by Jan Harley
The C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta will be held from June 27-30 2013. Building on a decade of success in providing training and competitive racing opportunities for sailors with disabilities the Clinic and Regatta will be held for the 11th consecutive year at Sail Newport’s facility in Fort Adams State Park.
The Clagett has been designated as the qualifying event that determines the four SKUD-18 sailors that will become members of the 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider - C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Regatta 2013
Collectively, six medals have been won at the Paralympic Games (2008 and 2012) by veterans of The Clagett, which has a well-earned reputation as North America’s premier event for sailors with disabilities. As additional confirmation of the event’s significance for US sailors, this year The Clagett has been designated as the qualifying event that determines the four SKUD-18 sailors (two teams) that will become members of the 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. Open to both U.S. and foreign competitors, the clinic and regatta utilize the same equipment chosen for the Paralympic Games: the three-person Sonar, two-person SKUD-18 and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre. As sailing is one sport that provides a more balanced playing field, both the Sonar and 2.4 Metre classes accept able-bodied sailors to compete in The Clagett. Having able-bodied sailors in the fleet intensifies the level of competition which translates to better training opportunities for the Paralympic hopefuls.
The Clagett has not only succeeded in its core mission of providing sailors with disabilities the tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to test them in competition, it also has proven to have a positive impact on the participant’s quality of life by assisting each individual in achieving their personal competitive goals.
The event’s signature pre-race clinic (Thursday, June 27) is run by world champion and Olympic sailors who share their expertise on boat handling, sail trim, strategy and racing rules, and is followed by racing Friday through Sunday, June 28-30. Spectators can watch the competition – racing takes place between Rose and Goat Islands – from the western shore of Goat Island.
Canadian 2.4 Metre sailor Christine Lavallee is transferred to her boat via hydraulic-powered lift – which the organizers purchased with the aid of a Quality of Life Grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and installed as a legacy from the event to the Newport sailing community. - C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Regatta 2013
For more details, please visit the event website.