Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2021 - Basic LEADERBOARD

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

Sail Melbourne 2022 Overall
Strong winds and strong wins to wrap up Sail Melbourne 2022 wrapped up on Port Phillip today, with a number of classes relying on the final race of the day to decide a winner. Posted on 17 Jan
Sail Melbourne 2022 Day 4
Para Sailing National Champions decided Three National Champions were decided at Sail Melbourne today, with the Australia Para Sailing National Championships concluding on another stunning Melbourne day. Posted on 16 Jan
Sail Melbourne 2022 Day 3
A Wave of Wins for Wearn Tokyo Olympic champion Matt Wearn has continued his domination of the ILCA 7 class, with the Western Australian posting his sixth straight race win in his return to competition at Sail Melbourne today. Posted on 15 Jan
David Graham on the future Paralympic sailing
David Schmidt checks in with the CEO of World Sailing I checked in with David Graham, CEO of World Sailing, via email, about the organization's “Back the Bid” campaign to reinstate sailing at the 2028 Paralympic Games. Posted on 1 Dec 2021
2021 Hansa World Championships in Palermo
Podium Success for GB Sailors in Sicily While some unseasonably stormy weather overshadowed much of the sailing at the Hansa World Championships in Sicily, the British team still managed to succeed with podium finishes in both classes they entered. Posted on 20 Oct 2021
Hansa World Championships in Palermo
Para-sailors from seven countries race in Sicily An exciting final day in Palermo, Italy, saw medals awarded in all four categories at the 2021 Hansa World Championships. Over 180 sailors from 25 nations showed exceptional technical para-sailing and determination. Posted on 14 Oct 2021
2021 Hansa TT at Frensham Pond Sailability
A cool but constant north easterly breeze for the record fleet A cool but constant north easterly breeze, sometimes quite lively, greeted the 11 visiting helms and a record 14 local sailors. The conditions encouraged competitive sailing across all four Hansa fleets for the final TT of the year. Posted on 9 Sep 2021
Hansa class Queensland championships proceeding
But SKUD 18 Nationals at Southport YC cancelled The 2021 Hansa Class Queensland Championships will still be going ahead from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th October 2021, hosted by Southport Yacht Club, Hollywell. Racing is scheduled for the SKUD 18, Liberty, Hansa 303 (one and two-person) and Hansa 2.3. Posted on 30 Aug 2021
2021 Hansa TT at Bristol
A good turnout with 12 boats on the water We had a good turnout with 12 boats on the water made up of two Hansa 2.3s, two Hansa 303 doubles, two Hansa Libertys and six 303 singles. The event was hosted by All-Aboard Watersports Centre and the racing was run by Baltic Wharf Sailing Club. Posted on 28 Aug 2021
Hansa TT Series at Waveney & Oulton Broad
Paddleboarders drifting across the race course add to the entertainment Having missed out in 2020 the Hansa Class returned to Oulton Broad in North Suffolk, its most easterly event in the UK Series, at Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club, organised by Waveney Sailability. Posted on 18 Aug 2021