Paralympic Games: Sailing Preview

The sailing events at Paralympic Games kick off on Sept. 1 in Weymouth and Portland, U.K. Here's the quick shakedown of who's sailing and how to follow the racing.

Sailing World

Paralympics Sailing Team

The U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team. Back row, left to right: Mark LeBlanc, JP Creignou, Brad Johnson, Tom Brown. Front row: Paul Callahan, Jen FrenchMick Anderson

Sailing is still relatively new to the Paralympic Games; the Games in Sydney, in 2000, marked the first time it was a full medal sport. Here's all you need to get up to speed:

Who are the U.S. Paralympic athletes?
Jen French and JP Creignou (SKUD 18): The team finished third in their class at the Rolex Miami OCR, and Creignou is a 2004 Paralympic bronze medalist in the Sonar class.

Mark LeBlanc (2.4mR): LeBlanc missed going to the 2008 Games after losing a tiebreaker in the U.S. Trials. This year, he gets his chance.

Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson (Sonar): The three have a combined four Paralympic medals, and will by vying for gold in the Sonar.
(Check out the boats they will sail at the bottom of this page).

How did they qualify?
The U.S. team members were selected based on performances at US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Miami OCR, held Jan. 23-28, 2012, in Miami, Fla., and the International Federation Disabled Sailing (IFDS) Worlds held two weeks earlier in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Who are they competing against?
The Paralympic Games will feature 80 sailors, and each country is limited to one boat in each event (for a maximum of six athletes in total). Check out the nations that qualified this year here.

** What's the racing format look like?**
Each fleet will sail 11 races, with one drop. Classification rules group athletes based on their abilities to perform tasks specific to the sport, and each fleet uses its own classification points system to make teams. Find out more here.

When and where are the Games?
The sailing events at the Paralympic Games will be sailed at the same venue as the Olympic sailing was: on the southern coast of England in Weymouth and Portland. The racing runs from Sept. 1 through Sept. 6.

How do I follow the racing?
The racing schedule and results will be available during the event on the London 2012 website. For more updates, follow the International Associated for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) on Twitter @IFDS_updates.

The Boats:

Sonar

2.4 mR

SKUD 18
Photos: Rolex/Daniel Forster