Sailor Spotlight: Justin and Mitchell Callahan

Justin Callahan was the winner of the 2016 USODA Team Trials, hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club April 19-22. This is the most competitive Opti regatta in the US, as the top finishers go on to represent the country in international competition. In this video, Justin and his twin brother Mitchell talk with Clever Pig’s Chris Love about training together, practicing before the event, and racing strategy.

Be sure to watch the video for video highlights of the boys sailing in San Francisco at the 2016 USODA Team Trials!

Mitchell Callahan: We’re twins. I think we’re brothers–we have to be brothers, but we’re friends by choice. We try to get along the best we can.

Clever Pig: What’s it like training, and sailing, and then racing against each other at such a high level here [at Team Trials]?

Justin Callahan: It can definitely be positive and negative, because we’re always training together so we can always be testing our speed, but sometimes since we’re sailing so much together we can argue. But most of the time it’s always positive, testing.

CP: How do you put this four-day regatta into perspective? How do you handle such a high level, high stakes regatta, that lasts all week?

Mitchell: Well, you have to be very conservative, because there are twelve races and one drop, so you just have to play it by ear and try and be very conservative, and not take big risks.

CP: How long have you guys been out here in San Francisco?

Justin: We’ve been out here training since Thursday. We came here two weeks ago to train as well.

CP (Video editor Sam): Are your arms tired?

Justin: Well it’s not my arms because I can put my mainsheet on more lines [purchase] so it’s easier to trim, but it’s definitely my legs that are more tired from hiking in the last race.