The U.S Para Sailing Championship & Independence Cup came to a close on Sunday after a day of clinic and three days of racing. Competitors contended with hot temperatures and thunderstorms throughout the event but were still able to complete six races for the Independence 20 class and seven races for the Sonar and 2.4mR.
Friday saw a shifty and light northerly, while Saturday was an east-southeast breeze beginning at six knots and building to 10-12. Thunderstorms and lack of wind kept competitors off the water on Sunday.
The 2022 U.S. Para Sailing Championship was held in conjunction with the Independence Cup and run by Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation. US Sailing would like to thank the Foundation and National Sponsors Regatta Craft Mixers and Gill Marine for their support of the event.
“The Independence Cup and U.S. Para Sailing Championship is always a wonderful event,” said Principal Race Officer John Palizza. “Everyone at the foundation does such a terrific job getting sailors into the sport, providing transport, putting them up in a hotel, and more. It’s a great event for sailors with disabilities.”
In the 2.4m class, the singlehanded division, Wisconsin native Matt Koblenzer took first with 14 points. Chris Childers of San Francisco came in second with 19 points, and Zak Kordik rounded out the podium in third with 21 points.
There was close racing in the Independence 20 fleet, the doublehanded division. The experienced duo of Shan McAdoo and 2008 Paralympic gold medalist Maureen McKinnon took first by a single point over second place team Bonnie Everhart and Jasmin Washington (who was featured in a Chicago Sun Times article about the event). Christopher Murphy and Richard Hughes took third with 10 points.
The Sonar Class, the triplehanded division, was dominated by Chicago locals Patrick LoDuca, Sarah Gilbert, and Paul Wurtzebach, who took first in every race of the regatta. The Massachusetts team of Duane Farrar, Will Fontanez, and Richard Kelley came in second with 22 points, while Gary Pierce, Jeff Long and Charles McClure took third with 23 points.
- Photos from the event (password: ParaChamps): https://usst.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00006hyzMdJ7.50/US-Para-Sailing-Championship
- Full Results: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=15288
- NBC Chicago Story: https://www.nbcchicago.com/top-videos-home/the-independence-cup-is-taking-place-at-burnham-harbor-this-weekend/2908627/?fbclid=IwAR2p77KEMuHKJSKHwoOL1Ddh0xQBS03dt9FqrUYyT7dH_H_T55PtQq11YXU
- Chicago Sun Times story: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2022/8/4/23290770/independence-cup-sailing-competition-burnham-harbor-oak-park-native-visual-impaired
- More about the event: https://www.ussailing.org/competition/championships/2022-u-s-para-sailing-championship/
About the U.S. Para Sailing Championship
The U.S. Para Sailing Championship is US Sailing’s annual adaptive sailing championship, held in conjunction with the 2022 Independence Cup. The event includes singlehanded, doublehanded, and triplehanded divisions and is open to sailors with disabilities. This year, the Sonar class requires only two disabled sailors (which must include the helmsperson) to encourage more competition. In the 2.4m and Independence 20 classes all competitors are to be sailors with disabilities. Sailors of all level of disability compete against each other in the three classes.