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Callahan Brothers dominate C420 North Americans at St Francis Yacht Club

by Scott Armstrong 15 Jul 2019 02:20 PDT
Paul Callahan poses with his sons after they win the C420 North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club. From left: Justin Callahan, Paul Callahan, Mitchell Callahan © Kimball Livingston / St FYC

At the C420 North American Championship in San Francisco Bay, Justin and Mitchell Callahan won the continental title in dominant fashion, adding to the twin brothers' growing list of domestic and international racing laurels.

The 16-year-olds from Cape Coral, Florida and Outfit Sailing turned down an attempted repeat from defending C420 NA champions Ansgar Jordan and Patrick Mulcahy. Sailing for Coronado Yacht Club and California Yacht Club, Jordan and Mulcahy finished second in their final C420 regatta as a team.

"We definitely don't take anything for granted," said Mitchell Callahan. "Hopefully we can keep it going." The Callahan brothers arrived at St. Francis Yacht Club fresh off an equally dominant victory at last month's U.S. Youth Sailing Championships. Preceding their success at this class, Mitchell and Justin went one-two in the 2017 International Optimist Regatta.

"Coming out on San Francisco Bay with 20 knots every day is a struggle," said Justin Callahan, who skippered the winning entry while his brother Mitchell crewed. "We just tried to get through it and learn as much as we could before the regatta, and it obviously worked out well for us... we enjoyed every minute of it." The Callahans finished first in five of the regatta's 10 races.

In a strong showing for the locals, Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation's Justin Lim and Amir Tadros finished third in the Gold Fleet, and their PYSF teammates Mason Stang and Timmy Gee followed in fourth. Next in fifth were Javier Garcon and Carolina Gaston of Coral Reef Yacht Club and Team Chill. Stang/Gee and Garcon/Gaston earned second and third places in the Juniors Division behind the Callahans, who also sailed under the PYSF burgee.

The 2019 C420 NAs featured some dockside drama at the start of the week. 16 of the 102 craft entered into the regatta did not measure to the class standards. A variety of efforts from the Club 420 Association, StFYC, sailors and their families, and other volunteers assured that all who came to San Francisco for this championship had a legal boat available. But as a result, many competitors only spent a couple days with their vessels before the regatta began.

That setback neither dampened their spirits nor diminished the quality of the racing. "This was the largest West Coast class championship ever, at 93 boats," said Dillon Paiva, Executive Director of the Club 420 Association. "St. Francis Yacht Club put on an excellent event and showed all present the best San Francisco had to offer."

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