4 MARCH - 13 MARCH 2022 (UTC)

28 August - 8 Sept 2024 (FST)

Richard Dodson

Name Richard Dodson
Sport Para sailing
Date of Birth
19 February 1959
Coach Andrew Brown
Resides Auckland
Classification Sport class 6C
Impairment (Disability)
Loss of muscle power (Multiple Sclerosis)
 Paralympian # 191 - Rio 2016


Major International Results
2016 Rio 2016 Paralympic Games 4th - Sonar Class
2015 Para Sailing World Championships 8th - Sonar Class


America's Cup sailor, and multiple World Champion Richard Dodson was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 20 years ago. Richard was the onboard Strategist with Team New Zealand when they won the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego, and again during the Team's 2000 defense. It was during the defense campaign that he was diagnosed with MS. His world then took a dramatic turn, as he was no longer able to sail professionally once his condition deteriorated.

When the opportunity arose to harness his undoubted talent in disabled sailing he took some convincing he could campaign to the high standards he had set in the past.

Richard and his crew mates Chris Sharp and Andrew May made their Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. They compete in the 3-person keelboat event (Sonar) placing 4th and missing the bronze medal by the narrowest of margins. The crew were part of the New Zealand Paralympic Team that won a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists in 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).

About Richard

Classification means...

Para sailors are classified with a sport class from 1 to 7, with 7 indicating the least severe and 1 the most severe eligible impairment. The allocation of sport class is carried out by a panel of classifiers who complete a physical assessment with each Para sailor. 

Number = represents a sport class. Para athletes may have a double below-knee amputation with prostheses, single below-elbow amputation or an equivalent activity limitation in sailing caused by the other eligible impairment types.

Three-person keelboat – to make sure that no crew has an advantage or disadvantage in competition due to impairment, each crew is only allowed a maximum of 14 pts.

Classification Means...

Major Partners

ToyatoHigh Performance Sport New Zealand

Official Partners

Adecco ACCHarvey NormanTVNZ

Community Partners

SanfordNew Zealand Chambers of Commerce
New Zealand Racing BoardPub CharityThe Lion FoundationNew Zealand Community Trust

Official Suppliers

Simpson Gierson Blue StarOceanbridge        


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