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Callahan triumphs at Detroit Cup

Published on August 27th, 2023

Detroit, MI (August 27, 2023) – On the strength of great instincts and superb boat handling in the event’s Ultimate 20s, Justin Callahan and his team of brother Mitchell, Liam O’Keefe, and Marbella Marlo won the 15th edition of the Detroit Cup, August 23-27, 2023. Bayview Yacht Club hosts this second Grade 2 stop on the US Grand Slam tour annually.

In an outstanding display of sailing in the often tricky conditions on the Detroit River, Callahan defeated World Sailing-ranked no. 1 match racer Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team 3-0 in the Semi-Finals, then went on to defeat fellow Finalist Gavin Brady and his True Blue Racing team by the same score.

“We never expected to do this well here at our first Grade 2,” said Callahan, “and it’s been exciting to sail against legends like Chris Poole and Gavin. I grew up watching YouTube videos of guys like this in action, so it’s been amazing to be here in person to compete with them.”

This was the first Detroit Cup for Callahan, first time in Bayview’s Ultimate 20s, and first and only appearance in this year’s Grand Slam since he, brother Mitchell and Marlo are undergraduate students at Harvard, O’Keefe an undergrad at Brown, and all start their Fall semester of studies soon while the more veteran match racers go on to compete in the final two events in New York.

“I have the pleasure of racing with my closest friends,” said Callahan, “and that’s helped us iron out our teamwork to improve throughout the event.” Indeed, having four light, agile intercollegiate sailors with honed skills in dinghy racing has shown proven benefits in the light and agile Ultimate 20 sportboats here at Bayview.

Nonetheless, the field of 12 teams from 5 nations at the Detroit Cup this year represented tremendous diversity in background and talent, an enduring and hallmark feature of this event.

“Magic happens at Bayview,” said regatta chairman Lance Smotherman. “Not only did we have a wide variety of race conditions this year to test these team, but also a huge diversity in cultures and match racing talent. Our Finals match came down to the youngest and oldest skippers competing for the top prize.

“Gavin has years of experience from the America’s Cup to the ORC Worlds, and Justin is an up and coming intercollegiate star. This is a testament to how match race sailing here at Bayview can present an equal playing field for the best sailors to perform.”

Event detailsResultsFacebook

2023 Grand Slam Series- US Grade 2
Chicago Grand Slam: August 18-20
Detroit Cup: August 24-27
Thompson Cup: August 30-September 2
Oakcliff International September 6-9

Notice of Series:

Source: Dobbs Davis

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