by Jake Fish
At the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) and the team of Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine) won their first titles following three more races on Lake Michigan.
U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships
Teams in 2.4mR and Ideal 18 classes tallied seven races over three days, beginning this Friday, September 6th. The 2013 event was hosted by the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.
This year’s talented field included Paralympians, US Sailing Sperry Top-Sider members, international sailors, and new contenders.
Ruf, a 2008 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, had his sights set on his first U.S. Disabled Singlehanded Championship for the Judd Goldman Trophy and achieved this goal in his home state. Ruf won all seven races this week. Three-time U.S. Disabled Singlehanded Champion Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) placed second and finished second overall in all seven races this week.
2.4mR Final Standings
1. John Ruf, Pewaukee Yacht Club, -1-1-1-1-1-1- ; 6
2. Charles Rosenfield, Sail Newport, -2-2-2-2-2-2- ; 12
3. Tim Ripley, Nyack Boat Club, 3-3-3-3-3--3- ; 18
4. Jeffery Reinhold, CYC Seattle, 4-[7/DNF]-7/DNS-4-4-3-4- ; 26
5. Zak Kordik, Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing, -4-4-5-5-5-5- ; 28
6. Tracy Schmitt, Team Paradise/National, 6-5-[7/DNF]-6-6-6-7/DNF- ; 36
Everhart-Skeels and Tiernan, who were recently named to the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider in the Paralympic SKUD-18 class, won five of seven races this week to win the U.S. Disabled Doublehanded Championship for the Chandler Hovey Trophy by eight points.
Ideal 18 Final Standings
1. Sarah Everhart-Skeels/Gerry Tiernan, Sail Newport, -1-1-1-1-1-3- ; 8
2. Edward (Ted) King, M.D./Jim Scott, PPSC/Bbay Hbr YC, 2--4-3-4-2-1- ; 16T
3. Bridget Bodo/Lawrence Campbell, JGASF, 1-2-2--3-4-4- ; 16T
4. Ryan Porteous/Cindy Walker, Mission Bay Yacht Club, 4-3-3-2-2-3-- ; 17
5. Patrick LoDuca/Dana Currier, Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing, -5-5-5-5-5-2- ; 27
Overall, how was your experience at this year’s championship?
'Even with the storms yesterday, we had great sailing conditions and got in three solid days of racing, and the volunteers were so accommodating and did a wonderful job making us feel welcome.' – Bridget Bodo (Chicago, Ill.)
'I’m glad to have competed on this part of Lake Michigan for the championship. We had great race officials, great weather and great competition.' – Gerry Tiernan
How does it feel to have won the 2.4mR class?
'There was such drama out on the water today. My seat broke during the fifth race, and the whole time I was going over scoring in my head and figuring out what I had to do to maintain my position. I was able to hold onto the lead to win that race, and get the seat issue resolved. I never expected this outcome for the championship, but it feels incredible.' – John Ruf
Air Temperature: Highs were in the mid to upper 60s.
Water Temperature: 65° to 68° F
Wind Conditions: ESE Wind of 12 to 14 knots, remaining consistent throughout all three races.
Waves: 2 to 4 foot waves throughout the day.
The event was open to any sailor with a physical disability. Participants have included quadriplegics, paraplegics and amputees, as well as individuals with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, polio and ALS.