A stiff southwesterly breeze made for a challenging second day of racing at the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta. Both the visually impaired sailors in Sail Newport’s fleet of J/22s and the sailors with disabilities in the SKUD-18 fleet completed four races, while the Sonar and 2.4 Metre sailors completed three. A drop race, now that each fleet has completed a seventh race, has factored into the scoring and has had the most impact in the J/22 fleet.
After starting the day in a three-way tie for first, 2008 Blind Sailing National Champions Sengil Inkiala (Waltham, Mass.), Nancy Jodoin (Newton, Mass.) and Ken Legler (Reading, Mass.), with Naomi Shwom (Sharon, Mass.), a member of the Sharon High School Sailing Team, won the last two races of the day to jump to the top of the overall standings. They hold a two-point lead over 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), who started the day with a win of the first race. Creignou then displayed remarkable fortitude when a smack from the boom resulted in a serious cut to his upper lip. A determined Creignou alerted the race committee to the problem, finished the race – in fifth – and then sought medical attention. They finished 4-2 in the subsequent races and are second overall with 15 points. Creignou’s trip to the hospital resulted in seven stitches, but he was back under the regatta tent in time to hear local sailing icon Jerry Kirby (Newport, R.I.) talk to the competitors about his participation in the recent Volvo Ocean Race. Ryck Lent (Waltham, Mass.) and Mark Bos (Gloucester, Mass.) with Mike Dinning (Natick, Mass.) and David Gilman (Sharon, Mass.) – another member of the Sharon High School Sailing Team – moved from fourth to third overall with consistent finishes of 2-2-2-3 for 23 points. In addition to a class win for The Clagett, the 2009 U.S. Blind Sailing National Championship title is on the line for these competitors.
After three races today, there was no position change in the 2.4 Metre class. 2008 Paralympian Julio Requero, (Guyanbo, Puerto Rico) retains the lead with eight points for a one-point lead over Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.). Timothy Ripley (Randolph, N.J.) is third with 17 points. Tammy Vermette (Milford, Conn.) picked up a DNF in race six, and a DNC in race seven, when the pump battery on her boat malfunctioned. The deck was awash when she was helped off her 2.4 Metre, but a replacement battery should ensure she will make it to the starting line for the final day of racing.
The SKUD-18 class also had no change in the positions, although they too saw their share of drama on the water. Defending champions, Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (West Chester, Penn.), retain the lead after finishing 1-3-2-2 for a total of 10 points. Following two points back are Shan McAdoo (Hamilton, Mass.) and 2008 SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.), who picked up a DNF in the first race after a port-starboard collision with Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.). McAdoo and McKinnon-Tucker sailed back to the dock with serious damage to the bow of the boat which was quickly repaired by bosun Gene Hinkel (St. Petersburg, Fla.), allowing them to return to the course where they won the next three races. Racing “Nick’s Karma,” the 2008 gold medal winning boat that belonged to the late Nick Scandone, which appears to have minimal damage, Everhart-Skeels and Jones posted 2-2-3-3 for 17 points and third overall in the standings.
2008 Paralympian Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) and Hugh Freund (S. Freeport, Maine) with Bjarki Gunnarson (River Vale, N.J.) won all three races today in the Sonar class. Skipper Dennis Moran (Framingham, Mass.), with Jonathan Evans (Boxford, Mass.) and Michael Coxan (AUS), finished second in all three races and moved into second overall with 14 points. One point back, in third, are Charlie Croteau (Worcester, Mass.), Jim Donahue (Danvers, Mass.) and Pauly Atkins (AUS).
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