Harken Derm

Tragedy on Narragansett Bay

Published on August 12th, 2019

A collision during a regatta took the life of competitor Sandra G. Tartaglino, 60, of Tiverton, RI. As reported in the Providence Journal, the incident took place at around 2:45 p.m. on August 11 near the Claiborne Pell Bridge in Newport, RI.

Tartaglino had been racing her F18 Nacra MKII catamaran in the New England 100 Regatta, an event she had organized, when her southbound course along the east passage came into conflict with a 25-foot power boat crossing the east passage.

Following the accident, she was unconscious in the water on the Jamestown side of the bridge, and the Newport Harbormaster pulled her out. Both boats were later taken to Fort Adams State Park. The crash resulted in no other serious injuries.

The USF18, an organization dedicated to organizing and promoting F18 sailing in the United States of America, posted the following on their Facebook page:


Sandra had organized this 30th anniversary event and she was at the very first one 30 years ago. Her parents were on site Saturday night for their annual support of providing their famous Stuffed Quahogs. As always, she was giving back to the sport which she loved so much.

Sandra was actively serving as USF18 Class Treasurer which she held for many years; her presence will be impossible to be replace. She always went above and beyond in the interest of the class and anyone that needed her help. Her support was instrumental in many events in the Northeast and all throughout the country.

Sandra loved catamaran sailing so much that she sailed anything from Nacra 6.0s in the Worrell 1000, Hobie 16s to Nacra 17s and more; she was a true competitor. She actively competed and placed in many major Championships.

Always thinking of others, she would bring brownies to give away during pack-up at nearly every event. In 2014, when she couldn’t make it to the F18 North American Championships in Texas, she mailed a giant batch of her famous brownies to her fellow sailors and friends. A true testament to how caring of a person she was.

Just one week ago she handily won the Buzzards Bay Regatta on her F18 and this past weekend she was organizing the regatta in which this accident occurred.

Sandra was an amazing woman, tough competitor, and dear friend we all learned so much from on and off the water. While she passed away doing what she loved, she was taken far too soon and will be truly missed.

Thank you for everything Sandra. Fair Winds and may you rest in peace.

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