On July 31, the Chicago area will be crowded with some of the best sailors with disabilities who will battle for US SAILING's Independence Cup.
The event is hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club (Chicago, IL) and will take place through August 3. The participants have been selected to race in the event through qualifying ladder events held across the country or by resume. As with all of US SAILING's national championships, the Independence Cup is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A.
The Independence Cup will be sailed in Freedom 20s and the 2.4mR. The Freedom 20 is sailed by two people with disabilities accompanied by one able-bodied crewmember who is on board for specific duties only. The winner of the Freedom 20 fleet will receive the Chandler Hovey, Jr. Trophy. The singlehanded class is sailed in the 2.4mR. Competitors in this class are selected by resume and are vying for the Judd Goldman Trophy.
First established in 1986, the U.S. Independence Cup became US SAILING's national championship for disabled sailors in 1989. The event is organized by US SAILING's Committee on Sailors with Special Needs, which is currently chaired by Herbert Meyer (Larkspur, CA). The Chandler Hovey, Jr. Trophy was donated to US SAILING at the 1994 Independence Cup by A.G.A. Correa and Co. The trophy is named for "Buzz" Hovey who was an active racer in the 1950's and '60's in the 12 Metre Easterner owned by his family. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1947, he continued, nonetheless, to sail and race actively, especially in his Shields Class boat, until 1981 when he retired from the racing circuit.
The Judd Goldman Trophy for singlehanded racing was named in honor of Judd Goldman, who, despite a disabling bone disease suffered at the age of seventeen, competed in many races, including more than 25 Chicago-Mackinac Races. He founded the One-Design Dragon class in Chicago, and was the inspiration for his family in creating the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program in Chicago in 1990.