blind national sailing championship

Winning Day On the Water At The Clagett Regatta

Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.), winner of the 2.4 Metre class, The Clagett Regatta, photo credit to Dan Nerney NEWPORT, R.I. (August 26, 2010) – In each of the four classes (2.4 Metre, SKUD-18, Sonar and J/22) competing at the eighth annual C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta for sailors with disabilities, an unbroken winning streak on the second and final day of racing determined the championship winners.  The storm that pulled out of the area overnight left behind a perfect day for racing on Narragansett Bay, starting with a 5-7 knot westerly breeze that built to a top speed of 12-14.  The only hiccup for the day came in the form of a 40-degree wind shift that caused a 2.4 Metre race to be abandoned just as it started and also necessitated a weather mark change for the SKUD-18 class. 

In the five-boat Sonar fleet, John Porter (East Troy, Wisc.) with crew 2008 SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine) continued the winning streak they had started on day one to end the regatta with 10 bullets for the class win.  Second overall was Paul Callahan (Newport, R.I./Cape Coral, Fla.), Brad Johnson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Tom Brown (Castine, Maine) with 18 points after the day’s five races.  Eric Roberts (Reno, Nevada), Jim Thweatt (Sacramento, Calif.) and Dennis Moran (Framingham, Mass.) retained third overall with 29 points, followed four points back by Ted King (Brentwood, N.H.) sailing with Dan Rugg (Centreville, Md.) and Dirk Johnson (Middletown, R.I.).   Charlie Croteau (Framingham, Mass.) and Jody Hill (Seabrook, Texas) with Kitty Mears (Brighton, Mass.) finished fifth with 43 points.

The silver medalists in the SKUD-18 at the 2010 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship, Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (West Chester, Penn.), clinched their third consecutive class win at The Clagett after winning all four races sailed today for a low score of six points.  Sarah Everhart-Skeels and husband Brian Skeels (both Tiverton, R.I.), were second overall with 11 points, and Mark Lewis (Hingham, Mass.) and Barbara Wilson were third overall with 17 points.

In the 12-strong 2.4 Metre fleet, Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) won all four races to leapfrog three places in the standings and take the class championship.  Dropping a DNF/13 points from the opening race of the series, Rosenfield finished 1-2-1-1-1-1 for a low score of seven points to displace yesterday’s leader, Britt Hall (Darien, Conn.) who finished the series in second overall with 12 points.  Peter Wood (Ottawa, Canada) was third with 16 points.  Also moving up the standings with finishes of 2-3-4-5 for the day was Timothy Ripley (Randolph, N.J.), who moved from eighth overall to end the series fourth in the standings on 25 points.  Scott Lutes (Montreal, Canada) was fifth overall with 31 points. 

Craig Guthrie (Halifax, Nova Scotia) attributed Rosenfield’s winning performance to the work he has been doing in the boat which has seen him steadily moving up the ranks of the class. 

“This is my fourth season in the 2.4 Metre,” said Rosenfield.  “I did have a very good day today. I have been sailing in larger fleets, but generally have not done as well as I’ve done here.  I learn a lot from every one of these regattas.  I think it’s great they opened The Clagett up for able bodied sailors.  The great thing about the class is that it does integrate disabled and able bodied (AB) sailors on as level a playing field as you’re going to get.  The disabled 2.4 sailors get better because they sail with AB sailors and it’s a really good thing to do here because it makes the fleet bigger and better. “

2006 IFDS Blind Sailing World Champions JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jan Bartleson with 2000 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Magnus Liljedahl and David Bannister (all Miami, Fla.) wrapped up the 2010 Sail Newport Blind National Sailing Championship title after winning all five of their races today in the seven-strong J/22 fleet. 

Creignou did not expect it to be easy as the team headed out to the racecourse:  “It’s going to be very different from yesterday.  We had a lot of weight on the rail with Magnus and it was to our advantage.  Today is going to be light air so it’s going to be more tricky.”  While Creignou has competed in The Clagett several times in other classes, this was his third try for the blind title.  “This is a tradition for me to come here to such a great event and it’s fun to be driving, because this is the only time I’m the ‘front man’.” 

Second through fifth place went to teams from The Carroll Center for the Blind (Newton, Mass.) who participate in the center’s SailBlind program which is run out of the Courageous Sailing Center in Boston.  Sengil Inkiala (Waltham) and Nancy Jodoin (Newton) with Ken Legler (Reading) and Harry Berman (Hull) were second overall on 15 points, followed by Duane Farrar (Watertown) and Nina Kagan (Boston) with Kay Van Valkenburgh (Marblehead) and Bob Costello (Medfield) with 27 points.  Matt Chao (Newton) and Ryck Lent (Waltham) with Lisa O’Connor Dalton (Hull) and Bill Rapp (Rockport) were fourth with 30 points, while Jason Wallenstein (N. Billerica) and Bruce Howell (Needham, Mass.) with Mike Dinning (Natick) and Mary McKinnon (Quincy) finished the series with 41 points for fifth place overall.

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