Contact: Jake Fish
US Sailing Communications Manager
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (October 24, 2012) – Perhaps, no other US Sailing National Championship demonstrates more spirit and courage than the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships. The 2012 edition of this unique event is hosted by the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego, Calif. for three days of racing, this Friday through Sunday, October 26-28. Sailors will compete in the area of North San Diego Bay in single-, double-, and triplehanded championship fleets.
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.
Many of this year’s participants have Paralympic ambitions. Several past participants of this championship have gone on to compete in the Paralympic Games, including 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist, the late Nick Scandone. 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.
Competition in the singlehanded division for the Judd Goldman Trophy will be sailed in the 2.4 mR. Each sailor in this division must have a disability. Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) has his sights set on a third US Disabled Singlehanded Championship. Rosenfield won in 2011 and 2009.
Sailors in the doublehanded division will race in the Martin 16 for the Chandler Hovey Trophy. Both sailors must have a disability to compete. The team of Bob E. Jones (Issaquah, Wash.) and Ken Kelly (Victoria, B.C.) is looking for their first US Disabled Sailing Championship. They are former Canadian Martin 16 National Champions.
The triplehanded fleet will sail in the Capri 22 for the Gene Hinkel Trophy. All three sailors must have a disability to compete. 2012 Paralympic silver medalist (two-person keelboat) Jennifer French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) is looking for her first US Disabled Triplehanded Championship. She won the Doublehanded Championship in 2009. French is a seven-time winner of the Milan-Gruson Award for the top disabled female skipper. This week, French and Canadian Sailing Team member Brenda Hopkins (Fairmont Hot Springs, B.C.) will be crewing for Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.).
As a three-time US Disabled Triplehanded Champion, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) is no stranger to this event. Doerr will be sailing with Gerard Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine) and Michael Ross (Oceanside, Calif.) this week. Doerr is a 2007 Disabled World Champion and a 2008 Paralympian in the Sonar.
There will be three developmental fleets, including the Martin 16 (doublehanded), Access Liberty (singlehanded), and Access 303 (doublehanded). These developmental fleets will be running in tandem with the championship fleets. The purpose of these fleets is to provide returning or new sailors an opportunity to race and work on tactical skills and boathandling.
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 for may years held in conjunction with the North American Challenge Cup by the Chicago Yacht Club. Beginning in 2007, US Sailing encouraged clubs and venues around the country to host the championship. The success in moving the event around the USA has provided an impetus for host venues to create other disabled sailing events like the annual Robie Pierce regatta held on Long Island Sound.
For a full roster of competitors, Notice of Race, results and standings, photos, and a live Twitter feed, visit the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USDisabledChampionship.htm.
The U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Gill North America and Old Pultney Single Malt Whiskey. The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
- Rolex On-Water Racing Clinic – Thursday, October 25
- Racing begins each day at 12:00 pm PT (subject to change)
- Eight races are scheduled and three races constitutes a series
- US Sailing medals for permanent possession will be awarded to the first, second, and third place skippers and crews in each division for fleets of more than five boats. For fleets of five boats or less, only first place medals will be awarded. The Hosting Organization will also award prizes to the top three skippers and crews in each Division.
- Sandra Sherman, U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship Event Chair
- Debra Frenkel and Kevin Wixom, U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship National Committee Chairs
- Liz Walker, US Sailing Championships Director
About US Sailing
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 Sperry Top-Sider. 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 Sperry Top-Sider preparation, US Sailing National Championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events. For more information, please visit us at www.rolex.com.
About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, Central America, US and Canada. Gill is an apparel and accessories leader in the worldwide marine industry for over three decades and specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company tests, designs and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Available through hundreds of dealers nationally, Gill NA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America, where it is the top selling yachting clothing brand. For more information on Gill NA, visit the company website at http://www.gillna.com/ or contact David Pritchard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky
Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky is crafted at Pulteney Distillery in Wick, Scotland. The distillery was founded in 1826 by James Henderson at the height of Wick’s herring boom. The distillery lies in the heart of ‘Pulteneytown’, which was one of the most important and biggest herring fishing ports in Europe.
Old Pulteney Single Malt whisky has a long standing association with the sea and is known as the “Maritime Malt.” Its carefully crafted taste carries the windswept and rugged character of the North, the salty and fresh air of the North Sea, and the distillery’s rich maritime heritage runs through every drop of this fine malt. The award-winning Old Pulteney portfolio includes the World Whisky of the Year title, in Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible Awards. Visit us at http://www.oldpulteney.com/.