Déjà vu for the Clagett sailors after another challenging day of weather
NEWPORT, R.I. (June 14, 2014) – Clagett sailors spent the morning waiting ashore for the breeze to fill in after starting out the day with fog hanging over Narragansett Bay. While the 31 boat fleet waited for wind to build, the classifying and safety team demonstrated to the group a man overboard and retrieval drills. With the variety of disabilities across the group the demonstration allowed for a number of retrieval techniques. After the demonstration the coaching team took the fleets for a briefing session while the race committee monitored the conditions.
After waiting under the AP flag ashore for three hours, the race committee decided to take the 19 2.4mR's, five SKUD 18's and seven Sonars out to the race course off Goat Island. First to get under way in an four knot northerly were the 2.4mR's and as they approached the one minute warning signal the race committee had to abandon the race due to a swing in wind direction. After resetting the top mark the race got underway with the fleet splitting most of the fleet heading for the seawall on Goat Island.
Leading the fleet around the first mark was Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, CT) and Ted Green III (Newport, RI) with Antonio Sanpere (St. Croix, USVI), who is a Clagett first timer rounding in third place. Green III, won the race with another Clagett first timer, Mark Bryant (Estero, FL) managing to work his way through the fleet to take second place and Rosenfield rounding out the top three. Race four of the series and Daniel Evans (Miami, FL) made his way to the top step of the podium with Bryant again in the mix finishing second and Green III taking third to put him in the leader position after four races. Green III will go into the last day of racing with a nine point lead over Peter Wood from Ottawa, Ontario.
"It was another really trying and difficult day on the water and you had to keep you head out of the boat. The current really affected where I wanted to start in the first race so you really had to pay attention to what was going on around you. The clinic that Clagett puts on really helps with putting the theory you learn into practice on the race course, you can execute the plan that has been formulating during the clinic," remarked Green III after returning to the dock.
In the SKUD 18 class, the Canadian husband and wife pair of John McRoberts and Jackie Gay, from Victoria, British Columbia, took the first gun for the class with US Sailing Team of Ryan Porteous (San Diego, CA) and Cindy Walker (Middletown, RI) crossing in second and Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, FL) and Patrick Gavin-Brynes (Newport, RI) taking their third third place finish for the regatta so far. Race four for the SKUDs and McRoberts/Gay and Porteous/Walker mirrored the results from the previous race with Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, RI) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, ME) improving from the previous race to finish third. McRoberts and Gay are going into the last day of the event on equal points with the US team of Porteous and Walker, so it will be winner takes all once they hit the start line tomorrow.
McRoberts, skipper of the leading SKUD 18 commented, "We want to use the Clagett to work on our onboard communications. We started sailing together in August last year and went to the IFDS Worlds in Kinsale, Ireland and now we are planning on doing the Worlds in Halifax and we are aiming for the Canadian SKUD spot for Rio. I sailed the SKUD 18 in the last two Paralympic Games, in Beijing I won the Bronze medal and in London I finished fourth, so Rio would be the first games sailing with my wife as my crew. Today was about getting in front and extending the lead once we had it and working on changing gear around the course."
Canadian Sonar team of Paul Tingley (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and crew Logan Campbell (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) and Scott Lutes (Montreal, Quebec) started off the day how they finished yesterday with a win from overnight leaders, Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ), Tim Angle (Reading, MA) and Hugh Freund (Brookline, MA). Completing the Sonar class podium for race three of the regatta was Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, CT), and his crew Paul Hersey (Hyannis, MA) and Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, FL). Doerr, Angle and Freund switched it up for the last race of the day to cross the line in first with Tingley, Lutes and Campbell in second and Patrick LoDuca's team from Chicago Illinois improving from their first three races to finish third.
"We had a repeat of the tricky conditions from yesterday, which was very shifty and the wind velocity fluctuated a lot. In the first race of the day we managed to connect the dots and the second race we were shut out at the start but worked the right side of the course to get in front and then protected from there. We had a fun battle with Paul and Andy (Andrew Fisher). We managed to protect the gold flag from yesterday but it is very close and we need to stay focused, we have some great competition," said mainsheet trimmer with Doerr, Tim Angle.
Canadian Sonar skipper Paul Tingley, who go into tomorrow's last day of racing one point out of the lead, commented after racing, " We're not used to the strong current, it really affects the starts and your lay lines, so it's great to use this regatta for training from Halifax later this year. I joined the team as skipper after the London Paralympics after sailing in the 2.4mR class."
Racing at the 2014 C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta wraps up tomorrow with racing planned to start an hour earlier than today's planned start time. Sailors will be heading to the course for a 10am start and spectators can watch the action from Goat Island or the north end of Fort Adams at the boat basin jetty.