Brian McGinnis Takes Tightly Contested New England Regional

Posted June 06, 2016

It couldn't have been more tight.

Coming into the final of 8 races 4 skippers (and almost 5 after a failed redress hearing) were within a point of leading the 2016 Sunfish New England Regional #1 at Barrington Yacht Club. But New York's Brian McGinnis jumped out to an early lead in that race and held off Bill Brangiforte (2nd overall) and Andy David (3rd) to take the top spot and earn a bid to the 2017 Sunfish World Championship.

McGinnis held the lead after day-1, on the strength of two firsts and a second during the first five races. Hot on his heels was 14-year-old Class newcomer Fischer Nathen. Nathen was a deadly-fast combination of fast and smart on the first day, sailed primarily in breezes in the 4-8 MPH range. Nathen was able to point higher and sail faster than just about everyone else and comported himself well during his first Sunfish Class event after a strong run in the Optimist Class. Drew Staniar also enjoyed a strong day, masterfully handling the conditions and playing on his 50 years of experience in the boat. It made of an interesting combination of characters at the top!

Day 2 saw overcast skies and light rain, with a bit more wind (8-12) from the Southwest. Andy David took charge of the first race, with a bullet, but was ruled OCS -- a somewhat controversial decision that resulted in David asking for redress. A request that was denied after he testified that he had dipped below the line at the pin but was obscured from view by the committee boat by the 15 boats between them and the pin. There was no pin boat to weigh in and David had no witnesses, so the request was denied. Had it been upheld, David (who had a second and a first in Sunday's other two races) would have won the Regatta. 

But it was McGinnis' day and regatta, as he was the most consistent throughout. He won the final race by getting farther right than the rest of the contenders, sailed well out into the outgoing tide of Naragansett Bay and took a large lead at the windward mark that he never let go. Try as they might, Brangiforte and David were unable to close the gap over the final two legs. 

Nathen finished 4th with Staniar 5th. Delaware's Nancy Hastings Jaywork finished 6th and was the top woman in the fleet.

The Barrington Yacht Club were great hosts, as always. It was great to see the crew from Edgewood (RI) Yacht Club come out and compete, including two fast teens! There were 18 total competitors, as many "regulars" had conflicts.

Full results can be seen on Facebook here

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