Gold & Silver for Canadian Paralympic Sailors
Newport, RI – June 16, 2014
The C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Regatta is North America’s premier event for sailors with a disability in 3 Paralympic classes, the 2.4mR, Sonar & SKUD 18. Founded in 2002, the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta honors the late Tom Clagett (1916-2001), a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who learned to sail on Chesapeake Bay. Eleven medalists from previous Paralympic Games were on hand to display their talents in Newport, Rhode Island including Canadians Paul Tingley (RNSYS), John McRoberts (RVicYC) & Stacie Louttit (2008).
Very light shifty winds greeted sailors for the 3-day event, with a total of 7 races and one race drop. Canadian SKUD team John McRoberts and Jackie Gay were working at further developing their onboard communications while Canadian SONAR team Tingley, Lutes, & Campbell were working on their starts & laylines, using this event as training for the upcoming IFDS Worlds in Halifax this summer.
Canadians dominated the leaderboard in all three classes with John McRoberts & Jackie Gay coming out on top with a gold medal finish in the SKUD on Sunday. Race seven was make or break for the two leading SKUD teams. Porteous/Walker (USA) and McRoberts/Gay (CAN) were on equal points and McRoberts/Gay beat out their American rivals placing 2nd. With 4 race wins and a two-point lead, John and Jackie secured their gold medal finish! "This is our third event together as a crew so it was a test for us,” says McRoberts. “Communication is very important in the very challenging conditions we've had the last couple of days so it has been a great opportunity for us to practice and also work on the mental aspect of competition.”
The Sonar fleets were a lively bunch with tight action among the top teams, including Team Doerr, Angle & Freund (USA) in the lead going into the final day. Canadians Tingley (RNSYS), Lutes (PCYC) & Campbell (SSC) were very close finishing up one point behind the Americans in 2nd overall. Tingley is pleased with this training event and looks forward to their next major challenge in Halifax at the IFDS World Championships.
While CST veteran Bruce Millar was not in attendance, Peter Wood (NSC), placed 2nd to American NY Maritime Academy graduate, Ted Green. Canadian Christine Lavallée received the Larry Gadsby Most Improved Award at this event, placing 7th overall.
All eyes will move over to Halifax, Nova Scotia in August as they prepare to host the IFDS World Championships, the first opportunity to qualify the country for the 2016 Paralympic Games.