Lakewood Yacht Club longtime racer Howard Hughes, along with his crew, won the ISAF Blind Sailing Worlds in Chicago over the weekend of Sept. 12-13. Hughes skippered a Tom 28 in rough conditions on Lake Michigan.
This event requires two blind sailors and two sighted sailors to participate on the boat. Vince Morvillo of Houston Yacht Club crewed as main sheet trimmer. Doug Cummings was the sighted tactician and Paul Shields was the sighted head sail trimmer. They competed in the B3 class winning the International Championship by six points over Great Britain.
According to Hughes, the first day of the race, the fleet saw 20+ knots of wind with six foot waves. “We were all new to the Tom 28 boat, so Lake Michigan sure made this a challenging event for our crew!” remarked Hughes. He credits their success to team work, trust, and the combined experience of the crew.
In September of 2013, Hughes claimed first place in the annual Blind Sailing National Championship held in Sail Newport, Rhode Island.