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Great Britain Blind Sailing Team set to defend their World title

by Lucy Hodges 8 Sep 2017 14:00 BST 11-17 September 2017
The Great Britain Blind Sailing Team is set for the 2017 World Championships in Sheboygan © Blind Sailing

The Great Britain Sailing team will be flying to Sheboygan on the 9th September 2017 to defend their World title. Last weekend saw the four teams come together for a final training camp of mixed skilled activities, both on and off the water.

The team for the first time will be joined by Steve Irish who has volunteered to coach and manage the team. Steve said, "It is a different kind of coaching but the basics are the same. I am interested and keen to work with the team, and provide the information and support they need. We set the scene together on Friday and I have learnt so much in that time. I am now keen to get out to the USA".

Saturday saw the team have a day with Chris Watts and his tactical rules season then later on in the day out on the water to put it into practice. Blind Sailing creates an environment for all creating training seasons that give all a chance to learn being signed or visually impaired. The team then spent Sunday putting together all they had learnt and finalised their plans.

Commodore Lucy and the members of Blind Sailing have worked hard to raise funds and look for sponsors. We are pleased to thank Gill for supporting the team with clothing, as it is important that at the worlds the team look like a team. The kit has also been funded by The Maritime Skills Academy (MSA) after meeting one of our new sailors Catherine Westbrook.

Here is a statement from The Maritime Skills Academy: "Following a recent appearance on BBC South East Today, Catherine Westbrook's appointment to the British Blind Sailing Team caught the attention of our Chairman & Founder, Dieter Jaenicke. That very evening, a swift conversation with company Directors and Managers was held and mutual associates of ours and Catherine's were contacted. Upon meeting with Catherine, she was found to be as every bit enthusiastic and interested in the Maritime Industry as we were in her sailing exploits. After some encouraging talks with the team manager it was decided that The Maritime Skills Academy would sponsor the funds needed to sponsor the teams kit for the World Championships in the United States.

"Sponsorship of Catherine herself will continue for the next 12 months and she will act in an ambassadorial role for the MSA, promoting all things seafaring. This will be especially prevalent for our work with local schools and youth groups in encouraging young people to look to the sea for leisure, work and careers. Viking Recruitment and The Maritime Skills Academy very much look forward to an exciting and prosperous year working with Catherine. Good Luck Team GB!"

Chairman & Founder, Dieter Jaenicke added, "It is the least we can do to support a very talented local sailor. As a local business promoting the Maritime Industry I see it is a social responsibility."

Optimum Time Ltd has kindly donated race watches. These watches support the visually impaired to be aware of timings with the vibrations and bleeping. Over some time these watches have made a great difference. The team has also been lucky, as Dubarry have provided the team with deck shoes, thus giving them the assurance of safe footing on and off the water. Aquapac have sponsored the team with wet and dry bags from their range, the perfect way to keep the teams kit together.

We cannot thank all the sponsors enough for their generosity, the GB team is grateful and they hope they can make you proud! The team is still working hard at UK and USA transport but hope this will be sorted very soon. However it is clear they are focused on winning the Worlds.

Please visit our website for more information www.gbrblindsailng.co.uk and view the team on our YouTube channel, GBR Blind Sailing.