Please select your home edition
CoastWaterSports 2014

Sea and Summit Challenge - Day 1

by Karenza Morton, RYA 25 Jul 2014 14:52 BST 24 July 2014
Miss Isle sails past Studland Beach on her way into Poole Harbour © RYA

Grinning 'sip and puff' sailor Natasha 'Miss Isle' Lambert declared herself happy after successfully completing the 25-mile first leg of her Sea and Summit Challenge from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Poole, Dorset on Thursday 24 July.

The 17-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and controls her boat by breathing through a straw in a specially-engineered bicycle helmet, enjoyed a memorable welcome into Poole Harbour with a number of boats from the RNLI Lifeboat College and Poole Sailability escorting her in.

Through the Sea and Summit challenge Natasha will sail 430 miles and climb 2,907ft to raise money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the RYA Foundation, as well as the profile of sailing for people with disabilities.

And it was the RNLI College that provided Natasha's final destination for the day, the place where she and her support team had undertaken sea survival training as part of their preparations for the month-long challenge.

Earlier in the day Natasha departed her hometown of Cowes, and was waved on her way by the latest group of young people sailing on an Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust four-day trip as the boats passed each other in the Solent.

Almost eight hours later, sailing in temperatures pushing 30 degrees, she was back smiling on dry land, having dealt admirably with the heat and light winds.

Mum Amanda said: "It's nice to get day one out of the way. It's been such a big build up with so much planning that to see Tash out there enjoying her sailing is what this whole challenge is about. The weather did us a favour in many ways; the fact it was such a nice start, and quite a gentle sail, enabled us all to find our feet a bit and get into the swing of it all. She really enjoyed it."

Phil Devereux, Natasha's coach, added: "We managed the heat well, that was definitely the longest she has ever sailed in such hot temperatures. She took breaks with the helmet off so she could get some cool bits and pieces over her head and around her neck, and she took plenty of drinks so it was a success.

"It was a nice leg for her to begin, sailing out of her home waters made it relaxed and 25 miles wasn't enormous, so although light winds made it a longer day it will stand her in good stead for tomorrow and onwards."

As part of her nine-month preparations for Sea and Summit, Natasha with dad Gary and Phil spent an afternoon using the state-of-the-art training facilities at the RNLI College. Dave Whiddon, Lifeboat Trainer, took the group through their sea survival training in the pool where all the RNLI crews do their training too.

He explains: "We did capsize drills, so looking at the dangers of Tash getting trapped underneath the boat and the best ways to deal with it, Man Overboard and the best options to get her back onboard, and general emergency procedures. We had all our risk assessments in place and everyone knew what we needed to achieve out of it. We are delighted to be supporting her in this project."

Sailing has been Natasha's big love since she first went on holiday with the Calvert Trust aged nine. She then started sailing at home and spent two years sailing with the Even Keel Project and her local RYA Sailability.

Anna Moreland, Chair of Trustees Poole Sailability, said: "Natasha is a wonderful ambassador for Sailability, showing how the grassroots small clubs can give that first opportunity to people with disabilities to try sailing. All of us at Poole Sailability wish her every success."

Sea and Summit is Natasha's biggest challenge yet - a month-long project sailing her specially-designed 21ft yacht, Miss Isle Too, single-handed around the South West coast of England to Wales. She will then swap her boat for a special walking aid to climb Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, the highest peak in Southern Britain. Last year she sailed across the English Channel, and in 2012, the 50-miles around the Isle of Wight.

To support Natasha's challenge visit

Related Articles

RYA Sailability: From Lockdown and Beyond
Sailability clubs and centres have gone through eight months of upheaval From closing completely to re-opening under strict restrictions, Sailability clubs and centres, like so many sports organisations, have gone through eight months of upheaval. Posted on 12 Nov
RYA Sailability release guide to autism & boating
Volunteers and instructors across the UK can now access new guidance Volunteers and instructors across the UK can now access new guidance designed to help ensure that people with autism have the best possible experience when getting out on the water. Posted on 24 Aug
Megan Pascoe wins eSailing Multiclass Regatta
Sailability stars battle it out in a series of live races on virtual waters It was a win for Megan Pascoe from Frensham Pond Sailability when she sailed her way to victory in the RYA Sailability eSailing Multiclass Regatta final this Saturday. Posted on 4 Aug
RYA Sailability Regatta goes virtual for 2020
Teaming up with leading eSailing provider Virtual Regatta Sailability sailors across the UK will still be able to compete in the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta as the event switches to virtual waters for the 2020 regatta. Posted on 19 Jun
Helly Hansen becomes official clothing sponsor
To RYA Sailability and OnBoard programmes The RYA is delighted to announce Helly Hansen, the global sailing brand founded in Norway in 1877, as the official clothing supplier to the RYA Sailability and OnBoard programmes. Posted on 5 Sep 2019
Who says you can't enjoy sailing?
RYA supports campaign to challenge negative perceptions of disability The Activity Alliance's Who Says? campaign is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport. It was created in response to the national charity's recent research, which explored people's attitudes on inclusive activity. Posted on 15 Jul 2019
Multihulls at the RYA Sailability Regatta
Challengers and Wetas at Weymouth For the first time since its inception in 2007, the venue for the RYA Sailability Multiclass regatta was not Rutland Sailing Club, instead we were at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy with the racing taking place in Portland Harbour. Posted on 9 Jul 2019
RYA Sailability Regatta
Blind Sailing team crowned champions With more than 100 sailors, competing in over 70 boats, the UK's biggest disability sailing event of its kind took place this weekend at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Posted on 8 Jul 2019
Countdown for RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta
UK's biggest disability sailing event comes to south west coast More than 100 sailors are set to descend on the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, next weekend. Posted on 28 Jun 2019
RYA urges boaters to heed MAIB Safety Bulletin
Relating to the securing of retractable keels in small boats The RYA was saddened to learn that on 13 June 2019 a tragic incident occurred at Blackwell Sailing in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, which resulted in the death of Stephen Hague (57) whilst sailing on Lake Windermere. Posted on 27 Jun 2019