POSTED: Sunday September 13th 2009

French and Rosenfield Win Convincingly at U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships

2009 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship

RIVERSIDE, Conn. (Sept. 13, 2009) – Fantastic sailing conditions capped off a special weekend of racing on Captain’s Harbor for the 12 boats and 26 competitors at the 2009 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship, hosted by the Riverside Yacht Club, and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Dry Creek Vineyard.


New champions, Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) in the singlehanded 2.4mR division and, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member, Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) with crew, Roger Cleworth (Lithia, Fla., USSTAG) and Kevin Wixom (Lakeside, Calif.) of the Ideal 18 doublehanded division, were undeniable in their quest to win a national championship. Rosenfield posted bullets in all seven races, while French skippered her crew to six wins in eight races, including a pair of second place finishes. Teams prepared to race in the Skud 18 doublehanded division moved into the Ideal 18 fleet prior to racing on Saturday. The singlehanded fleet consisted of four boats, while the Ideal 18s included eight teams.


Strong to moderate winds out of the north from 10-15 knots moved west as the afternoon progressed. French and crew were out to defend their lead today against Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Robert Jones (Isaaquah, Wash.). French got an early jump on the fleet at the first start and ended up winning the first race ahead of Everhart Skeels. Skipper Mike Strahle (Redding, Calif.) and Donna DeMarest (Waterbury, Conn.) were on their game today and started challenging French. In the first race of the day, Strahle came up short of taking first place and French prevailed. However, in race three Strahle and DeMarest took first just ahead of French. In the final race at the second windward mark, it looked like Strahle was going to round ahead but the wind had shifted and moved the mark from 350 degrees to 330 degrees. Therefore, Strahle needed to fetch the mark allowing French to sneak in just ahead of them for the win.


“We really worked well together as a team, and I think it showed in the result, said French”. “We had never sailed together before as a team.”


“We chose to come to this regatta to do this championship,” said Cleworth.


Rosenfield managed to command the race course once again. There was plenty of action as boats battled for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. Timothy Ripley (Randolph, N.J.) took second in race one and three, while Tamara Vermette (Milford, Conn.) managed to take second place in race two.


“Certainly, I’m pleased to do well here,” mentioned Rosenfield. “It was a fun regatta and the Riverside Yacht Club has been an awesome host.”


Managed by US SAILING, the sport’s national governing body, the event is open to any sailor with a physical disability. Participants have included quadriplegics, paraplegics and amputees, as well as individuals with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, polio and ALS. Several past participants of this championship have gone on to compete in the Paralympic Games, including 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist and two time USDSC Singlehanded Champion (2005, 2004), the late - Nick Scandone. Many of this year’s participants have Paralympic ambitions.


For complete results, daily reports, and photos, please visit the event website at  


2.4mR Division

Pos, Skipper, Yacht Club, Results, Total Points

1.     Charles Rosenfield, Sail Newport, 1-1-1-1-1-1-[1]- ; 6  

2.     Tamara Vermette, Noroton YC, 4-3-2-2-3-2-[4]- ; 16  

3.     Kristi Walker, JGASP, 2-2-4-3-[4]-3-3- ; 17  

4.     Timothy Ripley, Noroton YC Guest of Fleet, 3-4-3-[5/DNF]-2-4-2- ; 18  


Ideal 18 Division

Pos,  Skipper, Yacht Club, Results, Total Points

1.      Jennifer French/Roger Cleworth/Kevin Wixom, St. Petersburg YC, 1-1-1-2-1-1-[2]-1- ; 8  

2.      Sarah Everhart Skeels/Robert Jones, Sail Newport, 3-2-3-1-2-5-[5]-3- ; 19  

3.      Mike Strahle/Donna DeMarest, Redding YC, [6]-5-4-4-4-2-1-2- ; 22   

4.      Tim Flynn/Craig Wilson, SAL, 2-3-2-[7]-3-6-4-4- ; 24  

5.      Matthew Chao/Mark Bos, Sail Newport, 4-6-7-3-[7]-3-3-5- ; 31  

6.      Joseph Guay/Joseph Del Vecchio/Christina Del Vecchio, Shake-A-Leg, 5-4-5-5-5-4-6-[6]- ; 34  

7.      David Coffield/Edward King/Edward King, Seaford YC, 7-7-6-6-6-7-[8/DNS]-7- ; 46  

8.      Christopher Murphy/Jim Leatherman, Annapolis YC, 9/DNC-9/DNC-9/DNC-9/DNC-9/DNC-9/DNC-9/DNC-[9/DNC]- ; 63  



Written by Paul Dunay with contributions from RYC public relations contact, Richard Kosinski.



The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit  


About Rolex Watch U.S.A.

Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America’s Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women’s events.


About Dry Creek Vineyard

Recognized in sailing circles and known for its sailboat labels. The Dry Creek Vineyard family has expressed its passion for sailing since the early 1980s by designing wine labels featuring classic sailing yachts. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, Calif. The winery is known for producing some of California’s finest Fum-Blancs and Zinfandels. Their wines are easy to recognize due to the spirited yacht paintings that appear on each bottle from Dry Creek Vineyard. For more information on Dry Creek Vineyard please visit

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Keywords · 2009 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship · sailing

Name: Jake Fish
Organization: US Sailing
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