Para Sailing Worlds: Doerr, Kendell and Freund (USA) Win World Championship Title

(c) Jasper van Staveren

Pictured:  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). Photo Jasper van Staveren / Delta Lloyd Regatta.


May 28, 2016

Medemblik, The Netherlands – US Sailing Team Sperry Sonar athletes have won the overall title at the 2016 Para World Sailing Championships (May 24-28) / Delta Lloyd Regatta, a clear signal that that the United States will be a medal threat at the Rio 2016 Paralympic regatta. Other significant events on Saturday included the conclusion of the US Sailing Rio 2016 Athlete Selection Series in the SKUD-18 class, and the US team taking it’s best overall finish at the 2.4mR Para Worlds since London 2012.

Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) had to fight until the final leg of the last race in order to secure their title, but after a week of consistently sailing at the top of the fleet, they would not be denied. Doerr, a Beijing 2008 Paralympian, won the 2007 Para Worlds in the Sonar. However, this was his first World Championship win competing with Kendell and Freund. “The hard work that we’ve been doing over the past year, and over the last few days on that racecourse, is rewarding,” said Doerr, the longest-tenured athlete on the US Sailing Team Sperry (1998). “I’m proud to be part of an effort with these two guys.”

Kendell described the final day of Sonar racing as a close fight from start to finish. “We had to fight back [in the final] race,” said Kendell, who like Freund will compete in his first Paralympic Games in September. “We had to look for where the British and Australian teams were, and on that first leg we knew we were too far behind them. We knew we had a battle, and we won that battle. It was a great thing to have that wonderful feeling of holding the American flag at the end.”

Freund noted that while winning World Championship gold was their biggest accomplishment as a team to date, they have larger goals in sight, and called this week of racing the best possible preparation for Rio 2016. At their previous major event, Sailing World Cup Hyères in April, the team came agonizingly short of the top spot on the podium. “We were really happy to have had the opportunity to go into the last day today in the leading position,” said Freund. “That was our big falter [moment] at the last regatta. We just didn’t have the mental ability to push through the last two races. Our top goal coming into [the Worlds] was to make sure that we were in that position again, and to practice that at a really intense regatta.”

Kendell noted that their Paralympic Games campaign has made significant strides since adding coach Mike Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.), who holds over 20 national and North American one-design titles, to the program in 2015. “We have to give a lot of credit to Mike,” said Kendell. “He knows us, and he’s worked on what we needed to work on. He’s helped us tremendously, and it’s showing.”

(c) Jasper van Staveren

Pictured: Porteous and McKinnon (USA 71) leading Everhart-Skeels and Walker (USA 74) on Saturday in the SKUD-18. Photo: Jasper van Staveren / Delta Lloyd Regatta.

The Rio 2016 selection series for the SKUD-18 concluded on Saturday, and Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Beijing 2008 SKUD-18 gold medalist Maureen McKinnon (Marblehead, Mass.) bested Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Cindy Walker (Middletown, R.I.) by a single point in the series, earning a ticket the the Paralympic Games in September. The Rhode Island pair, who are the only all-female SKUD-18 team in the world, needed to beat Porteous and McKinnon by two places in Medemblik. While Everhart-Skeels and Walker were the top U.S. boat in Medemblik, the two American teams finished in adjacent positions in the overall standings, giving victory to Porteous and McKinnon. The two boats had a very close selection series, which consisted of the 2015 and 2016 Para Sailing World Championships.

“It’s been a lot of ups and down this week, but we made it,” said McKinnon, who is campaigning for the Paralympics for a fourth time. Porteous said he was very proud to have won the right to sail for his country on the biggest stage in adaptive sports. “It’s going to be great sailing against these elite athletes at the Games, and I’m honored to be representing the United States. We have a lot we can get better at, and hopefully we’ll win a medal for the U.S.”

More information on US Sailing’s SKUD-18 athlete selection to come in a later release. All sailors selected for the Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

In the one-person 2.4mR class, Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.) earned a career-best result at the 2016 Para Sailing Worlds, beating out his 2015 result by one place and taking 5th overall. The America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Maxi boat veteran has had a steep learning curve since entering the 2.4mR fleet in the spring of 2015, but has showed over the course of the 2015 and 2016 Worlds that he has the speed to compete at Rio 2016. Smith said he is planning to spend as much time as possible at the Paralympic Games regatta venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil over the next three months until the Opening Ceremony in September.

Pictured: Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.), U.S. Paralympic Team & US Sailing Team Sperry. Photo: Sander Van der Borch / Delta Lloyd Regatta

Final US Results: 2016 Para World Sailing Championships

Full results.

Sonar (Paralympic Three-Person Keelboat)

SKUD-18 (Paralympic Two-Person Keelboat)

  • 10th 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)


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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

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Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing., +1 (978) 697-2384.

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