Photo Credit: Billy Black
NEWPORT, R.I. (March 30, 2017) – Sixteen years ago Robie Pierce and Stephanie and Judy McLennan had a conversation and as a result a year later, the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta was on its way to becoming a internationally recognized regatta for disabled sailors. Established in memory of Tom Clagett, The Clagett has earned a reputation for providing a disabled athlete the opportunities that had previously been missing from adaptive sailing.
Since the start of The Clagett in 2003, athletes have come from across the USA (19 states), Canada (4 Provinces), Israel, China, Ireland, Norway, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas VI have traveled to Newport, RI, to take part in this world-renowned event. In the last three Paralympic Games, Clagett sailors won three Gold, seven Silver and eight Bronze medals and in 2012 Clagett sailor Jen French was named Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year.
The Notice of Race for the 2017 C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta is now posted and entries are open for the 2.4mR and Sonar classes.
Returning to lead the race management team as Principal Race Officer (PRO) again this year is Tom Duggan (Sandwich, MA). Duggan was the PRO for the Rio Paralympics in September of 2016 and continues to lead a strong race management team for The Clagett.
The coaches who will be working with sailors at the 15th Clagett this year are Betsy Alison (Newport, RI), Brian Todd (Glen Haven, Nova Scotia, Canada) and Mile Ingham (Rochester, NY). Ingham, who coached at The Clagett in 2014 for the first time where he met the Sonar team of Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ), Hugh Freund (South Freeport, ME) and Brad Kendell (Clearwater, FL), went on to coach the team to a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
” Winning a Silver medal was an incredible experience. I met Rick , Brad and Hugh at the Clagett and one thing led to another and before I knew it, it was full on. We ended up basically living together and tirelessly training for the two years leading up to Rio. The team won the Disabled World Championships in Medemblik Holland a few months before the Games, and that was really cool. But winning a medal at the games was an order of magnitude more intense. When we won the Worlds, our friends and the sailing community cheered us on, winning a silver medal, our country was watching,” remarked Ingham.
New to the Clagett board in 2017 are Charlie Rosenfield from Woodstock, CT, Debora Abrams-Wright from Jersey City, NJ and Christopher McNally from Newport, RI has been moved to full board member from his previous position Of Counsel.
“We are looking forward to a very exciting and memorable year for The Clagett. It is wonderful to see where we are now after 15 years of providing opportunities to disabled sailors through both the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta in Newport and now the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race regatta in Oyster Bay, NY which will be held for the second year later this year. We are proud that we have been able to provide the best coaches, the best race management and best sailing locations for adaptive athletes to reach for their own personal success,” commented Clagett President and Co founder Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI).
For more information about The Clagett visit : www.clagettregatta.org or follow the Clagett on Instagram @clagett_regatta or on Facebook Clagett Regatta.
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, 2012 and 2016 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.