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2019 Gill Thermoshield Dinghy Top
2019 Gill Thermoshield Dinghy Top

A look back at what GBR Blind Sailing got up to in 2018

by Lucy Hodges 23 Dec 2018 09:47 GMT
Blind Match Racing Worlds prizewinners © Neill Ross /

As we look back at 2018, we would like to say a BIG THANK you to all that have supported the charity, with another successful year:

Our volunteers who make each weekend such a success and progress our sailors, to our coaches who help with the learning of both the sailors and the volunteers. The sailing clubs and centres for all their hospitality, use of all the equipment and facilities. Especially Hollingworth Lake, Hollingworth Activity Centre, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club, Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre, Ark Sailing, UKSA and Island Sailing Club to name a few.

This year with the help of those mentioned above and our sponsor Morrison & Foerster LLP we were able to put on a full year of training which included skills training. It is key when a sighted person looks to the top of the sail they can see what's happening and how it reacts with the forces. But for someone with no vision or poor vision it is a mystery, so by working on shore with different techniques the VI managed to understand.

We were also able to put new sailors through their RYA Level 1, to give them the key skills to choose the path they wish in sailing, be it racing or just enjoying being out on the water.

Lucy Hodges MBE Commodore would like to say a massive thank you to all involved in 2018 and let's have even more great times in 2019! There are so many thank yous, it is hard to put into one newsletter but we are truly thankful to all that have been involved.

See you on the water in 2019.

Match Racing Worlds

In August this year, Sunseeker came on board and funded two teams and coaching to the 2018 Blind Match Racing World Championships held by Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club. This event saw teams from all around the World, compete in different conditions each day. But the two Great Britain team had another gear, the skills training from early in the year came into play.

Light winds are the trickiest for any VI but GBR showed their skills by keeping the boats moving fast and sore Sharon Grennan, Liam Cattermole and Lucy Hodges become World Champions and Sally Rodrigus and Eddie Kitchen take Silver. A BIG THANK you to all involved and especially Sunseeker for the support.

A great weekend with Maritime Skills Academy

The team became firefighters, learnt key survival skills, first aid this was not just in the classroom but in the centre's pool and outdoor fire-fighting area learning the skills first hand.

Winter Training

We were welcomed by Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club with the support of Hollingworth Activity Centre near Manchester. This is where we started our skills journey breaking it all down. The club and local B&B provided a great venue to learn and be social without moving more than a couple of steps, most of all we could do short on the water seasons be back in the warm to review and back out on the water all in a couple of minutes. A great way to train in the winter, thank you to all volunteers.

Working with Ian Williams

During the year the Charity got the support of World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams. Including the two final teams that got selected to spend time on the water and also ask questions ashore, we were truly thankfull.

Looking ahead to 2019

GBR Blind Sailing Training
Jan 19/20 or 26/27 TBC
Feb 23/24 TBC

HOMERUS Match Racing World Championships - Salerno, Italy
29 May - 2 Jun

RYA Sailability Multi Class - Weymouth, UK
5-7 Jul

Blind Fleet Racing World Championships - Kingston, Canada
1-8 Sep

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