beckwith (45 points).L-R: David, Greenbaum, Beckwith, Callahan, Brangiforte

Saturday began with a (very) light breeze from the south and a tide that was starting to run out of Narragansett Bay; left to right across the course. Andy David took race 1 and followed that with a 4th in race 2, which was also sailed in light air.

The air steadily built through the first three races and held at a steady 15 to 20 knots for race 3 and 4. The sea breeze also brought with it the infamous Barrington chop, making for some hard sailing upwind and surfing conditions downwind.

Brangiforte was up to the task and took race 3. Race 4 saw the peak of the sea breeze and tide strength. David Nielsen took advantage, hitting the far right corner of the first beat and riding the favorable current to the mark, while most of the fleet hit the left side of the course looking for a geographic lefty off the Barrington shore. That shift never materialized and Nielson won race 4.

Check the race-by-race scores, and you will see the effect that the changing conditions had on many.

Race 5 brought something new as well. The sea breeze eased noticeably down to about 10 knots, leaving behind much of the chop, making moving upwind especially tricky. In that race Brangiforte grabbed his third win of the day, while Callahan finished 2nd.

Day-1 ended with Brangiforte holding a 16 to 23 lead over Callahan, but Callahan had that 12 eligible for a throw-out, which would come after race 6.

Sunday’s racing began with a light southerly once again, only a bit stronger than on race 1 on Saturday. Unlike Saturday, the wind didn’t build for several hours, meaning three of the four races were sailed in light air, with one race seeing a complete collapse of the breeze and a near 180% flipping of the fleet as it filled in spottily across the course.

Callahan took to the conditions, winning race 6 and finishing 2nd in race 7. Race 7 was won by Eric Woodman (your humble correspondent who finished 7th for the regatta), who managed to round the windward mark 3rd from last and the leeward mark in first, as the wind completely died halfway down the run. It was a fluky race, at best! In that race, Brangiforte ended up 8th, which ended up being a major factor in his losing the lead in the regatta.

Race 8 saw Marguerite Koehler (6th for the regatta) sail brilliantly, winning wire to wire over Callahan and Beckwith. She followed that up with a win in race 9, the final race of the regatta. For the day, only Callahan beat Koehler’s total of 14 points.

For a regatta that has been victim of more than its fair share of lousy weather over the last decade or so, the perfect weather for the weekend was most welcome! The Barrington Yacht Club, and PRO Leo Berendes, did a nice job running things and the work of the volunteers is always appreciated! FULL RESULTS HERE

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