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Portsmouth, R.I., USA (September 30, 2010) – US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has finalized the selection procedures for the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team – Sailing in the three events selected for the 2012 Paralympic Regatta, set for August 29-September 9, 2012 in Weymouth/Portland, England. Athletes will have the opportunity to qualify based on their combined performance at two international events: 2012 IFDS World Championship, in Port Charlotte, Fla., scheduled for January 8-16, 2012, and US SAILING’s 2012 Rolex Miami OCR, in Miami, Fla., scheduled for January 22-28, 2012. In an interview with US SAILING, OSC Chairman Dean Brenner explains the evolution of the U.S. selection procedures.

Dean Brenner_Credit Walter CooperWhy is the OSC making this change?
Our approach to Paralympic selection is essentially the same approach we use with our Olympic selection. We want to choose our 2012 representatives based on how they fare against the best in the world.

What are the changes compared to the past Games?
This will only be the fourth Paralympic Games with sailing as an event, but Paralympic sailing is evolving quickly toward a level of professionalism similar to Olympic sailing. And while Paralympic sailing is still not as much of a full-time venture as Olympic sailing, we want to apply a lot of the same thinking to both sides of our program.

Why will the Paralympic classes still qualify at domestic events?
We have the luxury of using two high-level international events that just happen to be in the USA. With the IFDS worlds coming to Florida in January 2012, and taking place right before US SAILING’s 2012 Rolex Miami OCR, it gave us the unique opportunity to use two great events, which would occur close on the calendar and close geographically.

To read the press release announcing the selection procedures, please click here. To read the details of the selection procedures, please click here

Contact: Dana Paxton, US SAILING, 401-683-0800, x615, danapaxton@ussailing.org