Please select your home edition
Edition
Typhoon 2021 - FOOTER

Paralysed sailor sets sights on World Championship in Japan

by David Durston 15 Apr 2018 11:27 BST
David Durston during the Hansa Europeans at Meze, France © Nicola Durston

It was a massive shock and a great shame that sailing was dropped from the Paralympics. There is a campaign to get it reinstated, and Paraworld Sailing are running events for the classes of boats which are being evaluated: the 2.4, Hansa 303 single, and the RS Venture.

Typically funding is only available to support Elite athletes in Paralympic classes, but what if your severity of your disability prevents you from being able to sail competitively in those classes? Within the Hansa fleet, the largest boat is the Liberty: featuring a supportive central seat, it enables people with even the most severe disabilities to compete on level terms through the use of motors for helming and sheets.

Last year 8 Liberty sailors from the U.K. travelled to the south of France for the Hansa European Championship, with 5 finishing in the top 7. In 2016, 9 competitors travelled to the Hansa World Championships in Medemblik, and achieved 3 top 10 positions. The regattas are 'open' events, meaning that people with varying levels of disability will be competing against able bodied sailors who sail manually. David Durston finished 3rd and 7th respectively, and sails using motors to operate the jib and main sheet because he has no active hand function, and is paralysed below his shoulders following a spinal cord injury 19 years ago.

Now he is working to get himself (and his wife who will be his full time carer and boat rigger!), his adapted boat, and all the necessary support, to the 2018 World Championships to be held in Hiroshima, Japan in October. Hansa are hoping that this will be their largest event yet, with a target of 200 boats. David is also Treasurer and a Trustee for the Hansa Class UK and wants to also raise funds to help Hansa provide more support to other disabled sailors in the future. He has an inspirational story to tell, and is willing to do public speaking in return for donations to him, or to Hansa. Or of course any direct donations would be welcome.

He has put together a web site with more information: www.flyingphoenix2.com

You can give through crowdfunding to David at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/daviddurston or to the Hansa Class UK at mydonate.bt.com/charities/hansaclassuk

Registered Charity 11654670

Related Articles

QTS Group helps East Ayrshire disability sailor
Rory McKinna joins Youth Athlete Programme A champion disability sailor from Stewarton, Scotland will benefit from a sponsorship deal as he joins QTS Group's Youth Athlete Programme. The Scottish rail infrastructure contractor will sponsor 19-year-old Rory McKinna throughout 2021. Posted on 19 Mar
Hansa GUL Christmas Virtual Regatta Series
Racing goes down to the wire The final places in the Hansa GUL Christmas Virtual Regatta Series went down to the wire. On Tuesday 15th December at 6pm twelve sailors got together for the last five races of the series, with some logging in to Zoom as well to enjoy the banter. Posted on 20 Dec 2020
Hansa GUL Christmas VR Series week 6
Demand runs high for racing as the temperature drops As the evenings drew in and temperatures dropped there was demand from some Hansa Class members to run another Virtual Regatta series. Posted on 23 Nov 2020
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 2020
Open Dinghy Regatta 2020 at Hebe Haven YC
The event was a great success with more than 150 boats It was somewhat overcast as the 150 boats and 188 sailors convened in Port Shelter for the first day of racing in the Sun Hung Kai Scallywag Foundation Open Dinghy Regatta 2020. Posted on 5 Nov 2020
Hansa GUL VR Series 2 competition concludes
Paul Holzherr wins after ten events My last report gave the positions at the halfway point in the series. At that time the top 5 were: Paul Holzherr in 1st place with a 12 point lead over the winner of the previous series, Paul Phillips. Posted on 17 Sep 2020
Hansa GUL VR Series 2 competition hots up!
A second ten event series held after the success during lockdown Following the success of the first Hansa GUL VR Series, the Hansa Class UK decided to continue with a second ten event series. Posted on 13 Aug 2020
Hansa Class UK Art Competition
The class encouraging creativity and positivity during lockdown Our competitive circuit usually starts in April, but so far this year we have been unable to enjoy any of the Hansa sailing events. We tried to come up with innovative ideas to engage our sailors during the lockdown Posted on 10 Jul 2020
Hansa GUL VR Series 2020 Series 1 overall
17 sailors take to their tablets, smartphones, laptops on the final day On June 23rd 17 sailors took to their tablets, smartphones, laptops, and computers to compete in the final 8 races to complete the ten week series of races. Posted on 29 Jun 2020
Hansa eSailing Championship
Discovering who will represent the class in the RYA eSailing Spring Class Championship On Saturday 30th May Hansa ran a Virtual Regatta to discover who would become the class champion of the Class and represent us in the RYA's eSailing Spring Class Championship 2020. Posted on 2 Jun 2020