Many know East Coast sailor Robie Pierce, who was diagnosed with MS in 1985. Nothing could keep this avid sailor off the water, and he has done much to promote disabled sailing. Robie was instrumental in creating the US Disabled Sailing Championship, winning it himself in its second, fourth years and sixth years; and played a key role in the inclusion of sailing as a medal event in the Paralympics. Robie was awarded the Gay S. Lynn award in 2004 by US SAILING for his many contributions to the sport of disabled sailing.
Robie’s many contributions to disabled sailing inspired the organizers of the Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta to give it his name. The RPODR is American Yacht Club’s response to the strong interest expressed in OD events by competitors after the resounding success of last year’s Independence Cup. The inaugural event will be held June 5-7, 2009, and will be an annual event thereafter that rotates between various Long Island Sound yacht clubs. Larchmont YC has already stepped up as host for the 2010 event.
To spur on other sailors, both Pierce and event committee member Dr. Carl Olsson (himself the winner of the first and third running of the US SAILING Disabled Championship), will be sailing in the inaugural regatta. The racing will take place in lively Ideal 18 one designs.