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Jaws Melges 24 Sailing Team Attacks the Competition at the 2016 Midwest One Design Spring Championship

2016 Midwest One Design Spring Championship - The Jaws sailing team poses after finishing at the top of the Melges 24 podium. From left: Travis Maier, Todd Wilson, Tiffany Wilson, Roger Counihan.

Roger Counihan and Jaws dominated the Midwest One Design Spring Championship last weekend in spite of Michigan’s crazy spring weather. Finishing six of seven races in the top three spots in Muskegon, Michigan, he took first place five points ahead of his closest competition. This regatta was just one stop for Counihan and his teammates Todd Wilson, Tiffany Wilson, and Travis Maier, as they work their way toward the 2016 World Championship.

Counihan started sailing in the Melges 24 fleet six years ago. It’s an easy boat to travel, and he knew he wanted to sail outside of his home state of Georgia. At the start of this year he bought a new boat, and Quantum Melges 24 experts Chris Rast, Scott Nixon, and Marty Kullman spent a practice weekend with him, helping him get comfortable with his boat and Quantum sails.

The practice paid off as Counihan took first this past weekend. “We managed to keep the boat fairly flat,” he said. “When we trained with Chris, Scott, and Marty, they emphasized keeping the heel to a minimum, so we focused on that. Downwind, the crew did a great job of good sets and douses. We used every big puff we could to burn down towards the mark.”

Crazy Spring Weather - Michigan and the Great Lakes are known for their crazy weather and the Jaws team proved it was not match for them. Photo by Petey Crawford.

Counihan plans to keep traveling this season as he prepares for nationals in Wisconsin, then worlds in Miami. Besides the support he’s received from the Quantum team, he said the most important thing a team can do to stay competitive is to have a consistent crew. “Once you get your crew right, you can start focusing on improving everything else.”

Congratulations to Jaws on a great Midwest One Design Spring Championship, and good luck this season!

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