Overcoming Adversity, "Challenged America" Team Finishes Strong

July 26, 2005

Overcoming their individual disabilities to complete the 2005 Transpac, a grueling, 2,225-mile yacht race from California to Hawaii, the six members of the Challenged America team arrived in Honolulu Sunday evening at 23:31:50 local time. They had raced their yacht, the B'Quest, to a ranking of fourth in its class.

B'Quest is the flagship of San Diego-based Challenged America, an organization founded by disabled
 Vietnam veterans to provide free sailing education and recreation rehabilitation programs to people with and without disabilities from around the world. A gift from a donor who wanted the vessel to be a part of this effort, the B'Quest has competed in many races, crewed by experienced sailors overcoming such obstacles as quadriplegia, paraplegia, neuromuscular disease, blindness and cancer.

For the 2005 Transpac, the crew worked directly with mechanical engineering students at San Diego State University (SDSU), who provided the sailors special seats and fittings for the race.

Sam Gloor, sailing coordinator for this year's Challenged America crew, praised both the students and the National Science Foundation, which supported their efforts through the Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities program.

"The seats developed by the students at San Diego State performed flawlessly. Some of the crew simply could not have been effective without them," said Gloor, who was a member of the Challenged America crew in an earlier Transpac.

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