U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship
First established in 1986, the what was then called the U.S. Independence Cup became US SAILING's national championship for disabled sailors in 1989. For many years it was organized by the Disabled Sailing Committee and was run in conjunction with the North American Challenge Cup, which is hosted by Chicago Yacht Club.
In 2007, the regatta moved under the Championships division of US SAILING and was renamed the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship. The following year, the championship moved from Chicago Yacht Club to begin the travel around the country. The first hosts were American Yacht Club and Larchmont Yacht Clubs who will again co-host in 2011.
The Chandler Hovey, Jr. Trophy was donated at the 1994 Independence Cup by A.G.A. Correa and Co. to US SAILING. "Buzz" Hovey, for whom it is named, was active in 12 Metre racing in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s with the family owned Twelve, Easterner. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1947, he continued, nonetheless, to sail and race actively, especially in his Shields Class boat, until 1981 when he retired from the racing circuit. Peter Goldman donated the Judd Goldman Trophy in honor of Justin “Judd” Goldman (1914-1989) who, despite his own physical disability, was an accomplished sailor and inspired the creation of the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program, Chicago, Illinois. In 2009, a third trophy in honor of Gene Hinkle was donated in honor of Gene's many contributions to disabled sailing and the US Paralympic team.
While there have been several repeat winners, only Karen Mitchell of Deerfield Beach, FL has won four times while Robie Pierce of Newport, RI has won thrice. Many competitors at the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships have gone on to represent the United States at the Paralympics Games including Nick Scandone, gold medalist at the 2008 Paralympics.