When the competitors left the dock for the third and final day of racing at the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta, they did so in a beautiful crisp 12 knot northerly that unfortunately died off over the course of the morning. While the total absence of breeze ultimately forced the last races to be abandoned for the SKUD-18 and J/22 classes, all the competing fleets (2.4 Metre, Sonar, SKUD-18 and J/22s) sailed a ten-race series, except for the J/22s who sailed 11, and the day ended with the standings unchanged as the fleet leaders prevailed to claim the top prizes.
Racing in Sail Newport’s fleet of J/22s, 2008 Blind Sailing National Champions Sengil Inkiala (Waltham, Mass.), Nancy Jodoin (Newton, Mass.) and Ken Legler (Reading, Mass.), with Naomi Shwom (Sharon, Mass.), added two more bullets to their scoreline to successfully defend their title. 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), were awarded the silver for second overall. Ryck Lent (Waltham, Mass.) and Mark Bos (Gloucester, Mass.) with Arthur O’Neill (Needham, Mass.) and David Gilman (Sharon, Mass.) added an OCS in the final race of the series, to their 3-2 from earlier in the day, to hang on to third place overall for the bronze.
“We were over early in the first race today,” said Inkiala. “But we came back and re-started, were last on the first leg, but worked our way back to finish second. And then we won the last two races of the day.” For Inkiala, who sails with the Carroll Center’s SailBlind program, as does Lent, this is the sixth Blind Sailing National title he has won since 1999.
Over the 10-race series in the 2.4 Metres, 2008 Paralympian Julio Requero (Guyanbo, Puerto Rico) placed first in six. He added finishes of 1-1-2 today, dropped his worst score – a DNF – to win that class with 12 points. In addition, Requero was awarded the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Trophy for the best overall performance by a sailor in the regatta. Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) finished 2-2-1, to retain second place in the fleet with 14 points, and Timothy Ripley (Randolph, N.J.) took third on 28 points.
2008 Paralympian Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Hugh Freund (S. Freeport, Maine) and Josh Saltmarsh (Wayland, Mass.) won their three races today in the Sonar to win the class with nine points. Dennis Moran (Framingham, Mass.), Jonathan Evans (Boxford, Mass.) and Michael Coxan (AUS) were second overall with 21 points, followed by Charlie Croteau (Worcester, Mass.), Jim Donahue (Danvers, Mass.) and Pauly Atkins (AUS) with 23.
For a second day in a row, the SKUD-18 class saw no change in the top three positions. Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (West Chester, Penn.), successfully defended their title by winning both of the day’s races to end the series with 12 points. Shan McAdoo (Hamilton, Mass.) and 2008 SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) finished 3-2 for a total of 17 points, while Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.) added a 2-3 for 22 points to take third in the fleet standings.
“For me sailing in Newport is the best training you can get anywhere,” said Dorsett. “The tide, the current, the wind shifts, you’ve got big breeze and little breeze. It’s the ultimate training camp. You’ve got every type of variable you can imagine, so if you can sail here, you can sail anywhere. We love to come here. Scott and I have been sailing a lot, all over, and The Clagett trumps any regatta in provisions, race committee and the way they are so inclusive of everyone.”
With their training regimen complimented by competing in The Clagett, Whitman and Dorsett will soon head to Europe to race in Sail For Gold in Weymouth, England, before the IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championship in Athens, Greece. Also headed to those events are three sailors who have pooled their talents for a new Sonar campaign – 2008 Paralympians Doerr and McKinnon-Tucker, with Hugh Fruend, have their sights set on the 2012 Games in England.
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