2.4mR fleet with Paul Tingley leading  
© Clagett Regatta/Ro Fernandez/Andes Visual

Twenty-Twenty-Two brings with it the 20th Anniversary and a new decade for the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta.  In the 20 years since the first Clagett Regatta, which had five boats racing in Newport R.I., it has evolved into a multi-program organization providing opportunities for sailors with disabilities. The organization has rebranded for its future to be known as Clagett Sailing and with it a motto of Learn–Race-Win.  Learn-to Reach for Success!, Race-in the Corinthian spirit, Win-self-empowerment.

“2022 is a milestone year for The Clagett, reaching our 20th year of providing sailors with disabilities a variety of programs and opportunities to improve their skills and strive to reach their goals by using the words of my father Tom Clagett to always “Reach for Success,” commented Clagett Sailing President and Co-Founder Judy Clagett McLennan (Portsmouth, RI).  

“From the idea discussed with Robie Pierce 21 years ago to where we are today with the programs, clinics, and regattas we are certainly continuing to fulfill the Clagett mission, “to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition.” 

The impact The Clagett has had for sailors with disabilities over the past 20 years is immeasurable. Sailors from around the world, who have taken part in Clagett clinics and regattas, have often spoken about how they have benefited from the Clagett mission being put into action.

Clagett sailors alongside Rhode Island’s Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry
© Clagett Regatta/Ro Fernandez/Andes Visual

Sarah Everhart Skeels (Little Compton, RI), a Clagett Sailing board member and sailor who participated at the first Clagett Regatta and has raced in the majority of the regattas since then. “20 years, two decades!  It truly is a testament to Judy and Stephanie McLennan’s commitment to supporting the growth of disabled sailing, not only in Rhode Island, but in North America and beyond! The Clagett organization’s humble inception at a picnic table resulted in an organization which now hosts two large regattas attended by sailors from across the US, Canada, and Europe.” 

Everhart Skeels continued, “The Clagett organization brings together a unique community of volunteers, financial supporters, industry professionals and sailors, to celebrate the impact this inclusive sport brings and the mission of Clagett Sailing to “Reach for Success.”

Clagett Sailing will be the presenting organization for the fleet racing; the 20th Anniversary of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta, in Newport, R.I. and the match racing clinic and regatta in Oyster Bay, N.Y.  Along with the regattas, Clagett Sailing has several programs providing sailors with opportunities to Learn-Race-Win, including the Clagett Boat Grant Program, Team Clagett. Also, Clagett Sailing works to foster opportunities for sailors with disabilities with partner yacht clubs and sailing organizations. 

The Clagett Boat Grant Program, which was started in 2016, provides sailors with disabilities race-ready boats to enable them to race at their fullest potential. Currently there are nine boats within the Clagett Boat Grant Program, eight 2.4mRs and one Sonar. The loaned boats give sailors the opportunity to train and race in regattas across North America and on the world stage.

Another Clagett Sailing program, which will have its debut in 2022, is Team Clagett.  Team Clagett has been established to provide selected Clagett sailors the opportunity to experience training and racing at national and world championship sailing events.  The first Team Clagett event will be the 2.4mR World Championships held at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida USA in November. For this event Team Clagett will consist of sailors and a world-renowned coach. The Team Clagett sailors will be chosen based on the top three disabled finishers at the 2022 C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta (Clagett Newport) in Newport, R.I. in June. Additionally, the next highest placing boat grant recipient will earn a berth on Team Clagett.

Clagett Sailing will present The 20th Anniversary of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta, which will be hosted at Sail Newport June 21 – 26, in Newport, R.I. There will be three classes racing including the single-handed 2.4mR, the double-handed Martin 16 and the triple-handed Sonar.  

Robie Pierce  (1941–2017), the inspiration behind Clagett Sailing
© Clagett Sailing

 “We’re thrilled that our organization has grown from providing a single five-boat regatta to today’s multi-class regatta, online training, match racing events and the new travel Team Clagett. Our motto “Reach for Success” remains the same core goal as it has been for twenty years,” says Clagett Sailing Co-Founder and Vice President Stephanie McLennan (Newport, RI).

For more information about Clagett Sailing Presents: The 20th Anniversary of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Notice of Race and registration information, please visit: www.clagettsailing.org

About Clagett Sailing:

Founded in 2003, 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.  As a youngster he suffered temporary paralysis as the result of a bout of meningitis; an experience that left him with a deep respect for the accomplishments of people with disabilities.  Clagett Sailing’s stated mission is “to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition.”  The organization has adopted Tom Clagett’s motto of “Reach for Success,” which resonates with every Clagett sailor. 

2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of Clagett Newport.  Clagett alumni sailors have earned medals at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.  Along with reaching the 20th Anniversary milestone, the nonprofit organization while adhering to its original mission, has evolved beyond its original single regatta format and has been rebranded “Clagett Sailing” to encompass the multiple programs it now offers to sailors with disabilities.