Training day at 13th Clagett Regatta
Published on June 25th, 2015
Newport, RI (June 25, 2015) – Forty eight sailors in 25 boats took to the water of Narragansett Bay in Newport, RI, today for the clinic day at the 13th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Clinic and Regatta. Teams have traveled from across the USA, the US Virgin Islands and Canada to participate.
The Clagett mission is “to provide sailors with disabilities the opportunity to improve their skills and reach personal goals through world-class coaching and competition”. This mission creates an environment that allows the sailors both experienced and new to build on their skills and provides the opportunity for them to put them into practice during the clinic day and the three days of racing.
Coaches, led by US Sailing Team Sperry Paralympic coach Betsy Alison (Newport, RI), took each of the classes, the Sonar, the 2.4mR and the SKUD 18’s for a shore side session and then an on the water session with the fleets practicing starts, mark rounding’s and on water techniques. The coaching team set a start line in the same area that will be used for racing over the next three days, in between Rose and Goat islands.
The coaching line up for this year has a number of coaches returning to pass on their knowledge to the Clagett sailors. Nancy Haberland (Annapolis, MD), Mike Ingham (Rochester, NY), Mike Pinckney (Balboa, CA), Bill Shore (Newport, RI) and Brian Todd (Nova Scotia, Canada), are working with the sailors during the four days of the event.
Taking part in The Clagett for the first time are two teams from the Warrior Sailing program, which introduces returning veterans to the sport of sailing. The veterans, who are sailing in the Sonar class, take part in a basic training program and then progress to participation in regattas.
“We are thrilled to have so many familiar faces back and to welcome new attendees, especially the Warrior Sailing Program team members. Being the daughter of a naval officer from World War II I know how important it is to be able to return to normal life. We are delighted that the Clagett regatta can be an important part of their lives after their service to our country,” commented Clagett co-founder and President Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI).
About the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta: Founded in 2003, the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta honors the late Tom Clagett (1916-2001), a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who learned to sail on Chesapeake Bay. As a youngster he suffered temporary paralysis as the result of a bout of meningitis; an experience that left him with a deep respect for the accomplishments of people with disabilities. The Clagett’s stated mission is “to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition”. Tom Clagett’s motto was “Reach for Success”, which resonates with every Clagett participant. The event includes all three boats that have been chosen as the equipment of the Paralympic classes: the three-person Sonar, the two-person SKUD-18 and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre. Clagett competitors have seen medal success at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. Competitors often comment that, The Clagett, has improved their quality of life as they apply what is achieved on the water to everyday situations.