February 16, 2020
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  • Team USA 1 wins World Championship Title Medemblik 2016

    unnamedHYC is so proud of you!

    On to RIO! Go Hugh Go!

    To Help them remain competitive on the road to Rio Donate


    Medemblik, The Netherlands – US Sailing Team Sperry Sonar athletes have won the overall title at the 2016 Para World Sailing Championships (May 24-28) / Delta Lloyd Regatta, a clear signal that that the United States will be a medal threat at the Rio 2016 Paralympic regatta.

    Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) had to fight until the final leg of the last race in order to secure their title, but after a week of consistently sailing at the top of the fleet, they would not be denied. Doerr, a Beijing 2008 Paralympian, won the 2007 Para Worlds in the Sonar. However, this was his first World Championship win competing with Kendell and Freund. “The hard work that we’ve been doing over the past year, and over the last few days on that racecourse, is rewarding,” said Doerr, the longest-tenured athlete on the US Sailing Team Sperry (1998). “I’m proud to be part of an effort with these two guys.”

    Kendell described the final day of Sonar racing as a close fight from start to finish. “We had to fight back [in the final] race,” said Kendell, who like Freund will compete in his first Paralympic Games in September. “We had to look for where the British and Australian teams were, and on that first leg we knew we were too far behind them. We knew we had a battle, and we won that battle. It was a great thing to have that wonderful feeling of holding the American flag at the end.”

    Freund noted that while winning World Championship gold was their biggest accomplishment as a team to date, they have larger goals in sight, and called this week of racing the best possible preparation for Rio 2016. At their previous major event, Sailing World Cup Hyères in April, the team came agonizingly short of the top spot on the podium. “We were really happy to have had the opportunity to go into the last day today in the leading position,” said Freund. “That was our big falter [moment] at the last regatta. We just didn’t have the mental ability to push through the last two races. Our top goal coming into [the Worlds] was to make sure that we were in that position again, and to practice that at a really intense regatta.”

    13268060_1206735332694385_2256766596919038785_oKendell noted that their Paralympic Games campaign has made significant strides since adding coach Mike Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.), who holds over 20 national and North American one-design titles, to the program in 2015. “We have to give a lot of credit to Mike,” said Kendell. “He knows us, and he’s worked on what we needed to work on. He’s helped us tremendously, and it’s showing.”