The first of three days of racing in the seventh annual C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta, taking place out of Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s public sailing center, saw all four fleets of sailors with disabilities complete four races on Narragansett Bay. Race one was sailed in a dying northerly that faded out and switched direction, forcing several classes to abandon their second race and wait for the wind to settle. Although the southerly breeze managed to fill by 13:00, it never got above eight knots over the rest of the afternoon.
Speaking to the sailors yesterday, noted sailor Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.) remarked that The Clagett was “more about what you learn, than what the results are.” However, as evident from the three-way tie for first place in the J/22 class being raced by the visually impaired sailors, it’s hard to squash competitive instincts. Racing for the 2009 U.S. Blind Sailing National Championship title, Mitsuhiro Iwamoto (San Diego, Calif.) and Glenn Boivan (Saugus, Mass.) with Peter Frisch (Swampscott, Mass.) and Lyn Comfort (Newport, R.I.) turned in a 3-3-1-1 to take the lead spot in the fleet. The 2006 IFDS Blind Sailing World Champions JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jan Bartleson (Miami, Fla.), racing with sighted guides Diane Fowler (St. Petersburg) and David Bannister (Miami) posted finishes of 2-1-3-2, while 2008 Blind Sailing National Champions Sengil Inkiala (Waltham, Mass.), Nancy Jodoin (Newton, Mass.) and Ken Legler (Reading, Mass.) with Naomi Shwom (Sharon, Mass.) went 1-2-2-3. All three teams have eight points.
Defending champion Inkiala commented that there is less close-quarter sailing in light shifty conditions making racing more about strategy, adding that the three-way tie means that the pressure is on. “And when the pressure is on, people make mistakes.”
Julio Requero, who represented Puerto Rico at the 2008 Paralympic Games, won three of four races in the 2.4 Metre class, and leads the overall standings with five points. Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.), posting scores of 2-2-1-2, is second overall with seven points, with Timothy Ripley (Randolph, N.J.) in third on 12 points.
The SKUD-18 defending champions, Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (West Chester, Penn.), are leading that fleet after winning all but the last race of the day, in which they placed second, for a total of five points. Shan McAdoo (Hamilton, Mass.) and 2008 SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) are second with nine points, just one point ahead of Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.).
2008 Paralympian Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) and Hugh Freund (S. Freeport, Maine) won all four races today in the Sonar class. Rookie sailor Charlie Croteau (Worcester, Mass.) – he began sailing two months ago with the Piers Park Adaptive Sailing Program – is second overall with Jim Donahue (Danvers, Mass.) and Pauly Atkins (AUS). Dennis Moran (Framingham, Mass.) with Jonathan Evans and Michael Coxan (AUS) are third.
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