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4 August 2005, 03:01 pm
The Channel Challenge
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Disabled Sailing News
Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain

The Channel Challenge is Hilary LISTER's (GBR) attempt to become the first quadriplegic to sail, single-handed, across the English Channel.
The Channel Challenge aims to raise money so that other disabled people can experience the thrill of sailing, show that disabled people can live exciting and challenging lives, challenge people to rethink their views on disability and encourage everyone to live their dreams.

LISTER started sailing in 2003, and was immediately hooked. In 2004 she began to dream of crossing the English Channel single-handed and, at the end of August, she proposes to do just that.

LISTER has a progressive disorder which has left her only able to move her head. She spends all the time when she is not sailing either in a wheelchair, or in bed.

Until LISTER was introduced to sailing by a neighbour, she was completely housebound. LISTER had been extremely active all her life. As a paraplegic she swam and worked out in the gym several times a week. Having lost the use of her arms she could no longer drive, or continue her work as a biochemist. Her new lifestyle as a quadriplegic seemed to be worthless. When she says 'sailing saved my life', she means it.

Westbere Sailing Opportunities first put LISTER in a Wayfarer in September, 2003. They are a group of volunteers who immediately see through the gadgets and disability and find the real person.

From the Wayfarer LISTER graduated to being a passenger on a Challenger trimaran. This provided some fantastic sailing, but the frustration of being an able to sail a boat herself was growing. In mid-2004 she began to dream of being the first quadriplegic to sail across the Channel. Thanks to the sponsorship of Pindar, UKSA and the support and practical help of many others, this dream is about to come true.

On Tuesday the Channel Challenge was officially launched at Skandia Cowes Week and LISTER is aiming to complete the Challenge this European summer.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Training at Tideway:© Event Media
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