Sailor with Disabilities - Sarah Everhart Skeels.
"Sailing provides a truly level playing field when it comes to sport,"
If you don't know longtime DLYC Members Dave & Sherry Everhart, you might want to know about their daughter Sarah Everhart Skeels who is in the final qualifying regatta to represent the US in the 2016 Olympics for Disabled Sailing. Sarah lectures at Brown and Tufts Universities. Sarah and her crew Cindy Walker are the only female team to compete for this spot. The final qualifying regatta is this month.
According to Father Dave:
"Sarah crewed a little on the E in the mid 80s when she was in high school but didn't really get into it until after the accident in 1990 when she was 22. She suffered a severed spinal cord which left her paralyzed from the chest down and very limited use of her right arm and hand. She started sailing as part of her rehab at Shake a leg in Newport. RI......first in a Freedom and then a Sonar. Ever the competitor, Sarah really got into paralympic sailing five years ago and decided to make a run for this year's paralympic over a year ago. This has lead to intense training and sailing many regattas in this country plus Italy, Australia and The Netherlands.
Right now, she and her crew, husband and support team just finished a warmup regatta in Lake Garda, Italy before the final selection regatta in Medemblick, Netherlands beginning May 24. She races a Skud 18, a 2 person keel boat, mainsail, jib and spinnaker. She can be followed on her Web page and Facebook for the latest news.
If you wish to make a donation to Sarah and Cindy, donations can me made at .
Skipper Sarah Everhart Skeels, Tiverton, RI, and Cindy Walker, Middletown, RI, the only all female team competing in The Skud 18 class, in action during the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta at Newport, Rhode Island hosted by Sail Newport at Fort Adams. The Clagett is North America's premier event for sailors with disabilities with sailors competing in the 3 Paralympic class boats and is an integral part of preparation for athletes preparing for Paralympic and world championship racing. Newport, Rhode Island
Sarah Everhart Skeels
Lives in Tiverton RI, married with one child
Lecturer at Brown and Tufts universities - lectures on disability studies at Brown and has been at Brown for 13 years. At Tufts she lectures on Community-based services and health promotion at the Dept. of OT at Tufts. She is also a researcher with the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center at BU School of Public Health. Skeels sustained a spinal cord injury after being hit by a car while riding her bicycle training in a triathlon in 1990. She has been paralyzed from the chest down and living life from a wheelchair for 25 years.
Sails in the SKUD 18 class as the skipper, is in the 2015 US Sailing Team Sperry (only all female team in the SKUD 18 class campaigning at a Paralympic level, with Cindy Walker - Middletown RI as crew)
Moved to RI in 1996 from Washington DC. Has sailed in every Clagett regatta since its inception. Started out sailing in the Sonar class at Clagett, prior to that sailed in the Freedom
Has hand-cycled across the United States, swum across the span of the Newport Bay Bridge, voyaged off Guadeloupe, and has gone scuba diving in Bonaire. She is a volunteer adaptive-skiing instructor.
Sarah serves Governor's Commission for People with Disabilities and is Chairperson for the Employment Committee. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors of New England Disabled Sports, is on the Board of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta and is Chairperson of the US Sailing Committee for Sailors with Disabilities
"Sailing provides a truly level playing field when it comes to sport," commented Skeels. Sarah does not to let her misfortune impair her enjoyment of life, she concluded " life doesn't end after disability; it just continues in a different way."