St Quay Women Match Racing
18 May 13
There were no Saturday surprises at the St. Quay Women's Match Race, as all four of the crews that dominated the double round-robin also qualified for the semi-finals.
Joakim Hermansson (As Amended by ISAF)
Starting or Returning to Sailing? You may have sailed before you became disabled, or you may have participated in other sports for people with disabilities. One newly disabled woman with no experience in sport said 'I decided to be positive and took up fishing, pony driving, swimming and sailing. Sailing's my favourite!'
Another sailor said 'I've wasted 20 years of my life; I gave up sailing after becoming disabled. I was sailing at national level and thought I could never be good enough again. I hope others will not make the same mistake.' He has now found the right boats and with a little help, is enjoying all aspects of sailing, including open international competition.
Many sailors speak of feeling much less disabled and more self-sufficient when afloat: 'I can be my own man'.
Find out what is already happening in your area. Contact your local council, national sailing authority or disabled sports organisation for the names of people and clubs who will help you get started or re-started (see Useful Contacts).
Some organisations offer 'Have a try' days. These are excellent ways to find out if you will like sailing.
Clothes should keep you warm and dry. Even on the sunniest day, it can be cool out on the water. Always take a complete change of clothes not because you will fall into the water but because you may get splashed. (Do not invest in special clothes until you are certain that you like sailing you can usually borrow waterproofs for a trial day.)
All good sailors carefully monitor the weather. You will not be expected to sail in conditions beyond your capabilities or wishes.
Training is normally available for beginners. Courses range from basic boat handling to racing skills. Training can be easily modified for disabled people, and many instructors will welcome your advice on how to meet your needs.
The answer to this question will vary from country to country. It's a good idea to talk to someone in your national sailing authority. Personal insurance is your choice, but clubs and boat owners should already have insurance for third party risks. It is your responsibility to check.
A buoyancy aid/lifejacket is always worn; initially someone will lend you one. Experienced sailors will be on hand to provide all the safety equipment required including rescue boats.
Remember that safety is paramount it's your responsibility to ensure that your abilities, needs and limitations are understood, and that you understand what is expected of you.
Find a sailor. Obviously, it would help enormously if you can find a 'friend of a friend', someone who sails and is prepared to introduce you to sailing at his/her club. Personal contact works best, but a phone call to a local club may be all that is needed.
Find a paramedic. It may also be helpful to seek support from an interested paramedic such as an occupational or physiotherapist. Together, you could work out successful strategies to suit your needs and devise ways of attracting other sailors with disabilities.
Be positive and communicate. Aim to demonstrate to others that your disability is not insurmountable. It is important to communicate your expectations to all concerned. It is also your responsibility to be positive about your disability, and to focus on your ability.
Whatever your history, it's your future enjoyment of sailing which concerns us! Sailing is no longer a sport just for the rich and the able; it's now within the reach of all.