Sailors representing nine countries will compete in the last day’s racing of the World Disabled Sailing Championships today

Sailors representing nine countries will compete in the last day’s racing of the (International Foundation of Disabled Sailing) World Disabled Sailing Championships today. The event is being hosted by St Petersburg Yacht Club and Sailing Alternatives (a disabled sailing programme based in Sarasota and St Petersburg).

In the 62-strong three-person Sonar and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre fleets racing began 26 October on Tampa Bay in winds ranging from 18-20 knots, with 3-4 foot swells and strong currents. Numerous boats have retired with broken equipment, and the 2.4 Metres have, at times, almost disappeared entirely between the waves.

In the Sonar class, the USA’s 2000 Sonar Paralympians Paul Callahan (Palm Beach, Fla and Providence, RI) and Keith Burhans (Irondequoit, NY), racing with new crew Mike Hagmaier (Northfield, NJ), are currently the top-Americans with their seventh-place position. They are followed closely by 1998 World Disabled Sailing Gold Medallist John Ross-Duggan (Newport Beach, Calif), J.P. Creignou (St Petersburg, Fla) and Larry Kutno (Seffner, FL) who hold eighth place. Canada, Germany and Great Britain hold the top-three slots, respectively, in the 15-boat Sonar fleet at this point in the regatta.

In the 2.4 Metre class, 2000 Paralympic 2.4 Metre Bronze Medallist Tom Brown (Northeast Harbor, Maine), is the top-American with his second-place position in the 14-boat fleet. Brown, back in the boat for the first time since Sydney, is 10 points behind Germany’s 2000 2.4 Metre Paralympic Gold Medallist Heiko Kroger, who holds the lead after winning all six races. Norway’s Jostein Stordahl currently holds third place.

This championship is the final event in the ranking system for US sailors hoping to make the 2001 US Disabled Sailing Team. Created in 1998 to develop and prepare the team attending the Paralympic Games, the US Disabled Sailing Team annually recognises the top-three competitors in the two Paralympic classes. The US Disabled Sailing Team is sponsored by Rolex Watch, USA Extrasport, Gill North America, McLube and Sperry Top-Sider are suppliers.

Results (After day 4, 8 races, 1 discard)

Sonar Class 1, B. Mackie, B. MacDonald, P. Tingley CAN (1,2,1,1,(OCS),1,1,1) 8 pts

2, A. Cassell, B. Harding, E. Suckling GBR (5,6,2,2,6,(8),6,4) 29 pts

3, J. Kroker, D. Steigal, P. Reichl GER (3,3,7,7,1,3,(DSQ),6) 30 pts


1, H. Kroeger GER ((1),1,1,1,1,1,1,1) 7 pts

2, T. Brown USA ((6),4,3,4,2,2,5,2) 22 pts

3, B. Erikstad NOR (2,5,(DNF),3,9,4,4,3) 30 pts

Team GBR results

8, A. Smith (8,(11),2,8,7,8,9,11) 53 pts

9, A. Millband (5,12,4,7,4,13,(OCS),8) 53 pts