USA champs for sailors with disabilities
Published on July 24th, 2019
The 2019 Independence Cup and U.S. Para Sailing Championship, hosted by the Judd Goldman Sailing Center and organized by the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation, will be held July 26-28 in Chicago, IL. Competitors in the three events will also take part in an instructional clinic on July 25.
“The Independence Cup has a longstanding history of outstanding racing and instructional opportunities for adaptive sailors from all over the United States and Canada,” said Betsy Alison, Adult Director at US Sailing. “Combining competition with learning has been at the foundation of this event and I know that this year’s Championship will provide these incredible sailors with an opportunity to hone their skills while racing with the epic Chicago skyline in the background.”
Independence Cup, first sailed in 1986, became US Sailing’s National Championship for disabled sailors in 1989. Today, the event is known as the U.S. Para Sailing Championship. For many years it was organized by the Disabled Sailing Committee and was run in conjunction with the North American Challenge Cup, which was co-hosted by the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation and Chicago Yacht Club.
The U.S. Para Sailing Championships is one of the oldest sailing regattas in the U.S. for sailors with disabilities. The field often includes Paralympians, US Sailing Team members, and new contenders.
Many competitors racing at the U.S. Para Sailing Championships and the Independence Cup have gone on to represent the United States at the Paralympics Games, including Nick Scandone and Maureen McKinnon, gold medalists in 2008; John Ruff, bronze medalist in 2008; Jennifer French and J.P. Creignou, silver medalists in 2012; Rick Doerr, Hugh Freund, and Brad Kendell, silver medalists in 2016.
This year’s Championships will be raced in three fleets, all of which are adapted for sailors with disabilities.
• The U.S. Para Sailing Singlehanded Championship for the Judd Goldman Trophy will be raced in the 2.4mR class.
• The U.S. Para Sailing Doublehanded Championship for the Chandler Hovey Trophy will be raced in the Freedom Independence 20.
• The U.S. Para Sailing Triplehanded Championship for the Gene Hinkel Trophy will be raced in the Sonar.
Along with the Championship trophies, the Susan B. Johnson – Sportsmanship Award, the Larry Gadsby – Most Improved Award, the Nick Scandone – Spirit Award, and the Robie Pierce and Gene Hinkle – Seamanship Award will be presented to sailors taking part in the regatta.
The Independence Cup will be presenting The Kristi Walker Sportsmanship Trophy and the Pete Paganis/Bill Parks Most Improved Trophy.
Source: US Sailing