2014 IFDS World Championship - Day 3 of the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship saw all three courses plagued by light and inconsistent wind conditions. The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider had an up-and-down day, but remains in reach of its objective. 'A main goal for this regatta is to qualify the country in all three disciplines (for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games),' said US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison. 'We are within striking distance of that as we approach the halfway point of the event, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to achieve what we came here to do.'
One common theme of anyone witnessing a Paralympic-classes regatta for the first time is the awe that it inspires. 'Most sailors don’t know how high the level of competition is at these events,' said the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider’s Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, Ct.). 'The 2.4mR and our other classes are very technical boats, and it requires a lot of sailing ability and time in the boat to perform well.'
In the two-person SKUD-18 class, Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Cindy Walker (Portsmouth, R.I.) remain in sixth overall but are within one point of fifth position. The top five finishers at this event qualify their country for the SKUD-18 event in Rio 2016. 'We tried to stay focused all day, but had a bad start in the only race,' said Porteous, who finished fourth. 'We found a good lane afterwards, and played the shifts well.'
The Sonar fleet had to race in the lightest breeze seen on any of the three racecourses, and tough tactical battles ensued. 'We were doing alright, but then missed a big shift and a pressure patch on the second upwind leg,' said Sonar crew Tim Angle (Reading, Mass.). 'Hopefully today’s race will be our (discardable) race. There is still a lot of the regatta left, and the plan is to stay focused and aim for that podium.' The US team of Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Angle and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) sits in sixth overall.
The 2.4mR fleet had a similarly challenging day, with a single light and shifty race completed. One highlight occurred when 2.4mR IFDS Worlds rookie Ted Green (Newport, R.I.) boldly port-tacked the fleet at the start of the race. 'I had a grin from ear to ear,' said Green, who crossed in front of the entire 49-boat fleet during the maneuver. 2008 Paralympic bronze medalist John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wisc.) fell to sixth overall from fourth after a mid-teens finish, but remains in nation-qualifying position (top eight countries) in the 2.4mR class. Rio 2016 Nation Qualification System Notes:
The 2014 IFDS World Championship serves as the first nation qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. A percentage of berths for Rio 2016 will be allocated based on final results at this event. The top eight nations will qualify for The Games in the 2.4mR class, the top five nations in the SKUD-18 class, and the top seven nations in the Sonar class.
Racing at the 2014 IFDS Worlds will take place in Halifax from Tuesday, August 19, to Sunday, August 24. Top US Results: 2014 IFDS World Championships, Day 3 2.4mR Class:
• Sixth, John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wisc.)
• 13th, Ted Green (Newport, R.I.)
• 23rd, Daniel Evans (Miami, Fla.) SKUD-18 Class:
• Sixth, Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Cindy Walker (Portsmouth, R.I.)
• Ninth, Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine) Sonar Class:
• Sixth, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Tim Angle (Reading, Mass.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine)
• 12th, Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Ct.), Mike Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
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