by Dana Paxton
International Federation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) World Championships begins today, 10th January, in Punta Gorda, Fla. and concludes on Sunday 15th January.
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is in Florida competing in the regatta, which serves as the first of two US selection events for the US Paralympic Team – Sailing, will see over 100 of the world’s top Paralympic sailors from 20 countries competing. The second, and final, selection event is US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR, 23rd to 28th January, in Miami, Fla. The eligible teams with the best overall combined result will be selected to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
'All of the training and preparation done by US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics athletes over the past three and a half years will be evident this month,' said Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.) 'With two events, back-to-back in Florida, the athletes who can perform best will rise to the top and secure the Team berth. The Olympic Sailing Committee structured the US Paralympic Team selection process to align with our primary mission of fielding a team that gives the US the best possible chances of success at the Games. At the conclusion of Rolex Miami OCR we will know who those six athletes are who will represent us at the 2012 Games.'
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members competing in the IFDS World Championships:
2.4mR (Single-Person Keelboat):
Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.)
John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.)
Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.)
SKUD-18 (Two-Person Keelboat):
Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Penn./
Sonar (Three-Person Keelboat):
Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport, R.I.) Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Tom Brown (Castine, Me.)
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.)
Bert Foster (Wayzata, Minn.) and David Burdette (Lutherville, Md.), who will sail with crew Jim Thweatt (West Sacramento, Calif.)
Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) will sail with Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.)
Joining the team will be Paralympic coach Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), coaches Jonathan Farrar (New York, N.Y.) and Marko Dahlberg (FIN), and Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer Sue Crafer (AUS).
US Sailing will send a maximum of one boat per event to the 2012 Paralympic Games for a maximum team size of six. Upon approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the qualifying athletes will be named to the 2012 US Paralympic Team – Sailing and will compete in the Paralympic Regatta. The Paralympic Regatta will be held August 29th to September 9th, 2012, in the towns of Weymouth and Portland, which are located on the southern coast of England, approximately 120 miles southwest of London. To read the press release announcing the selection procedures, please click here.
US Sailing Team website