Please select your home edition
Spinlock - Adventure Proof - 728x90

GAC joins tribute to sailing legend Hilary Lister

by Rhys Thomas 28 Aug 2018 18:31 BST 18 August 2018
Hilary Lister celebrating and sailing with transatlantic sailor and mentor Emma Richards and her husband Clifford © Mark Lloyd

Farewell to an 'indomitable spirit'

GAC has paid tribute to record-breaking quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister, who died at the age of 46 on 18 August. The GAC Group and its sailing logistics specialist arm, GAC Pindar, had supported and sponsored her sailing endeavours since 2010.

Lister suffered from the progressive condition reflex sympathetic dystrophy, eventually losing the use of her legs and arms. She learned to sail using pioneering 'sip and puff' technology in 2003 – something she often described as like being given wings. In 2005, she became the first quadriplegic to sail solo across the English Channel. Her other achievements included: being the first female quadriplegic to sail solo around the Isle of Wight, in 2007; the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain, in 2009; sailing around the Kingdom of Bahrain in support of Bahrain Mobility International in 2010; and making the 850-mile Oman Sail/GACPindar Mumbai to Muscat crossing in 2014 with Oman's Nashwa al-Kindi, the first Arab woman to complete the voyage.

Lister's indomitable spirit was recognised by a multitude of accolades including Woman of the Year in 2005 and 2006, The Royal Cruising Club's Seamanship Award 2005, the Helen Rollason Award for inspiration in the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year 2007, the Cosmopolitan Superhero Award and the Vitalise "Woman of Achievement" Award in 2009. She was also shortlisted for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

After meeting Hilary in 2004, the founder of Team Pindar Andrew Pindar OBE formed a professional relationship under which the company supported her in exchange for appearances at sailing events. That relationship continued after Team Pindar and GAC came together to create GAC Pindar in 2010.

Andrew Pindar says: "Hilary will be sadly missed by us all. She was a true winner at life, who wanted to be treated the same as any able-bodied sailor and eschewed the prospect of sympathy or handouts. Over the years, she attended several GAC or GAC Pindar events including the final of the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race in Gothenburg, and she was always fun, and inspiring. She proudly wore our logos on her every voyage and will be doing so on her final journey."

GAC Group President Bengt Ekstrand adds: "It was a true honour to be associated with Hilary, who was a great inspiration to everyone who knew her and her achievements."

Related Articles

Yacht designer Don Pye passes away
Holman & Pye yachts took Fastnet and Golden Globe victories The flag atop the West Mersea Yacht Club was at half-mast this week noting the passing of yacht designer Don Pye who, following a heart attack, passed away on 20th August aged 93. Posted on 24 Aug
Mark "Wilko" Wilkinson passes away
Sailing and the marine industry lost a characterful and popular figure Sailing and the marine industry lost a characterful and popular figure with the unexpected passing of Mark "Wilko" Wilkinson on Sunday 28th July at his home in Warsash. It is believed from a heart attack. Posted on 7 Aug
Paul Heys Memorial Buoy Fundraising
A new racing buoy in the Central Solent in his memory Paul Heys helped so many of us to enjoy our hobby, whether it was helping with crew, sorting our boats or boosting morale in the bar and a group of sailors are trying to raise the funds to drop a new racing buoy in the Solent in his honour and memory. Posted on 11 Jul
Memorial Service for Jane Windsor
In Hamble on Tuesday 16th July Jane was a very special person and will be missed by all of us. Jane achieved many good things in her career, ashore in her many various volunteering roles and whilst afloat in race management roles. Posted on 10 Jul
Remembering Lowell North
The founder of North Sails passes away Lowell North, founder of North Sails, has passed away. Nicknamed "The Pope" by his peers, Lowell began his sailmaking career at the age of 14 when his father purchased a Star with cotton sails. Posted on 4 Jun
Paul Heys - Celebration of an incredible man
How to pay your respects on Tuesday 19th March On behalf of the team at Key Yachting, we would like to say a huge thank you, for the astounding number of cards and messages we have received since we told you the news of Paul's passing. Posted on 15 Mar
Paul Heys passes away
Hamble-based Key Yachting MD greatly admired in the sailing community Hamble-based yacht sales business Key Yachting Ltd, have made the truly sad and shocking announcement that Paul Heys, co-founder and Managing Director, has passed away. Posted on 27 Feb
Tony Bullimore passes away
Round-the-world yachtsman dies at the age of 79 Round-the-world yachtsman Tony Bullimore has passed away at the age of 79 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Posted on 31 Jul 2018
Jacque Collyer-Smith passes away
A popular member of the Brightlingsea sailing community The sailing world has lost a popular member of the community following the death of Jacque Collyer-Smith. Posted on 8 Mar 2018
John Channon passes away
Sailmaker, yachtsman and formerly MD of Hood Sails UK John Channon, sailmaker and yachtsman, formerly MD of Hood Sails UK, passed away on 12th January aged 66. Generations of yachties will remember him as an unfailingly cheerful and helpful man with a winning smile. Posted on 6 Feb 2018