Annapolis sailing competitor prepares for Paralympic races


CHRIS MURPHY'S summer may be cookout-free.

The young Annapolitan will be either in St. Petersburg, Fla., or on Lake Lanier, outside Atlanta, getting ready to go for the gold in the 1996 Paralympic Sailing competition. The races are Aug. 18-22, at Lake Lanier.

Murphy, skipper John Ross-Duggan of Orlando, Fla., and crew member Jim Leatherman of Baltimore learned just last week that they'd be representing the United States in the Paralympics. Their place was ensured when a protest after the 1995 national championships in Marblehead, Mass., was decided in their favor.

They'll be sailing 23-foot Sonars, racing against teams with comparable disabilities from 15 countries.

Though they've been sailing together in a number of competitions during the past year, the trio knows it will take every possible minute between now and Aug. 18 to build the kind of unspoken understanding and cooperation that are the key to success in team competition. They also face the daunting challenge of raising another $10,000 to $15,000 toward their $25,000 budget for their training sessions.

Murphy, 25, has been paralyzed from the waist down since a motorcycle accident in 1990. He'd sailed for years before that, but started concentrating on skills and techniques when he became involved with Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating after his accident.

He is a member of the CRAB board of directors, and a US Sailing certified instructor for the nonprofit group. Ross-Duggan is a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. Leatherman lost both legs as a child in a train accident.

Contributions for this challenge are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to BWAC (memo Ross-Duggan Challenge), and mail to Baltimore Wheelchair Athletic Club, 4019 Putty Hill Ave., Baltimore 21236.

Information: 268-7749.

Driver education course

One of my more interesting challenges nearly 20 years ago was teaching my daughter to drive. We lived across from a high school parking lot, so we had a vast playground for our weekend and evening forays into the world of gasoline-powered independence.

I realize in retrospect that my daughter was responsible for the survival of our relationship. I claim no credit.

Many people don't have that parking lot nearby, however, and most just absolutely shouldn't teach family how to drive.

Enter Anne Arundel Community College with Driver Education, a two-week noncredit course for youths age 15 to 18. The course includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of driving, scheduled in four 90-minute sessions.

The cost is $269. If you cringe at that, balance it against the awful things you won't have to scream at your child, and the worse things he/she will respond with!

Information: 541-2348.

Native American studies

In some parts of the country it's easy to look around and know that neither Leif Ericson nor Christopher Columbus "discovered" this continent. There were many cultures for centuries before the Europeans landed on these shores.

County archaeologist Al Luckenbach will discuss the Native American populations that lived in this area and describe the archaeological sites discovered at Quiet Waters Park and other areas around Annapolis at a lecture at 7: 30 p.m. Thursday at the park's Blue Heron Center.

The lecture is free, but a $1 donation is requested.

Advance registration is advised. Call 222-1777.

Conflict resolution

A class sponsored by the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center, beginning tomorrow, teaches how to manage conflict in personal and professional relationships.

"No Lose Conflict Resolution" is an eight-week course from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 13, at the AACRC offices at the Heritage Center, Suite 130, 2666 Riva Road.

Tuition is $75, with an additional $20 materials charge paid to the instructor.

Information: 266-9033.

Pub Date: 6/24/96

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