Three titles at U.S. Para Sailing Champs
Published on June 24th, 2018
Newport, RI (June 24, 2018) – The 16th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta and the 2018 U.S. Para Sailing Championships concluded with three days of racing (June 22-24) and 10 races for 46 sailors from across North America.
“We’ve just concluded the 16th Clagett Regatta and we couldn’t do it without the support of the volunteers, sponsors, supporters and especially the sailors,” remarked Clagett President and Co-Founder Judy Clagett McLennan (Portsmouth, R.I.). “We’re so thrilled that we’ve been able to join forces with US Sailing to host the U.S. Para Sailing Championships this year. We are working together to demonstrate the interest in sailing and to get it reinstated to the Paralympics.”
In the triplehanded Sonar class, Rio Paralympian and Silver Medalist Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) sailed in this regatta with a graduate of the Warrior Sailing Program Dawn Hart (Dade City, Fla.) and Charles McClure (Brookline, Mass.). They led the Sonar fleet from start to finish over the three days. Making Doerr and his crew work for their medal was the team from Chicago of Gary Pierce (Highland Park, Ill.), Patrick LoDuca (Chicago, Ill.) and Jeff Long (Newport, R.I.), who secured second place overall.
“Thank you to my crew members, they are real troopers. The competition pushed us and the level just keeps going up. The training is like no other regatta and it’s just fantastic to be here with all these great sailors,” commented Doerr after the presentation.
“Nick inspired me a lot when we sailed in Beijing 2008. It isn’t about this award, it’s about being part of this group and these sailors. The challenges we have to overcome as sailors makes the results worthwhile. We owe it to others to set a high bar and pass on own knowledge to the future generations. Nick gave back and now I’m doing it and so is everyone else at this regatta.”
The 22 boats in the singlehanded 2.4mR fleet have had some fantastic racing with the Principal Race Officer Tom Duggan (East Sandwich, Mass.) commenting after the three days of racing, “It’s a super competitive fleet.” This fleet was peppered with Paralympians and nearly half the fleet have traveled from all parts of Canada to race at The Clagett and U.S. Para Sailing Championships.
Eventual winner in the largest fleet at the regatta, Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.) managed to hold off the challengers from Puerto Rico and Canada, of Julio Reguero (Guanynabo, Puerto Rico) and Peter Wood (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), to take home the gold medal, with Reguero taking silver and Wood the bronze.
Smith commented after presentation, “I haven’t been to The Clagett for three years and I want to say thank you to everyone for continuing all their work for this regatta. I give you my congratulations to all the competitors, everyone is getting better and the competition is going to the next level and it has a lot to do with the coaching that The Clagett provides.”
A new class to adaptive sailing and The Clagett, the RS Venture Connect, had seven teams racing in a round robin competition over the first two days of racing to make it to the semifinals today. The top four teams headed in to the finals and it was the former Paralympic duo from Canada of John McRoberts (Victoria, BC, Canada) and Scott Lutes (Mahone Bay, NS, Canada), who sailed in to the top place.
In the U.S. Para Sailing Championships, the bi-coastal U.S. team of Cristina Rubke (San Francisco, Calif.) and Kris Scheppe (Naples, Fla.) were awarded the silver, and the bronze medal went to JR Hardenburgh (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) and Nick Bryan Brown (Jamaica Plain, Mass.).
“I am very pleased to be back sailing at The Clagett, I’m really pleased to see so many new sailors this year and to have new sailors joining the ranks,” commented McRoberts who will be racing with Lutes again in the RS Venture Connect at the Para Sailing World Championships later this year in Sheboygan, Wis.
McRoberts and Lutes were announced as the winners of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Trophy, “It’s a true honor and I’m very, very shaken to be awarded this trophy,” remarked McRoberts.
Clagett trophies awarded to:
1. Rick Doerr/Dawn Hart/Charles McClure
2. Gary Pierce/Jeff Long/Patrick LoDuca
3. David Gaston/Mike Janota/Kevin Somers
RS Venture Connect
1. John McRoberts and Scott Lutes
2. Christina Rubke and Kris Scheppe
3. JR Hardenburgh and Nick Bryan-Brown
1. Dee Smith
2. Julio Reguero
3. Peter Wood
U.S. Para Sailing Championships trophies awarded to:
• Judd Goldman Trophy and the U.S. Para Sailing Singlehanded National Champion – Dee Smith
• Doublehanded RS Venture Connect team awarded the Chandler Hovey Trophy to John McRoberts and Scott Lutes
• U.S. Para Sailing Doublehanded National Champions – Christina Rubke and Kris Scheppe
• Triplehanded Sonar team awarded the Gene Hinkel Trophy to Rick Doerr, Dawn Hart, Charles McClure
• Thomas Clagett, Jr. Trophy – John McRoberts and Scott Lutes
• Susan B Johnson – Sportsmanship Award – Shaylagh Lay
• Larry Gadsby – Most Improved Award – Delani Hulme-Lawrence
• Nick Scandone – Spirit Award – Rick Doerr
• Robie Pierce and Gene Hinkle – Seamanship Award – Y-Knot program
Source: Sam Crichton