Stephen Rappaport

MMA’s Brown Heads for London Paralympics

Stephen Rappaport
Maine Maritime Academy sailing coach Tom Brown flew to England on Monday to participate in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Brown will sail a three-person Sonar keelboat for the U.S. when the racing begins Sept. 1.

CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy sailing coach Tom Brown flew to England on Monday to participate in the upcoming London Paralympic Games.

Brown will sail for the United States in the Sonar three-person keelboat class with skipper Paul Callahan and crew Brad Johnson. Thirteen other nations are sending crews to race Sonars.

This is Brown’s third visit to the Paralympics. In 2000, he won a bronze medal sailing a 2.4-meter singlehanded keel boat. In 2004, he won the silver medal in the class. Johnson won a bronze in the Sonar class at the 2004 games.

The London Paralympic Games include competition for disabled athletes in 21 disciplines including, in addition to sailing, such sports as: cycling; equestrian events; football (soccer); rowing; judo; powerlifting; and wheelchair basketball, fencing, rugby and tennis.

In all, 174 nations will send a total of about 4,200 athletes to this year’s Paralympics.

The opening ceremony for the games is set for Aug. 29 in London’s new Olympic Stadium. The sailing events are scheduled to get under way on Portsmouth Harbor on Sept. 1. As with the other sports, the sailing events will be held in the same venue as were the just-completed Olympics.

The Paralympic sailing competition includes 11 scheduled races between Sept. 1 and Sept. 6. Each race will be sailed over either a windward-leeward or Olympic trapezoid course.

The Sonar is a 23-foot, 2,100-pound keelboat that carries 285 square feet of working sail plus a 321 square-foot spinnaker. Designed in 1980, the boat is both fast and stable and is a popular club racer in the United States and throughout the world.

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Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]