Winning Bronze and Gold at the Paralympics

Qingdao, ChinaAs released by US Sailing over the weekend: 2.4 mR sailor John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) added a Bronze Medal to the U.S. Paralympic Team’s medal count today, joining Gold Medalists Nick Scandone (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) on the podium at the 2008 Paralympic Regatta. Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Tim Angle
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Qingdao, China

As released by US Sailing over the weekend:

aScandone_McKinnon_Tucker_Win_Gold_CreditMikePinckney[1]_copy


2.4 mR sailor John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) added a Bronze Medal to the U.S. Paralympic Team’s medal count today, joining Gold Medalists Nick Scandone (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) on the podium at the 2008 Paralympic Regatta. Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Tim Angle (Marblehead, Mass.) and Bill Donohue (Brick, N.J.) finished eighth in the competitive Sonar class.

JohnRuff

Ruf scored two fourth place finishes today, securing a coveted bronze medal in the tight 2.4 mR fleet. Going into the final day of racing today, the top seven players of the fleet were all within single-digit points of each other. Surrounded by previous Paralympic medalists and world champions, first-time Paralympian Ruf sailed two solid races today and proved his talent by claiming his place on the podium. (France’s Damien Seguin was the defending gold medalist, Germany’s Heiker Kroger won a gold medal in 2000, and The Netherlands’ Thierry Schmitter won bronze in 2004.)

“He’s over the moon,” said Head Coach Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.). “He came into this as an underdog. For those of us who know Johnny, his work ethic and how hard he has been working to improve his speed, we are so proud.”

JohnRuffPodium


Ruf spent the last year training with Canada’s Paul Tingley, who won the gold medal, and his hard work paid off. Alison also credits his improvements to his coach, Marko Dahlberg (Ylojarvi, Finland), who, himself, is a 2.4 mR world champion. A year ago, Ruf finished tenth overall at the 2008 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship in Rochester, N.Y. “Since then, he has jumped to the forefront and onto the leader board,” said Alison. “It’s a fantastic achievement.”

Champions Scandone and McKinnon-Tucker clinched the gold medal in the SKUD-18 class yesterday with two races left in the series. While their substantial lead secured their medal yesterday, they decided to sail one race today to show their support for the rest of the fleet. They enjoyed the second race from the sidelines. “They showed great camaraderie and respect for their fellow competitors by sailing hard and sailing well,” said Alison.

scandoneGoldMedal433


Not only were they both first time Paralympians and first-time Paralympian gold medalists, McKinnon-Tucker entered the history books as the first female gold medalist in the history of the Paralympic Sailing Regatta. Their win was also the first time the U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team has won a gold medal. During tonight’s Medal and Closing Ceremonies in Qingdao, Scandone and McKinnon received a thunderous round of applause of appreciation from their fellow international competitors.

The Sonar team of Doerr, Angle and Donohue ended the regatta with a strong final race, in which they finished second behind Great Britain and way ahead of the rest of the fleet. After a tough first race, Alison advised the team to win the start of the next race, have fun and sail their hearts out -- and that they did. The breeze built over the course of the day, helping their boat speed. “They have heart and they have determination,” said Alison. “They came here to sail, and they gave it their all.”

“I’m proud of their work and effort preparing for this event over last couple years,” said Alison. “They’re all positive and smiling tonight, so I’m really happy for them.”

Throngs of spectators, sailors and support teams gathered for tonight’s medal ceremony, basked by idyllic pre-sunset light. “There’s so much energy that surrounds a prize giving, especially of this magnitude,” said Alison. “It was so exciting to see the sailors parade in behind the podiums.”

During the 2.4 mR medal presentation, Ruf grinned brightly while watching the American flag being raised. “His smile could have lit up the Empire State Building,” said Alison. When the national anthem played for teary-eyed Scandone and McKinnon-Tucker, the emotion felt by the entire U.S. Paralympic Team, who are all first time Paralympians, was palpable, said Alison.

“It was incredible to be able to experience it with them, especially because it’s been a long and hard road with the athletes,” said Alison. “It was a collective team effort, from families to coaches to support staff. Everyone who was there was part of that medal and victory today.”

The team will travel to Beijing to represent Sailing and Team USA at the Closing Ceremony on Wednesday, September 17.

Final Standings for U.S. Paralympic Sailors (For full results please visit ISAF’s web site: www.sailing.org/24859.php)

SKUD-18: 11 boats

1. Nick Scandone (Newport Beach, Calif., USA) and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass., USA), 2, 1, 1, 1, (3), 2, 1, 1, 2, (12 DNS); 11

2. Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox, AUSTRALIA, (4), 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, (9), 3, 1, 2; 18

3. John Scott McRoberts and Stacie Louttit, CANADA, 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 3, 2, (8), (4), 3; 21

Sonar: 14 boats

1. Jens Kroker, Robert Prem, Siegmund Mainka, GERMANY, 5, 6, 3, 1, 4, (11), 5, 2, (9), 4, 5; 35

2. Bruno Jourdren, Herve Larhant and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary, FRANCE, 4, 1, 1, 2, (7), 1,(10), 5, 8, 7, (15 DNF); 36

3. Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Graeme Martin, AUSTRALIA, 8, 4, 2, 3, 3, 3, 1, (10), (15 OCS), 5, 7; 36

8. Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J., USA), Tim Angle (Marblehead, Mass., USA) and Bill Donohue (Brick, N.J., USA), 1, 9, 10, 6, (11), 10, 2, 3, 4, (11), 2; 47

2.4 mR: 16 boats

1. Paul Tingley, CANADA, 1, 1, 5, 2, (9), (9), 2, 4, 5, 1; 21

2. Damien Seguin, FRANCE, 4, 4, 3, 4, 5, (17 OCS), (11), 1, 1, 2; 25

3. John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis., USA), 2, 6, 1, (9), 1, 7, (10), 3; 29

Related

pic00

Installing a Helm Pod

Our 1987 Pearson project boat came with an elderly but functioning Raymarine chartplotter, located belowdecks at the nav station. Since I usually sail solo or doublehanded, it was of little use down there—it needed to be near the helm. When I decided to update the plotter along ...read more

Panamerican

Pan American Game Success

Team USA’s young sailors went to the quadrennial Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru this summer with high hopes, and returned with a good haul of medals—two Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze. Gold medals went to Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman (Mixed Snipe) and Riley ...read more

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Relieve the load  One of the ancient arts of the sailor is setting up a “stopper” to relieve a loaded rope without letting anything go. The classic use for a stopper is to take the weight off the genoa ...read more

05

Ask Sail: Water Getting into Coax

Q: While inspecting behind the nav station for my spring cleaning, I discovered water behind my chartplotter and VHF radio stack. Freshwater to boot! Do electronics leak? I didn’t think so. — Everette Gracy, Norton Shores, MI Gordan West Replies  Last winter your region was ...read more