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22 August 2011, 11:23 am
C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta Helping Disabled Sailors To Achieve Their Goals
SKUD-18 Nick's Karma
SKUD-18 Nick's Karma is being raced by Sarah Everhart-Skeels

C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta
Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Enabling sailors with disabilities to reach their personal competitive goals has always been central to the mission of the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta.
The first day of racing, which was held in puffy conditions, with gusts up to 20 knots, saw five races completed by the blind sailors who are competing for the 2011 Sail Newport Blind Sailing National Championship. They will complete their series on Monday 22 August, while the competitors in the Paralympic classes - 2.4 Metre, SKUD-18 and Sonar - got in four races today and continue racing through Tuesday, August 23.

In the seven-boat J/22 fleet, the Texas team skippered by Karen Penrose and James O'Laughlin with David Atkinson and Scott Tuma, holds a one-point lead over 2009 Blind Sailing World Champion Jason Wallenstein and Bruce Howell with world champion sighted guides Lisa O'Connor Dalton and Peter Frisch. Standing third is Sengil "Inky" Inkiala, Glenn Boivin with Nancy Jodoin and Ken Legler.

The 2.4 Metre class has the largest contingent racing with 12 boats and is led by Mark Leblanc. Leblanc, fresh from a fourth-place finish at the IFDS World Championships in Weymouth, England, has five points after four races. 2010 Clagett champion Charles Rosenfield is second overall with eight points, and Peter Wood is third with 11 points.

In the SKUD-18s, Scott Whitman and Brooke Thomson won all four races and lead the standings with four points, followed by Ken Kelly and Brenda Hopkin with eight points and Sarah Everhart Skeels and Aqeel Shhaib with 14.

In the Sonar class, Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Brad Johnson lead with five points. Albert Foster, Jim Thweatt and David Burdette are second with nine points, followed by Andrew Fisher, 2008 SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker and Christopher Murphy.

As is tradition at this event, the clinic on Saturday, August 20, led by internationally-ranked sailors got the competitors ready for action on the water with classroom work followed by on-the-water coaching. For members of the race management team the organizer's held their first-ever safety clinic that included a basic first aid briefing, and dealt with topics such as allergic reactions, hypothermia and brittle bones - all issues particularly relevant to the sailors with disabilities.

About the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta
Widely respected as North America's premier event for sailors with disabilities, it began as an event for a single class of boat with a stated mission of assisting sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them - through the one-day clinic that precedes racing - both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills, and the opportunity to test them in competition. The event has expanded to include all three boats that have been chosen as the equipment of the Paralympic Regatta: the three-person Sonar, the two-person SKUD-18 and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre. And, since 2008, blind sailors are also included as they race J/22s with sighted guides for the Sail Newport Blind National Sailing Championship.
Sponsors of the C. Thomas Clagett Memorial Clinic & Regatta are: Fiduciary Trust International, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Chartis, Innovative Construction and Roger King Fine Art.

Additional information can be found online at www.clagettregatta.org
Jan Harley
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