By Sam Crichton
After a one-day coaching clinic and three days of racing on Narragansett Bay, the 13th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta finished up on Sunday, June 28. Hosted by Sail Newport in Newport, RI, “The Clagett” is North America’s premier event for sailors with disabilities. Sailed in the three Paralympic class boats (singlehanded 2.4mR, doublehanded SKUD-18 and three-person Sonar), The Clagett’s mission is to provide sailors with disabilities the opportunity to improve their skills and reach personal goals through world-class coaching and competition.
Paul Tingley, Scott Lutes and Logan Campbell (CAN 835) topped the eight-boat Sonar class. © Clagett Regatta/Billy Black
In the eight-boat Sonar fleet, it came down to the last day of racing to decide who would take home the top prize. The Canadian team skippered by Paul Tingley (Toronto) and crewed by Scott Lutes (Nova Scotia) and Logan Campbell (Saskatchewan) managed to take the gun in all four of the day’s races. “We got the boat dialed in today to the right settings and found our boat speed and it showed in the results today,” said Tingley. “We have qualified for Rio, so our regatta schedule going forward will include the Open Sonar Worlds in September and then heading down to Melbourne for the ISAF Worlds in November.”
The US Sailing Team Sperry crew of Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ) and teammates Hugh Fruend (South Freeport, ME) and Brad Kendell (Clearwater, FL), who had been the lead boat for the first two days, had a third and fourth place and took second place overall.
First-time Clagett participants, sailors from the Warrior Sailing Program, took fourth and fifth in the Sonar class. The team skippered by Preston Scholfield (Tampa, FL) were taking part in their first competitive sailing regatta and finished fourth behind the two US Sailing Team Sperry teams and the Canadian Sailing Team Sonar. “We’re really pleased in our joint mission with The Clagett to get new sailors into adaptive sailing,” said Warrior Sailing Program Director Ben Poucher. “The Warrior Sailing Program looks forward to attending many more Clagett events in the future with even more Warrior Sailing Program teams attending.”
One point separated first and second place in the SKUD-18 class. Ryan Porteous (San Diego, CA) and Maureen McKinnon (Marblehead, MA) took the gold spot, with Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, RI) and Cindy Walker (Middletown, RI) right on their heels. These two teams are both on the US Sailing Team Sperry Paralympic team. Wrapping up the bronze position was Tracy Schmitt (Toronto), who sailed with Kay Van Valkenburgh. Schmitt sailed a 2.4mR at The Clagett in 2014, and this year wanted to see how the purpose-designed SKUD 18 would be to sail.
Ryan Porteous and Maureen McKinnon (USA 071) were victorious in the SKUD-18 class. © Clagett Regatta/Billy Black
“It was great having the two other boats out there with the class,” said Porteous. “It raised the level of competition and both teams are new to the boat. It was great to have them on the start line and pushing us over the three days. We are doing the Newport Regatta next, and will be at the ISAF Worlds in Melbourne, Australia in November.”
In his first Clagett, Dee Smith (Annapolis, MD) topped in the 13-boat 2.4mR class. Peter Wood (Ottawa, Canada), a six-time Clagett participant, took second place and Tim Ripley (Randolph, NJ) rounded out the podium for the 2.4mRs. “From the Race Committee to the docks and volunteers and the hospitality, this is an incredibly run regatta – one of the best I have been to,” remarked Smith after winning the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Trophy. “I’d like to thank both Ted Green II and Ted Green III for loaning me boats and for the opportunity to sail in The Clagett.”
“I’d like to give a huge thank you to so many people,” said Clagett co-founder and President Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI). “Without the team we have working, on the race committee, jury, sponsors, Sail Newport and Fort Adams State Park staff, local Newport Yacht Clubs and many others, this event would not happen. We’ve had another great year and look forward to seeing many of you back again next year and some new faces joining the ranks. We can confirm that the dates for 2016 are June 22 for registration and June 23 for the clinic, with racing on June 24-26. We will give free entry in 2016 for the first registration once the Notice of Race is published.” For more information, visit clagettregatta.com.
Sam Crichton is an event management, publicity & project management consultant in Newport, RI.