2015-06-11 / Mainsheet

'Sail into Summer' Success for Sailing

Photos by Robbie Benjamin

The Clagett “Sail Into Summer” cocktail party fundraiser held June 4 at Belle Mer was attended by 200 supporters from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Washington D.C., enjoying the waterfront view of Narragansett Bay where the C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Clinic and Regatta will be held at the end of the month.

The benefit raises money to get sailors with disabilities on the water to discover the joys of sailing and experience the thrill of competition. The Clagett Regatta, founded by Judy and Stephanie McLennan in memory of Judy’s father, was first held 13 years ago in Newport and has become the premier sailing regatta for the disabled in North America.

The evening netted close to $35,000 to help adaptive sailors "Reach for Success." The Clagett Boat Grant program initiative, launched by Clagett Co-founder and President Judy McLennan, received tremendous support, netting pledges close to $40,000. Board Vice President Ron Hopkins introduced the Boat Grant Program, which will provide boats for adaptive sailors. Sarah Everhart-Skeels, of Tiverton, a member of the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Paralympic team, spoke eloquently and from the heart about what the Clagett Boat Grant Program means to sailors with disabilities.

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 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. The event includes sailing on the three boats used in the Paralympics: 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 and they often comment that the Clagett has improved their quality of life as they apply what is achieved on the water to everyday situations.

Judy McLennan and Bruce Whelihan Judy McLennan and Bruce Whelihan

Jonna Chewning and Leith Adams with Andy and Bertie MacGowan Jonna Chewning and Leith Adams with Andy and Bertie MacGowan

Stephanie McLennan Stephanie McLennan

Erin Howe, Barbara Odegaard and Admiral Howe Erin Howe, Barbara Odegaard and Admiral Howe

Nanette and Randy Gifford Nanette and Randy Gifford

Kathy Ross and Barbara Pierce Kathy Ross and Barbara Pierce

Sarah Everhart-Skeels Sarah Everhart-Skeels

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