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Independence Cup, U.S. Para Sailing Championship this week in Chicago

by US Sailing 24 Jul 15:47 PDT 25-28 July 2019

A talented and dedicated group of passionate athletes have convened in the Windy City this week for the 2019 Independence Cup and U.S. Para Sailing Championship, hosted by the Judd Goldman Sailing Center and organized by the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation.

These two regattas have a historic connection and will join forces this week for some great racing, clinics, and camaraderie. Racing take place this Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28. Competitors will take part in an instructional clinic on Thursday, July 25.

"US Sailing is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation (JGASF) for the 2019 U.S. Para Sailing Championships," said Betsy Alison, Adult Director at US Sailing. "The Independence Cup has a longstanding history of outstanding racing and instructional opportunities for adaptive sailors from all over the United States and Canada. Combining competition with learning has been at the foundation of this event and I know that this year's Championship will provide these incredible sailors with an opportunity to hone their skills while racing with the epic Chicago skyline in the background."

"By combining forces with the U.S. Para Sailing Championship, the Independence Cup is excited to offer this opportunity to people with disabilities who embody a competitive spirit," says JGASF President Peter Goldman. "My father discovered sailing after he was diagnosed with a disabling bone disease when he was 17 years old. For 29 years, the JGASF has celebrated his legacy by helping people achieve self-esteem and independence through sailing."

The Independence Cup and U.S. Para Sailing Championship competitors will race and be scored together. All entrants will be competing in their respective classes for the Independence Cup awards. For the U.S. Para Sailing Championship, the eligible entrants will compete for the awards in their respective classes.

Independence Cup, first sailed in 1986, became US Sailing's National Championship for disabled sailors in 1989. Today, the event is known as the U.S. Para Sailing Championship. For many years it was organized by the Disabled Sailing Committee and was run in conjunction with the North American Challenge Cup, which was co-hosted by the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation and Chicago Yacht Club.

The U.S. Para Sailing Championships is one of the oldest sailing regattas in the U.S. for sailors with disabilities. The talented field often includes Paralympians, US Sailing Team members, and new contenders.

Many competitors racing at the U.S. Para Sailing Championships and the Independence Cup have gone on to represent the United States at the Paralympics Games, including Nick Scandone and Maureen McKinnon, gold medalists in 2008; John Ruff, bronze medalist in 2008; Jennifer French and J.P. Creignou, silver medalists in 2012; Rick Doerr, Hugh Freund and Brad Kendell, silver medalists in 2016.

This year's Championships will be raced in three fleets, all of which are adapted for sailors with disabilities.

  • The U.S. Para Sailing Singlehanded Championship for the Judd Goldman Trophy will be raced in the 2.4mR class.
  • The U.S. Para Sailing Doublehanded Championship for the Chandler Hovey Trophy will be raced in the Freedom Independence 20.
  • The U.S. Para Sailing Triplehanded Championship for the Gene Hinkel Trophy will be raced in the Sonar.
  • For a complete breakdown of prizes for both events, please review the Notice of Race.

Along with the Championship trophies, the Susan B. Johnson - Sportsmanship Award, the Larry Gadsby - Most Improved Award, the Nick Scandone - Spirit Award and the Robie Pierce and Gene Hinkle - Seamanship Award will be presented to sailors taking part in the regatta.

The Independence Cup will be presenting The Kristi Walker Sportsmanship Trophy and the Pete Paganis/Bill Parks Most Improved Trophy.

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