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Robie Pierce Regattas for sailors with disabilities – After 15 years, still going strong.

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By Buttons Padin 

Photos: Derek Osarson

Robie Pierce Regattas for sailors with disabilities – After 15 years, still going strong.

The 15th annual Robie Pierce Regatta ran from May 30 to June 2, 2024 at the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, co-hosted by the Larchmont Yacht Club. Seventeen boats hit the starting line for the Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta (the Open) and four boats raced in Thursday's Women’s Invitational. It was skipper Eric Rose (Bennington, VT) along with crew Dalina Delfing (NY, NY) and able-bodied sailor Richard Jaffe (NY, NY) who won the 3-day Robie Open with three bullets in seven races (results). Dawn Hart (Tampa, FL) sailing with Lin Wei-Lee (Mt. Vernon, NY) as crew and Meg Leary (Rye, NY) as AB won the Robie Pierce Women’s Invitational (results).

Event co-chair from Larchmont Yacht Club Ed "Buttons" Padin commented, “This was the 15th, Robie but actually the 17th adaptive regatta that American Yacht Club and Larchmont Yacht Club have run together. It started as a smaller event, not knowing exactly how it was going to develop. What’s happened is the Robie has become a major annual regatta in the adaptive sailing community and one of the few, if not the only, that blends both physical and neurological disabled sailors with blind sailors. We’ve become a family that keeps growing and that has enhanced the awareness of disabilities and outreach sensitivities of both clubs.”

“This is a really special day for me,” winner Eric Rose said. “When I sailed last year, I immediately knew I would come back because the two Clubs do such a great job at running this regatta. To win first place in my second year here is pretty exciting. I don’t win too many regattas, but I enter a lot of them! This whole event is run so smoothly — the American Yacht Club and Larchmont Yacht Club are both magnificent places to sail and it’s just an honor for us to come here and race.”

Competitor Jim Hahn (Norwalk, CT), who came in fourth in the Open Regatta, also shared: “The competition was super fun as always and it’s good to be back to see old friends and meet new ones. I’ll be back next year!”

PRO Rich Hulit gave this breakdown of the racing: “First of all it’s really a privilege to be part of this regatta and watch all these sailors come out,” Rich said. “Their commitment to sailing and their dedication is inspiring — they’re strapped into the boats, many of them can’t move around or can’t see, and they’re out there sailing.”

“In terms of the regatta,” Rich continued, “On the first two days we had great weather and then the last two days it was a bit challenging. On Saturday we had one race we had to shorten when the wind turned off. We sat around for a while and, literally 5 minutes before we were going to cancel, the breeze filled, and we got in another really good race. On Sunday, we had to postpone waiting for the breeze. People were a little skeptical when we were sailing out to the racecourse, but it filled in with 8-9 knots and we got in two solid races.”

Next year’s event will be hosted at Larchmont Yacht Club from May 29-June 1, 2025. You can learn more at the Robie Pierce website.


Buttons Padin



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