FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US SAILING Communications Manager
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (December 4, 2010) – Only one race was completed by each of the fleets on Saturday at the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships in St. Petersburg, Fla. This US SAILING National Championship, hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, features racers competing in one of three Paralympic classes: 2.4mR (singlehanded), SKUD-18 (doublehanded), and Sonar (triplehanded).
Canadian Bruce Millar (Richmond, B.C. CAN) has a two point lead over Great Britain’s Megan Pascoe (Portland, Dorset GBR) through four races in the 2.4mR division. Millar and Pascoe were tied for the lead after Friday’s three races. Millar finished third today, while Pascoe finished fifth. US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) athlete Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) is still in the hunt and three points off the lead after finishing second today.
Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Pa.) stayed perfect today by winning their fourth race of the regatta. The USSTAG duo is 4-for-4 for the championship in the SKUD-18 fleet. Defending SKUD-18 champion Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla./USSTAG) and crew Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) posted their third second place finish of the regatta today. They are five points behind the leaders.
In the Sonar fleet, British skipper John Robertson (Portland, Dorset, GBR) and his crewmates Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas stretched out their lead to 10 points by winning today’s race.
The U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship is the only sailing national championship for disabled sailors. This championship is one of two qualifying events for the 2011 US SAILING Team AlphaGraphics’ Paralympic classes.
Eight races are planned per division for the regatta. The U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship is being run in conjunction with the America’s Disabled Open. Racing is taking place on Tampa Bay, east of the St. Petersburg Municipal Pier.
In the 2.4mR class, each sailor must have a valid classification rating of 1-7 in order to compete. The Sonar fleet is sailed with three disabled sailors. To be eligible for the 2011 USSTAG, the Sonar team may not exceed 14 classification points total. In the SKUD-18 class, per team one sailor must be severely disabled (classification rating of a 1 or 2) and the other sailor must have any valid classification rating (1-7). At least one of the team members must be a female.
Managed by US SAILING, the event is open to any sailor with a physical disability. Participants have included quadriplegics, paraplegics and amputees, as well as individuals with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, polio and ALS. Several past participants of this championship have gone on to compete in the Paralympic Games, including 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist and two-time USDSC Singlehanded Champion (2005, 2004), the late Nick Scandone. Many of this year’s participants have Paralympic ambitions.
Since the 1980s, US SAILING has actively supported sailboat racing among physically challenged sailors. The inaugural championship, then called the Independence Cup, took place in 1990 and the event was held in conjunction with the North American Challenge Cup by the Chicago Yacht Club. Beginning in 2008, the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship has been hosted by different sailing organizations around the country to expand awareness of disabled sailing and encourage disabled individuals to take up the sport.
For results, standings, daily reports, and photos, please visit the event web site. For frequent updates from St. Petersburg, follow us on Twitter.
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events.
About Dry Creek Vineyard
Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, just outside of the charming wine country town of Healdsburg. The winery is known for producing some of California’s finest Fumé Blancs and Zinfandels. In addition to these “flagships,” Dry Creek Vineyard is also known for excellent Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In 1997, the family released a new vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate Endeavour vineyard. Then, beginning with the 2004 vintage, the family introduced a new proprietary blend called The Mariner. Each wine has redefined the concept of terroir as the winery continues shape their portfolio for future success. Dry Creek Vineyard owns over 200 acres of vineyard land, primarily in Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley. For more information on Dry Creek Vineyard please visit www.drycreekvineyard.com.