by Jake Fish
U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships
U.S. Disabled Championship competitors were not able to compete in the final round of racing on Long Island Sound due to a lack of wind. Fortunately, each fleet completed at least the three race minimum required by each division to constitute a regatta.
The Sonar and SKUD-18 fleets completed four races and the 2.4 mR and novice Ideal 18 fleets finished three races. The 2011 U.S. Disabled Championship was hosted by the Larchmont Yacht Club.
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), a 2008 Paralympian, with crew Brad Kendall (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) won the Sonar fleet with a 2-1-1-3 scoring line. They won by two points over skipper 2000 Paralympian Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla.) and crew Tom Brown (Castine, Maine) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.).
'It was a challenge all weekend,' said Doerr. 'The breeze was up and down, and there was a ton of current. I think we did a good job keeping the competition in our sights. We wanted to make a statement that to go through the Trials you have to go through us.'
Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Boca Raton, Fla.) took a two point lead after posting bullets in both races Saturday to win the SKUD-18 fleet. They won three of the four races total. Whitman and Dorsett edged Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and John Ruff (Pewaukee, Wis.). Everhart Skeels and Ruf finished second in both races on Saturday. The Whitman – Dorsett duo have a long history of success together in the SKUD-18. They won back-to-back titles at US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR Championships in 2009 and 2010, and the 2010 Sail for Gold, a stop on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit. They are also the 2009 IFDS World Champions.
'The competition was great this weekend. Sarah and John haven’t sailed together, but they are great sailors,' said Whitman. 'In the light wind, we were constantly looking for pressure. We limited our tacks and made each of them count when we did.'
Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) won the 2.4 mR division by three points over Daniel Evans (Miami, Fla.). Rosenfield won two of the three races. Rosenfield won this Championship in 2009.
Skipper Edward King (Brentwood, N.H.) with crew Bill Sandberg (Riverside, Conn.) and Jim Scott (Portsmouth, R.I.) were perfect this weekend after winning all three races. They won the developmental Ideal 18 fleet by three points.
• US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members competing: Tom Brown, Paul Callahan, Rick Doerr, Julia Dorsett, Sarah Everhart Skeels, Hugh Freund, Brad Johnson, Brad Kendall, Charles Rosenfield, John Ruf and Scott Whitman
• Racing took place on Long Island Sound just outside the Larchmont breakwater.
• Each sailor in the 2.4 mR division must have a valid classification rating of 1-7 in order to compete. The Sonar teams may not exceed 14 classification points. In the SKUD-18 class, per team one sailor must be severely disabled (classification rating of a one or two) and the other sailor must have any valid classification rating (1-7). At least one of the team members must be a female.
• The novice triple-handed fleet of Ideal 18s competing were running in tandem with the Paralympic classes. The purpose of this fleet is to provide returning or new sailors an opportunity to race and work on skills.
• US Sailing medals for permanent possession are awarded to the first, second and third places in the singlehanded division and first place in the double-handed, triple-handed and novice divisions.
• The singlehanded 2.4 mR fleet sailed for the Judd Goldman Trophy. Sailors in the double-handed SKUD-18s raced for the Chandler Hovey Trophy. The triple-handed Sonars sailed for the Gene Hinkel Trophy.
US Sailing website
US Disabled Sailing Championship website