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Match Racing for Disabled Sailors

Published on January 31st, 2017

In 2016, the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta and Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay NY along with The Waterfront Center, joined forces to create the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race regatta for disabled sailors.

The event was created to fill a void for disabled sailors who wanted to experience match racing. The inaugural event had eight teams in attendance, with coaching provided by world recognized match racer Dave Perry (Southport, CT). Dave will be returning to coach the sailors in 2017 with ten Sonars available for competitors.

The 2017 event is scheduled for August 25-27. The first one and a half days will be dedicated to coaching and practice followed by one and a half days of match racing. 2016 US Paralympic silver medalist Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ) will be racing at the event in 2017 and other international teams from Canada, parts of Europe and the Caribbean have expressed interest in attending.

Teams from 2016, with adaptive needs sailors, are being invited to return to take part this year. Teams should form themselves and are being encouraged to bring a “new face” in their teams to help encourage growth in adaptive sailing participation. There will not be any classification of disabilities, but each team should self identify as being comprised of at least one sailor, the skipper, with a disability.

Organizers will again use the round robin format for racing so that the sailors will all sail against each other.

A number of organizations contribute to the success of the event and for the second year the Warrior Sailing Program, will provide the adaptive equipment for the sailors and helping install it along with Bam Miller (Oyster Bay, NY) and Brian Skeels (Little Compton, RI) and SailAhead’s military veterans will be involved as on water safety officers and rescue swimmers. Both these organizations assisted with the inaugural event and continue this support in 2017.

“The Clagett team are looking forward to seeing many of the sailors who had the opportunity to take part in the 2016 Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race regatta returning along with new faces,” commented Clagett President and Co-founder Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI). “It will be great to have the US Paralympic Sonar team skipper Rick Doerr join the group and get to see for himself what all the excitement was about in 2016. We hope that other Paralympians who have expressed interest in the event will be in Oyster Bay in August as well.”

Oakcliff Sailing Race Program Director Bill Simon (Oyster Bay, NY) adds, “Last year’s two day format allowed the teams to learn the basics of match racing and start racing. This year we are adding another day, two more teams, and an additional coach for more fun and learning.”

For more information:

Source: Sam Crichton

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