Responding to requests from competitors, the organizers of the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta are once again expanding the scope of this well-known event for sailors with disabilities. For the eighth running, August 23-26, 2010, The Clagett will welcome able-bodied sailors to compete in two of the four classes raced in the event: the single person 2.4 Metre and the Sonar whose three-person crew must include at least one sailor with disabilities. This move should result in not only more boats on the starting line, but also a more challenging level of competition in these fleets.
This is not the first time the event’s organizers have made a move to be more inclusive. Since its inception, The Clagett, which is hosted by Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, has grown from offering racing in just the Sonar (2003-2004), to include the 2.4 Metre (2005), and the two-person SKUD-18 (2006) – all classes selected for the Paralympic Games. In 2008, the inclusion of blind sailors racing Sail Newport’s fleet of J/22s added another dimension as those teams of four consist of two visually impaired sailors who race with two sighted guides.
“This is one way of exposing more sailors to The Clagett,” said event founder Judy McLennan. “Our mission is to help people reach their individual goals and this new initiative is in direct response to requests from competitors who want to race in more competitive fleets.”
By keeping to its core mission of providing sailors with disabilities an arena in which to improve and test their competitive skills, The Clagett has become a premier event in North America and was instrumental in the medal success of competitors at the 2008 Paralympic Games in China. Find out the real benefits by watching the video.
The 2010 Clagett Regatta will kick off on August 23 with its traditional one-day clinic which will again find world champion sailors sharing their expertise on everything from the racing rules to match racing techniques. On the water, racing will take place August 24-26, with the blind sailors racing for the 2010 Blind Sailing National Championship title. The clinic and regatta is open to both U.S. and foreign competitors.
The C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta honors the late Tom Clagett (1916-2001), a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who learned to sail on the Chesapeake Bay. As a youngster he suffered temporary paralysis as the result of a bout of meningitis; it was an experience that left him with a deep respect for the accomplishments of people with disabilities, especially athletes.
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