Newport, RI (June 19, 2015) – Sailors from across the USA, Canada and the US Virgin Islands are entered in the 13th annual C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta, which starts with the clinic on Thursday June 25 and continues with three days of racing finishing on June 28.
Taking part in this clinic and regatta program will be a number of first time participants and among those are sailors who are part of the Warrior Sailing Program. The Warrior Sailing Program has two teams taking part in the Sonar class. These sailors in this program are traveling from across the US to be part of the Clagett.
The Warrior Sailing team members will be competing along side Canadian Gold medalist Paul Tingley (Toronto, Canada) and his crew. Tingley, who won the 2.4mR class gold medal at the 2008 Paralympics, returns to The Clagett having finished second in the Sonar class in 2014 behind Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ). Doerr, who is a member of the US Sailing Team Sperry Paralympic team, will be making his 11th appearance at this years Clagett.
“We have two teams sailing in the Sonar class who will be at The Clagett this year for the first time. Our program provides sailing opportunities to wounded veterans. The Clagett regatta is an opportunity for warriors who have graduated from one of our basic training camps and want a more competitive sailing experience. Warrior Sailing relies heavily on partnerships that help to provide the support that is needed to create a sustainable traveling program. We collaborate with many groups like the VA, The Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge, and other Veteran adaptive sports programs throughout the country to help returning military personnel experience the sport of sailing. For example, we have a veteran sailor trained by one of the program’s strategic partner’s, Team Paradise based in Miami, who will join forces with Warrior Sailing and compete at the Clagett regatta. We are so excited that such a great event is available to these Veteran’s,” said Warrior Sailing Program manager Ben Poucher (Tavernier, FL).
A familiar face to sailing in the America’s Cup, one design and big boat sailing scene, Dee Smith (Annapolis, MD), will be racing in his fourth adaptive sailing regatta in the 2.4mR class. Smith was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and now has joined forces with US Sailing in its plans to achieve medals at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016. Smith, who has been training with US Sailing Team Sperry Paralympic coaches Betsy Alison (Newport, RI) and Marko Dahlberg (Ylojarvi, Finland), commented, “This is a personal opportunity for me to continue doing what I enjoy and help the US Sailing team. I sailed in the Hyeres and Delta Lloyd regattas in Europe and want to race in the Clagett to continue with my training in the 2.4mR.”
“We have a fantastic line up of sailors for the 13th Clagett. We are looking forward to welcoming both those who are attending their first event, as well as those who are returning to enjoy all that The Clagett has to offer. The Clagett mission is similar to that of the Warrior Sailing Program. We look forward to having their sailors here next week and hope they will sail with us for many years to come,” said Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI) co-founder and President of The Clagett.
About the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta: Founded in 2003, the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta honors the late Tom Clagett (1916-2001), a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who learned to sail on Chesapeake Bay. As a youngster he suffered temporary paralysis as the result of a bout of meningitis; an experience that left him with a deep respect for the accomplishments of people with disabilities. The Clagett’s stated mission is “to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition”. Tom Clagett’s motto was “Reach for Success”, which resonates with every Clagett participant. The event includes all three boats that have been chosen as the equipment of the Paralympic classes: the three-person Sonar, the two-person SKUD-18 and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre. Clagett competitors have seen medal success at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. Competitors often comment that, The Clagett, has improved their quality of life as they apply what is achieved on the water to everyday situations.