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3 August 2005, 09:36 am
Repeat Win For Defending Champions Of U.S. Independence Cup
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Disabled Sailing News
Chicago, Illinois, USA

The defending champions of US SAILING's U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup (IC/NACC), one of the premier disabled sailing regattas in the country, had reason to celebrate on Monday after winning the event once again.
For two-person sailors Karen MITCHELL and Kerry GRUSON (USA), it was their third consecutive Championship win, sailing in Freedom 20s. For US Disabled Sailing Team member Nick SCANDONE (USA), it was only his second time competing in the event and his second victory in the single-person event, sailed in the 2.4 Metre. The Championship is hosted by Chicago Yacht Club, where it will be held again next year.

In the two-person fleet, racing was close throughout the three day regatta. MITCHELL and GRUSON took the lead on the second day and managed to hold on to it for the remainder of the event. With six points total, the winners finished twelve points ahead of second place finishers Bob JONES (USA) and Ken KELLY (CAN). In the single-person 2.4mR fleet, SCANDONE came prepared to win, taking the lead on day one and never relinquishing it. Fellow US Disabled Sailing Team member Rick DOERR finished eight points behind SCANDONE.

'The racing in the gold fleets of both classes was highly competitive this year,' said Betsy ALISON (USA), coach of the US Disabled Sailing Team and clinic instructor at the U.S. Independence Cup. 'I think this was the strongest competition we've seen at this event,' she added.

With their third consecutive win of the U.S. Independence Cup, MITCHELL and GRUSON enter the history books of US SAILING. This is the first time in the history of the event, held annually since 1990, that a team has won the event for three consecutive years. Robie PIERCE (USA) has won the single-person event three times, but not in consecutive years.

By winning the U.S. Independence Cup, Californian SCANDONE continues what has been a very successful year thus far. He started 2005 with a third place finish at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR in the 2.4mR, he was the top American finisher in the event. He then finished fourth at the Disabled Midwinters and the combined finishes at both events put him in first place for the US Disabled Sailing Team in the 2.4mR. The U.S. Independence Cup served as great preparation for SCANDONE, who leaves for Denmark later this month to compete in the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship from 29 August-5 September. Later in September, SCANDONE will travel to Italy to compete in the 2.4mR Open World Championship.

Marlieke Eaton (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Event Media
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