Healy claims Atlantic national title at home in Niantic
East Lyme — Bill Healy of Niantic, aboard Challenger II, won the first race Saturday and finished second in the next to earn the three-day Atlantic Class national championship being sailed at Niantic Bay Yacht Club.
Healy finished with 10 points, edging fellow Niantic Bay Yacht Club representative Dave Peck, who was second with 12 points. Scott Reichhelm of Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport was third with 15 points, defending champion Steve Benjamin of Seawanhaka Corinthean Yacht Club of Oyster Bay, New York, fourth with 15 and Jeff Shay of Niantic Bay fifth with 22.
It was Healy’s third national championship skippering Atlantics, with the previous two coming in 1996 and 2004. Healy, the associate head coach for the Yale sailing team, has won either a national, North American or Mid-Winter title in five different sailing classes.
He was joined for this week’s regatta by daughters Caroline and Kristen and cousin Art Landry, with his aunt Sharon Healy as an alternate.
The regatta began Thursday, but no races were completed due to a lack of breeze. On Friday, the 23 competitors in the fleet finished three races in a long day which took them from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Healy finished third, fourth and 16th in Friday’s races, but with five races total in the regatta was able to discard the 16th-place finish.
Dave Peck, sailing in Miss April, won the first two races of the series on Friday and Lindsay Doyle from Cedar Point, sailing in Ghost, the third. Healy took the first race Saturday morning, followed by a victory in the final race from Chris Wittstock of Cedar Point, sailing in Cinch.