Pictured: Sonar USA 1 wins Race 7 on Friday. Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine), U.S. Paralympic Team & US Sailing Team Sperry (national team).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2016
Medemblik, The Netherlands – One day of racing remains at the 2016 Para World Sailing Championships (May 24-28) / Delta Lloyd Regatta, and the US Sailing Team Sperry will be challenging for the podium in the Sonar class on Saturday. US Sailing will complete the Rio 2016 section series for the SKUD-18 two-person Paralympic keelboat on the regattas final day, and the battle for the berth remains tight. The 2016 Worlds represent the last major adaptive sailing classes regatta prior to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in September, and the world’s best competitors are present in The Netherlands this week.
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) had one of their strongest days of racing as team on Friday, and won the first Sonar race of the day by a significant margin before taking second in the next race. Doerr, Kendell and Freund will carry a four-point overall lead into Saturday’s final races. The veteran squad will represent the United States in Rio 2016, and continue to improve with each passing regatta.
“Today’s good performance began with our starting,” said Kendell, the main trimmer and tactician. Kendell noted that coach Mike Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.) had made starting technique the team’s main priority during the past six months. “On the first race, it was all about sailing our own race. We got off the starting line well, hit all the shifts, and had a clear lane all the way through. I was just telling the guys that we were sailing smart, and to keep it going. We also had a pretty good comeback in the second race. We had to cover the Germans and British for most of it, since they were close to us overall. We stayed with who we had to, and then pounced at the end to take second.”
This is the second consecutive major regatta, after Sailing World Cup Hyères in April, where Doerr, Kendell and Freund will enter the final day of racing in the overall lead. “Going into the final day of a World Championship in the top spot is the best possible practice you could get before the [Paralympic] Games,” said Freund. “We are right where we want to be. We have to recognize that it’s a big day [tomorrow], but keep doing what’s been working. Whenever we do our early morning practice routine well, we have a good day.”
Pictured: US Sailing Team Sperry adaptive SKUD-18 teams racing on Friday, with Everhart-Skeels and Walker in the foreground. Photo: Sander van der Borch / Delta Lloyd Regatta.
The Rio 2016 selection series for the SKUD-18 will come down to the final two races at the 2016 Worlds, the second and final event used to determine which two-person keelboat team will represent the United States at the Paralympic Games. Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Cindy Walker (Middletown, R.I.) are in 9th overall and in position to win selection heading into the final day. The Rhode Island pair must beat the capable team of Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Beijing 2008 SKUD-18 gold medalist Maureen McKinnon (Marblehead, Mass.) by two places to win the spot, with latter team currently in 11th overall. Everhart-Skeels and Walker are also locked in a close overall battle with Italian, Malaysian and Spanish teams.
“The way we are approaching the regatta is that we really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain,” said Everhart-Skeels. “We’ve been working really hard to improve our communication and make this boat go. She won’t go if Cindy and I aren’t on the same page. We learned that in [the 2015 Worlds in] Melbourne, and we’ve been trying to put our training into action.”
There is not much that can deter an experienced competitor like McKinnon, who said that her team remains upbeat going into the final day. “We’re still in the game,” said the Paralympic champion. “It’s not over, and we just need to sail to our potential tomorrow and avoid any major breakdowns. We can absolutely do this.”
Pictured: Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.), U.S. Paralympic Team & US Sailing Team Sperry. Photo: Sander Van der Borch / Delta Lloyd Regatta
Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.) submitted a second straight day of all single-digit scores in the 2.4mR, and finishes of 3,7 moved him up to 5th overall. As of the end of racing on Friday, Smith is nine points away from the podium, and will look to move up yet again on Saturday. Smith will look to improve on his 6th place overall finish at the 2015 Para Worlds, his career-best result to date.
The 2016 Para World Sailing Championships (May 24-28) will will continue until Saturday in Medemblik, The Netherlands.
Note: All athletes selected for the Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
US Results: 2016 Para World Sailing Championships
Sonar (Paralympic Three-Person Keelboat)
- 1st overall, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine), U.S. Paralympic Team & US Sailing Team Sperry (national team)
SKUD-18 (Paralympic Two-Person Keelboat)
- 9th overall, Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Cindy Walker (Middletown, R.I.), US Sailing Team Sperry (national team)
- 11th overall, Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Maureen McKinnon (Marblehead, Mass.), US Sailing Team Sperry (national team)
Note: Everhart-Skeels/Walker must beat Porteous/McKinnon by two places or more to win Rio 2016 selection.
2.4mR (Paralympic One-Person Keelboat)
- 6th overall, Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.), U.S. Paralympic Team & US Sailing Team Sperry (national team)
- Previous Event Reports:
- 2016 Para World Sailing Championships Homepage (Delta Lloyd Regatta)
- USA Image Gallery: 2016 Para World Sailing Championships (Password for editorial photo use: “USA”)
- US Sailing Team Sperry Social Media:
About the US Sailing Team Sperry
The US Sailing Team Sperry is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry; other sponsors include Gold-Level partner Sunbrella and Silver-Level partners Harken, Team McLube and Groupe Beneteau. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Training Centers. Chubb Personal Insurance and the Gowrie Group sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry athletes. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
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Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (978) 697-2384.