The inaugural Mobility Cup in 1991 kicked off the annual Canadian-hosted international regatta for sailors with a disability.
In 1999, The Mobility Cup came to Toronto and left in its wake the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario - what has become the country's largest sailing programme of its type.
Usually restricted to the Canadian built Martin 16, this is the first year the Access Liberty has been included in the Mobility Cup. The International 2.4mR North American Championships were also held as part of the event. The multi-class format was regarded as a highly successful innovation for the event and the 2.4mR and Liberty sailors look forward to competing in future Mobility Cups.
Single-person competition in the Martin 16 gold fleet, and companion sailors in the silver fleet provided competition opportunities for experienced and novice racers alike.
Canadian and US competitors enjoyed four days of great racing in perfect conditions on Lake Ontario, with sunshine and light to moderate breezes. The event was hosted by Ashbridge's Bay Yacht Club.
In the Martin 16 gold fleet, Robb Lawrence (CAN) elevated himself two places over three races to snatch to claim the 2009 Mobility Cup. Lawrence is a previous winner of the event. Cam Perry (CAN) was three points behind in second place, while Audrey Kobayashi (CAN) had a disappointing day to finish third after leading throughout the regatta..
Jennifer Smith (CAN) finished with two bullets on the final day in the Martin 16 Silver fleet, after winning every race on the first two days to establish a clear lead. Second was Dean Rogers (CAN) with local sailor Kevin Rogers (CAN) third.
There were five different race winners in the Access Liberty competition. Local sailor Joan Lewis was forced to miss two days of the competition, but came out and won two races on the final day. Rick Watters (CAN) is usually at the helm of his SKUD 18 racing with Mobility Cup winner Audrey Kobayashi. But sailing in the Liberty division with servo controlled main and jib sheet, Watters also managed to establish dominance of the fleet from mid regatta. There was only one point separating second and third before the final day, but Guddi Guron (CAN) finished 2 and 3 and 5 on the final day to claim the silver position with Al Nicholls (CAN) third.
Paralympic gold medallist, Paul Tingley
(CAN), demonstrated his winning ways in the International 2.4mR North American Championships, although local Toronto sailor Allan Leibel
did not make it an easy regatta. Tingley won five of the six heats conducted over the first two days, but Leibel was poised four points behind entering the final day. In the end, Tingley placed 2 and 1 and 3 and 2 to beat Leibel by 5 points with Bruce Millar
(CAN) in third.
The 2010 Mobility Cup will be held in Vancouver.
For final results and event information, visit www.mobilitycup.com