You may recently have read of the incredible exploits of Hilary Lister. Hilary is a quadriplegic and she sails an adapted Artemis 20 with a sip and puff system that uses three straws which enable her to control all the systems on board. Not content with sailing round Britain in 2009, she has now sailed across the Indian ocean from Mumbai to Muscat in Oman. Many disabled sailors are able to sail through RYA Sailability schemes.
We have two Sailability schemes locally. There is the Woolverstone Project at Alton Water and Woolverstone and EAST at Levington. Both offer sailing for people with a wide range of abilities in Squibs, Access dinghies, Challenger trimarans and various other keelboats.
One other organisation that offers sailing for everyone on an equal basis is the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Both of their ships, Tenacious and Lord Nelson, sail all around the world, and on board, everybody gets the chance to participate in all aspects of running the ship – from setting the sails and helming the ship to climbing aloft and taking a watch.
Currently, Lord Nelson has just sailed around Cape Horn, and is the first fully accessible vessel to accomplish this. Her sister Tenacious is sunning herself in the Mediterranean and will be heading home in the Spring to get ready to take part in the Tall Ships Races in July.
The JST is offering a 10% discount on all of their voyages to all yacht club members – all you need to do is quote code YC10 when booking.