For Immediate Release
NEWPORT, R.I. (June 22, 2018) – Newport turned on the charm Friday for the 46 sailors racing in the 2018 C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta and the U.S. Para Sailing Championships. After a short postponement ashore as the Principal Race Officer Tom Duggan waited for the Easterly breeze to come in, the three fleets got the first race nerves out of the way. The race committee had a busy day having to move the course a number of times due to the shifting breeze.
In the 22 boat 2.4mR fleet, Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.), Julio Reguero (Puerto Rico), and Peter Wood (Ottawa, CAN) relished the predominately Easterly conditions for the four races which fluctuated in strength from seven to 15 knots as it moved around.
“It’s been great to be back at The Clagett, the last time I sailed the 2.4mR was at The Clagett in 2016. The level of sailing just gets better every time I come here and the coaching definitely helps a lot,” commented Reguero who sailed at both the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games.
For the four teams racing in the triplehanded Sonar class, it is Rio Paralympic Silver Medalist Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) who is sailing with Dawn Hart (Dade City, Fla.) and Charles McCLure (Brookline, Mass.), and the team from the Midwest of Gary Pierce (Highland Park, Ill.), Patrick LoDuca (Chicago, Ill.) and Jeff Long (Newport, R.I.) who are tied for first place. In second place in the Sonar after racing today is a new team to The Clagett from Texas, David Gaston (Port Bolivar, Texas), Mike Janota (Galveston, Texas) and Kevin Somers (Missouri City, Texas).
Skipper Dave Gaston said after racing today, “This is our first time racing in Newport at The Clagett. We’ve known about it for a while and this was the year to be here. It’s a wonderful opportunity to race against the best in our sport and the coaching has been phenomenal.”
In the RS Connect fleet the seven teams rotated through a round robin race schedule, as the two person teams tested the boat for consideration as a potential for a Paralympic class. Teams from the US and Canada have been making the most of the opportunity to put the boats through the paces. West Coast sailor Fernanda Castelo from San Carlos, California who is sailing with East Coast based Cindy Walker (Weymouth, Mass.), has been sailing the RS Venture Connect in California and this is her first chance to race the boat against other teams.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity to show people how great this boat is. This is my first time sailing with Cindy and my first time at The Clagett. The coaches have pushed us and I see sailing as an equalizer and it teaches camaraderie and innovation. Sailing has taught me how to utilize my equipment (my chair) and it triggers me to be more aware of my senses on land ,” said Castelo after they finished up racing today.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for an Easterly breeze ranging from six to nine knots with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning.
For more information about The 2018 Clagett Regatta and U.S. Para Sailing Championships visit: www.clagettregatta.org and the U.S. Para Sailing Championships event website. Follow The Clagett and US Sailing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and search #ClagettRegatta for content.
The 2018 U.S. Para Sailing Championships is sponsored by Gill.
About the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta
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. The Clagett’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”. Tom Clagett’s motto was “Reach for Success”, which resonates with every Clagett participant. Clagett competitors have seen medal success at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. Competitors often comment that, The Clagett, has improved their quality of life as they apply what is achieved on the water to everyday situations.
About US Sailing
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. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta 2018 sponsors and supporters
The Clagett organization would like to thank the following 2018 sponsors – Fiduciary Trust International at the Platinum level; Newman’s Own Foundation at the Gold level; American International Group, Inc. (AIG) at the Silver level; The Horance A. Kimball & S. Ella Kimball Foundation and Alice and Bruce Whelihan at the Bronze level.