The true spirit of sailing was on display for the third annual Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta on May 20-22 and the first ever Robie Pierce Women's Invitational Regatta on May 19. There was a strong turnout last week for these two sailing events, which are symbolic for the growth and popularity in disabled sailing in the U.S. The regatta was hosted by the American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.) and the Larchmont Yacht Club (Larchmont, N.Y.).
The Women's Invitational was touted as the first women's disabled sailing event held in the U.S. Sarah Everhart Skeels, a member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, and crew Christy Padin won all five races to seal the win. They were joined by able bodied sailor Teresa Loughlin in the seven-team Ideal 18 fleet.
The Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta consisted of 14 teams and 11 races over two days in Ideal 18s. Finishing first was Jonathan Evans with crew Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (2008 Paralympic Gold medalist) and alternating able bodied sailors Gansen Evans and Jake Evans.
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison had this to say about the event: 'In keeping with the original intent behind the Robie Pierce One Design Regatta, the event lived up to all expectations of being a top notch opportunity for sailors with all disabilities to 'test the waters' so to speak and challenge their athletic abilities against like minded sailors. All participants, whether veteran racers on USSTAG or novice first timers, were treated to excellent racing and fantastic on shore activities. The inclusion of the first ever all female Women's Invitational provided a very exciting platform to expand opportunities for women with disabilities to hone their skills and fulfill their racing goals! Kudos to American and Larchmont Yacht Clubs for being so supportive and innovative in their inclusion of adaptive sailing in their racing/sailing programs.'
Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta website