C. Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic and Regatta 2012 dates announced

Ninth annual C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta 2011
Thornton Cohen
C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta - To facilitate athlete preparation for the 2012 Paralympic Games, organizers of North America’s premier event for sailors with disabilities have moved the annual event to July 6-9, 2012, at Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s community sailing center. Rescheduling The Clagett from its traditional late-August dates will provide North American competitors with another training and competition event prior to the Paralympic Regatta which will take place the first week of September in Weymouth, England.

'Five American and six Canadian sailors who represented North America at the 2008 Paralympic Games had participated in the 2008 C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta as a final step in preparing for the competition in China and those sailors collectively produced two gold and two bronze medals,' said event founder Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, R.I.). 'We invite the Canadians to again send their athletes so that the North American contingent can work together as training partners, and we hope that The Clagett can again play a part in the success of the sailors who will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games.'

Open to both U.S. and foreign competitors, the clinic and regatta will take place in the three boats chosen as the equipment of the Paralympic Regatta: the three-person Sonar, the two-person SKUD-18 and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre. Two years ago, at the competitor’s request, regatta organizers opened the 2.4 Metre class to allow able-bodied sailors to compete in The Clagett which doubled the number of entrants on the starting line. Starting with the 2012 event, the Sonar class will also be open to able-bodied sailors. Having more boats on the line translates into stiffer competition and offers the best possible training opportunity for Paralympic hopefuls.

Marking its 10 year anniversary in 2012, the Clagett Regatta provides sailors with disabilities the tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to test them in competition, which allows each individual to achieve their personal competitive goals. The event’s signature pre-race clinic (Friday, July 6), run by world champion sailors who share their expertise on everything from the racing rules to sailing techniques, is followed by on-the-water coaching during three days of racing (Saturday-Monday, July 7-9).

About the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta:
Founded in 2002, 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, especially athletes. 'The Clagett' began as an event for a single class of boat with a stated mission of assisting sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them – through the one-day clinic that precedes racing – both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills, and the opportunity to test them in competition. The event has expanded to include all three boats that have been chosen as the equipment of the Paralympic Regatta: the three-person Sonar, the two-person SKUD-18 and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre. Not only has The Clagett formula paid off with medal success by event veterans at the 2008 Paralympic Games in China, it has, according to competitors, improved their quality of life as they apply what is achieved on the water to everyday situations.

Clagett Regatta website