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12 August 2005, 04:38 pm
International Fair Play Awards - Sailors Honoured
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Disabled Sailing News

The International Committee for Fair Play (CIFP) has honoured a number of members of the Paralympic Family for the 2004 Fair Play Awards. Three sailors were nominated for the awards by IFDS and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and IFDS is delighted to announce that all three of those sailors have been honoured by CIFP.

In ascending order of merit, CIFP awards are as follows :

- Letter of Congratulation in all the three categories;
- Honorary Diploma in all three categories;
- International Fair Play Trophies:
1. Pierre de Coubertin Trophy - for an athlete or a team for an act of fair play (Category No. 1.)
2. Jean Borotra Trophy - for a person for his or her sporting career (Category No. 2.)
3. Willi Daume Trophy - for a person or an organisation for promotion of fair-play play (Category No. 3.)

Keith BURHANS (USA) and Paul McCARTHY (IRL) have both been honoured in the 'Act of Fair Play' category, recieving Letters of Congratulations, whilst Betsy ALISON (USA) has received a Fair Play Diploma in the category 'Sport Career'.

For some years now Keith BURHANS (USA) has been developing a chair which enables quadriplegic athletes to helm a boat safely and competitively. When he narrowly missed out on being selected to represent the United States at the 2004 Paralympic Sailing Competition, BURHANS was approached by Vasilis CHRISTOFOROU, skipper of the Greek Sonar team. BURHANS' ideas and coaching advice helped the Greek team complete a very successful championship, a win in race seven and second place in the final race, finishing in eighth place overall. 'The willingness of Mr. BURHANS to overlook national bounds demonstrates a true sense of fair play and sportsmanship as well as a respect for the improvement of his sport,' read the nomination.

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Betsy ALISON (USA) in
action in Athens
© ISAF

Paul McCARTHY (IRL) competed for four years in preparation to represent Ireland in the 2004 Paralympic Sailing Competition, however his team was pipped at the post by John TWOMEY, Seanie MCGRATH and Brian O'MAHONY and he was not selected. On arrival in Athens, the Irish team found that their boat had technical problems and was not sailable. With just days left to measure their equipment for the Games, the team turned to their rivals for help. McCARTHY jumped in his car, picked up his shore crew and his 23 foot Sonar and drove from Cork, Ireland to Athens, Greece, reaching the sailing venue just hours before measurement closed. The boat measured and the team were able to compete. Skipper John TWOMEY was full of praise for his fellow sailors 'Paul and his team stepped up to the plate in our time of need and we're very grateful to them'.

Two time Yngling World Champion, Betsy ALISON (USA) was nominated for her role as coach of the US Disabled Sailing Team and her efforts to 'promote sailing and help sailors win medals'. And she did just that. The American team went home with the bronze medal in the three-person keelboat (Sonar) event and silver in the single-person keelboat (2.4mR) event.

Other Paralympic recipients were:

Lee PEARSON (GBR) - Equestrian - Letter of Congratulation in the category Act of Fair Play
Radu ROSENTHAL (IRI) - Letter of Congratulation in the category 'Sport Career'
German National Paralympic Committee - Diploma in the category 'Promotion of Fair Play'
2004 Brazilian Paralympic Equestrian Team - Diploma in the category 'Act of Fair Play'

ISAF, Image: Keith Burhans © ISAF
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