Roster: Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team

The Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team is comprised of six sailors hailing from six different U.S. States


Each athlete qualified for the team based on the results of US Sailing’s Rio 2016 Athlete Selection Series.

The Games of the XV Paralympiad will take place from September 7-18, 2016, and the sailing events will be based at Marina da Gloria on Rio de Janeiro’s harbor front. The Paralympic Games will feature approximately 4,300 athletes from 161 countries competing in 22 sports. The sailing events will feature 80 athletes from 23 nations competing in three classes. Racing is scheduled to run from September 12-17.

To learn how to follow American sailors during Rio 2016, check out the team’s official viewing guide.



The United States will be represented in the three-person Sonar class by the reigning Para Sailing World Champions. Helmsman Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) is the longest-tenured member of the U.S. national team, having campaigned for the Paralympic Games almost continuously since 1998. Doerr won his second career world title in 2016, and Rio 2016 will be his second Paralympic appearance following an 8th place performance in Beijing 2008 with different teammates. Competing with Doerr in Rio will be Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) who will both be making their first appearance at the Games.

The American Sonar team has won five medals at Sailing World Cup Miami, North America’s premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta since joining forces seven years ago. The trio narrowly missed out on London 2012, finishing 2nd at the team trials. In 2015, Doerr, Kendell and Freund won the Sunbrella Golden Torch Award in Miami, given to the top-performing American boat at the event. They were the first Paralympic-class athletes to gain this distinction in the 26-year history of the event. The team was highly competitive during their first five years together, but reached a new level of performance in 2015 by adding coach Mike Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.) to the program. Ingham holds over 20 national and North American one-design titles, and helped Doerr, Kendell and Freund win their first world championship as a team.



In the two-person SKUD-18, the American boat will be manned by a combination of fresh talent and veteran success in Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Beijing 2008 gold medalist Maureen McKinnon (Marblehead, Mass.). Porteous, a first-time Paralympian, teamed up with McKinnon in 2015. The Marblehead native earned the title of Paralympic Champion as the teammate of the late Nick Scandone (Fountain Valley, Calif.), and has her eyes set on adding a second medal to her collection. Coaching Porteous and McKinnon at Rio 2016 will be longtime U.S. Sailing Team Paralympic Coach and record five-time US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.).



In the one-person 2.4mR class, Team USA will be represented by accomplished professional sailor Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.). Smith is a veteran of the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Maxis and many other high-level racing programs over the course of his career. The Maryland native has hundreds of thousands of ocean racing miles under his belt.

Smith’s top results to date include a 5th at the 2016 Para Sailing World Championship, 6th at the 2015 Para Worlds, and a 7th at the 2015 2.4mR Open Worlds. He will be coached at Rio 2016 by U.S. Sailing Team coach Maru Urban (Salvador, Brazil).