At a Reception in London on 4 December 2003, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal unveiled a three-year project "Sailability for London" intended to open up and interlink suitable facilities for disabled sailing throughout London and its Boroughs.
The launch was attended by over 100 people including representatives of major businesses, local authorities, disability and sporting organisations.
The purpose of the launch was to raise awareness amongst the many interested parties and gave an opportunity for RYA Sailability to present its strategy for increasing participation in disabled sailing.
RYA Sailability is the department of the Royal Yachting Association, the national governing body for sailing in Great Britain, responsible for supporting and promoting disabled sailing.
The Princess Royal, who is Patron of RYA Sailability, opened proceedings with a talk about the benefits sailing brings to people with disabilities. As an experienced sailor herself, she remarked that:
"Social problems in inner city areas are issues that are all too often highlighted and very much reflect the frustration younger disadvantaged people feel at the lack of facilities available to them.
At present there are 15 sites in London which provide facilities for disabled sailing but are used by less than a 1,000 people. That is with a population of nearly 7 Million people of which 1.1 Million have some form of disability"
Geoff HOLT, a Trustee of RYA Sailability, said "The Project has the support of the private sector, local authorities, councils, health trusts, water companies, dock authorities, disability and educational bodies. With such tremendous support, we hope it will not be long before many people with disabilities who live and work in London can experience the joys and freedom of sailing."