Dee Smith wins U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship
Published on November 20th, 2016
Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.) captured the 2016 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship, held November 18-20 in Clearwater, FL. Sailors racing in a fleet of 12 2.4mR sailboats tallied nine races, including three on Friday, two on Saturday and four on Sunday.
The first two days were light and shifty, with more wind on the final day. Smith won seven races over three days, winning the title with one race remaining. “I saw a lot of improvement in the fleet each day,” said Smith, who offered instruction to the fleet this week.
Smith is a former America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race competitor and many other high-level racing programs over the course of his career. Smith’s top results to date include a 4th at the 2016 Paralympic Games and 5th at the 2016 Para Sailing World Championship.
Placing second was Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.), an experienced and accomplished 2.4mR sailor who won this title in 2012, 2011 and 2009. “The hosts were outstanding, the weather was great and I think it was a very successful event,” Rosenfield said. “It’s great we have so many new people and they are right there in the mix doing well.”
The regatta’s youngest competitor, Barbara Galinska (Chicago, Ill.) said, “I think I learned more in the last five days about sailing than I ever have. The most beautiful thing about sailing with these guys is that they are all such tough competitors. The staff here and race committee was amazing.”
It is US Sailing’s goal to organize events like this with host organizations around the country to increase participation and drive more awareness to the opportunities in adaptive sailing.
Source: Jake Fish, US Sailing