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Clagett Sailing: 20 years of commitment

Published on June 11th, 2022

Newport, RI (June 11, 2022) – It is just two weeks until sailors from across North America and the Caribbean will be in Newport, R.I. to start day one of competition in the 20th Anniversary of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta.

Celebrating its 20th year in 2022, Clagett Sailing, which is presenting the anniversary regatta, will be continuing to provide sailors with disabilities opportunities by having world class coaches and race management in place for the two days of the coaching clinic and the three days of racing being hosted by Sail Newport at Fort Adams State Park, June 22 to 26, 2022.

Sailors in two classes of boats, the single handed 2.4mR and the double handed Martin 16 will all benefit from the coaching team of Betsy Alison, Dave Dellenbaugh, Dave Perry and Brian Todd who will be available to the sailors over the five days of the clinic and regatta.

“This year marks a huge achievement for Clagett Sailing and all that our mission states. When we started The Clagett we knew we had to plan for the future sailors who have disabilities. Over the past 20 years The Clagett Regatta has hosted 275 individual sailors, in six classes of boats. Many of the sailors have returned multiple times to participate in the Clagett regattas.

“Those sailors have come from nine countries, 26 US States and Territories and six Canadian provinces, all to learn from the top coaches in the world and race under the management of Olympic and Paralympic ranking race management officials.

“The work that we do each year echoes the words of my father Tom Clagett to Reach for Success and in our 20th year we want our sailors to continue to do that and add to our motto to Learn-Race-Win. Learn-to Reach for Success, Race-in the Corinthian spirit, Win-self-empowerment,” said Clagett Sailing President and Co-Founder, Judy Clagett McLenna.

The largest fleet racing this year will be the 2.4mR class which currently has 19 entries from across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico Included in this fleet are seven of the eight 2.4mR boats who are recipients of a boat through the Clagett Boat Grant Program.

John Seepe (North Port, FL) a recent recipient of one of the 2.4mR boats commented about being awarded a new boat from the Clagett Boat Grant Program, “As a recipient, I am blessed with sailing what is a very complex but fun boat. But it isn’t just that, the first time I laid eyes on one of these boats, it caught my eye and heart. I had given up on sailing till Taylor Canfield took me out on a 32ft Foiling Cat, and amazingly enough, he let me helm for a couple legs.

“This all happened within four months of my accident which caused me to lose my leg, the full use of my left shoulder and my right wrist, and I had given up on ever sailing again! Clagett has in a big way allowed me to be able to continue doing what I love. To sail! For that, I am indebted!”

In the double handed Martin 16 class there are six entries, with many of the sailors returning to race at the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial for the second or third time. Defending his 2021 Martin 16 class win will be Californian, Carwile LeRoy, who will be sailing under the burgee of the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. “I’m looking forward to the great competition and coaching that happens at The Clagett each year. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in Newport too!” said LeRoy (Fresno, CA) as he prepares to head East.

Sailors from afar a field as Victoria, Canada and Puerto Rico will all be vying to make Team Clagett this year. A new program for Clagett Sailing, Team Clagett will be representing Clagett Sailing at the 2.4mR World Championships in Tampa, Florida being held in November.

The team members will be chosen based on the top three finishers with a disability in the 2.4mR class at the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic Regatta (Clagett Newport) plus the next highest placing boat grant recipient. The team will be announced at the prize giving ceremony on Sunday June 26, 2022.

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About Clagett Sailing:
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.

Clagett Sailing’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.” The organization has adopted Tom Clagett’s motto of “Reach for Success,” which resonates with every Clagett sailor.

2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of Clagett Newport. Clagett alumni sailors have earned medals at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. Along with reaching the 20th Anniversary milestone, the nonprofit organization while adhering to its original mission has evolved beyond its original single regatta format and has been rebranded “Clagett Sailing” to encompass the multiple programs it now offers to sailors with disabilities.

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