The 2018 Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta, with the largest fleet of single design boats racing in an adaptive regatta in the country, is open for registration. Registration is also open for the Eighth Annual Robie Pierce Women’s Invitational, the first and still the only regatta for women with disabilities. Both will be held at Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY, with the Women’s Invitational on Thursday, May 31, 2018 and the One-Design Regatta June 1-3, 2018. For more information and to sign up, go to robiepierceonedesignregatta.com.
Many participants in the Robie Pierce Regattas are returning sailors who left the sport after sustaining a serious injury. © Jim Reilly
Included in the entry fee are specially adapted Ideal 18s, and each boat races with two people with disabilities and an able-bodied person (AB) to perform tasks the disabled sailors aren’t able to do.
This popular regatta, named for disabled sailing legend Robie Pierce, who sadly passed away last summer, is sailed by people with sailing experience ranging from Paralympic medalists to those brand new to the sport. While the racing is competitive, the accent is on the camaraderie and fun shared by the sailors.
One of the heartwarming aspects of the Robie Pierce Regatta is when former sailors, now disabled, return to sailing for the first time via the Robie. In 2017, the Robie included three such sailors who were convinced by their sailing friends to reenter the yachting world. In fact, in two cases those sailing friends sailed as ABs for the participants.
Each crew in the Robie comprises two sailors with disabilities and one able-bodied sailor. © Jim Reilly
Raced annually, but alternately sailed out of American Yacht Club (Rye, NY) and Larchmont Yacht Club, the Robie has grown to over 20 boats, with up to 30 boats expected this year. Housing is provided, on a limited basis, for those without special adaptive needs and all meals and hospitality are included in the entry fee.
No regatta of this magnitude could be held without a host of wonderful sponsors. Returning once again are Mercedes-Benz of New Rochelle, Burke Rehabilitation & Research, Carlsberg Beer, vineyard vines, and Thomas Bates Belts. New to the event are Montefiore Health System, The Gowrie Group, White Plains Hospital and Samson Rope.
This year, due to the generous support of our sponsors, limited funds are available to competitors on an as-needed basis to help offset their costs of attending the regatta. Please visit the regatta website for the link for the financial assistance application. All applications should be submitted by April 15 for review. Decisions on funding allocation will be communicated by April 20.
The Robie is the most fun regatta in the country…and perhaps the most inspiring, too! © Buttons Padin
Do you know a disabled person, a former sailor or not, who would benefit from being part of the Robie Pierce Regatta? Or, are you a disabled skipper looking for crew, or vice versa? Contact Event Co-Chair Bill Sandberg at William.L.Sandberg@gmail.com for more information. Sign up today for the most fun regatta in the country.