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Great Britain arrive in the USA for the 2017 Blind Fleet Racing World Championship

by Lucy Hodges 11 Sep 2017 07:28 BST 11-17 September 2017
Great Britain arrive in the USA for the 2017 Blind Fleet Racing World Championship © Blind Sailing

GBR have landed in Sheboygan, the weather is warm and the breeze is steady 12 - 15 knots. The blind fleet racing is raced in a team of four in sight categories B1, B2, and B3. B1 being those with no sight up to B3 those with conditions that reduce their sight like tunnel vision. Each boat is made up of a sighted tactician and sighted crew with a visually impaired helm and mainsheet trimmer.

Great Britain has worked hard to increase the number of both sighted and visually impaired sailors, this year sees four new sighted sailors take part in the World Championships. It is exciting to see GBR expand, new B2 crew Colin Midgley said, "It's exciting to be at the venue, in its self, it is a beautiful spot. It has been great sharing the event with locals in Sheboygan, creating interest in the event. Today we have received our team kit, which feels great and I feel set for tomorrow's practice racing".

Justin Smith, the new tactician for the B3b team said, "It's a great sense of pride representing GBR, I am slightly apprehensive wanting to do well for team and country but excited at the same time".

The team has spent Sunday learning about the area and working with local Todd Wake about the weather and how the different breezes will affect the racing. This has been key learning especially for those that have not sailed in this area before. Then the team got to grips with the new kit and would like to say thank you to:

  • Barton Marine for radio which will also be used for future events and train
  • Marine Skills Academy for kit along with Gill
  • Optimum Time for great racing watches
  • Aquapac for kit bags
  • Dubarry for shore shoes
  • Adidas for on the water footwear
  • Bottles and Bags, for water bottles
  • Morrison Foerster for funding the trip
The team are set for training on Monday, follow at