YANDY.CO.UK mobile sailing news

US Sailings Olympic Sailing Committee selects 2012 US Paralympic Team

by Dana Paxton, US Sailing
2 February 2012

© Mick Anderson / USSTAG
2012 US Paralympic Team (l to r) back row: Mark LeBlanc, JP Creignou, Brad Johnson, Tom Brownm, front row: Paul Callahan, Jen French

The six members of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team – Sailing were selected based on performances at US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Miami OCR, held Jan. 23-28, 2012, in Miami, Fla., and the IFDS Worlds held two weeks earlier in Port Charlotte, Fla. As the top-scoring eligible American athletes in their respective Paralympic sailing classes, Jen French and JP Creignou, Mark LeBlanc, and Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson have successfully completed qualification. US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee will officially nominate the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team - Sailing, pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee. The US Paralympic Team – Sailing will compete at the 2012 Paralympic Sailing Regatta, scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2012 in Weymouth/Portland, England.

“These six athletes have shown they have the desire required to win Paralympic medals,” said Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.). “Four of the members have already been to the Games, and they bring a great deal of experience and wisdom to the overall Team.”

Jen French and JP Creignou (both St. Petersburg, Fla.) secured the bronze in the SKUD-18 at Rolex Miami OCR and with it the Team Trials. Creignou is a 2004 Paralympic bronze medalist (Sonar).

“When I crossed the finish line, my coach told me I had won,” said French dockside after racing. “It's very exciting. We had a tough week. Most of the boats have been close together, and all of the boats competing give us an idea of what the Paralympics will be like. There were a lot of medalists from Paralympics and others who have been to the Games. You have to sail your best against them.”

To listen to the full audio interview with Jen French, click here. French and Creignou are both members of St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) realized his dream of qualifying for the Games after a disappointing finish at the 2008 Paralympic Trials in the 2.4mR. He tied on points with, and finished second to, John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.), who went on to win the 2008 Paralympic bronze medal.

“It's been a great day,” said LeBlanc moments after reaching the dock at the end of Rolex Miami OCR. “I sealed the deal and won the Trials.”

LeBlanc, who finished 8th at Rolex Miami OCR, is a member of Southern Yacht Club.

Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport R.I.), Tom Brown (Castine, Me.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) are all Paralympians, with a combined four Paralympic medals. They finished Rolex Miami OCR in 6th. “We've been to working hard for three years,” said Callahan. “We're looking forward to winning a gold medal for USA.”

Callahan, who is a member of New York Yacht Club and Port Charlotte Sailing Club, is a 2000 Paralympian; Brown is the 2000 bronze medalist (2.4mR) and 2004 silver medalist (2.4mR); and Johnson, who is a member of St. Petersburg Yacht Club, is a 2004 bronze medalist (Sonar) and a Paralympian in volleyball.

Related Articles:

U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships at Galveston, Texas - 03 Nov 2014
The 2014 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships wrapped-up on Saturday under challenging conditions. The singlehanded 2.4 mR and triplehanded Sonar divisions completed two more races after a postponement on the final morning
Sailors Honoured for Distinguished Service at US Sailing Awards Dinner - 25 Oct 2014
A remarkable list of contributors to sailing in the U.S. were presented with US Sailing's highest honours during Friday night's Awards Dinner, presented by Rolex, at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
US Sailing Championship of Champions at Edgewater Yacht Club - 13 Oct 2014
A 16-year-old upstart and a former champion each entered Sunday's racing with a chance to win the Jack Brown Trophy at the Championship of Champions, hosted by the Edgewater Yacht Club.
Edgewater Yacht Club to host US Sailing Championship of Champions - 10 Oct 2014
US Sailing's Championship of Champions is recognized as one of the more unique adult racing events in the country. All helmsmen have qualified for this event by winning a 2013 or 2014 one-design class National, North American, or World Championship.
U.S. Match Racing Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club - 06 Oct 2014
After winning his second U.S. Match Racing Championship, Nathan Hollerbach allowed, "Going five races deep against Dave Dellenbaugh in the Final was stressful, I won't kid you. This was the most competitive match racing I've ever had."