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GBR Blind Sailing arrive in Kingston, Canada to defend their Blind Sailing World Title

by Lucy Hodges 2 Sep 2019 12:42 BST 1-9 September 2019
The GBR Blind Sailing team arrive in Canada © Blind Sailing

The GBR Blind Sailing team have had a warm welcome to Canada and are all set to defend their Blind Sailing World Title.

Kingston Yacht Club (KYC), are the proud hosts of the 2019 Blind Fleet Racing World Championships in conjunction with World Sailing, with seven countries for around the world competing. Great Britain will be looking to defend the Squadron Cup, alongside setting their sights on individual medals. In 2017 the team came home with two Golds and two Silvers alongside being crowned overall World Champions.

2019 Great Britain Team:

Jonny Cormack
Jonny Stevenson
Chris Albert
Liam Cattermole

Ben Hazeldine
Gary Butler
Martin Phillips
Lucy Hodges

Martin Moody
Tim Mills
Dennis Manning
Vicki Sheen

Colin Midgley
Will Morris
Mark Austen
Sally Rodrigues

The team are set to start racing today, after a warm opening ceremony. The regatta will be sailed in the International Shark 24 class yachts, a boat the is new to all the GBR team and many of the other countries. But it is with great thanks to Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club and Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre for allowing all team to train in boats that are similar, this has given us a head start the to allow the two days of training on the Sharks to be very productive.

The racing area is in Kingstone Harbour just south-west of Kingston Yacht Club, with two short days of practice on in the area of racing the teams have met different conditions the trickiest the teams have faced is light winds with heavy chop, (when you are helming next or walking over bumping ground try closing your eyes and feeling the direction of the waves and ground, please make sure you have someone with you) this brings together what the teams are about trust, team work, communication so the boat keeps moving.

No matter what age the skills of sailing within a team tack time and dedication. This year alongside some experienced volunteers, GBR is sending their youngest volunteer Will Morris, Will is 16 and has been volunteering since the age of 14 for Blind Sailing. He brings so much to the team and is able to adapt to any situation and able to share his knowledge with blind sailors in a way they can understand. Without prompting, Will taught a group of sailors about the gusts that were appearing on the water, he took their hands and used his figures across their palm showing how the gusts were hitting the water and how they moved, a special moment when you can think on your feet and share your knowledge in this way.

Alongside Will, we have a breath of sighted volunteers some providing over 20 years of volunteering to Blind Sailing. But we are also owe a hug thanks to those volunteers not at the worlds who provide support to enable training, a few key safety people Steve Hall, Gary Lowe and Kate and Gavin Wood, alongside the Blind Sailing Committee.

With racing starting today we would like to thank all who have supported the charity, silent donors, G Shuckford, Director of Healthcare IT Company, Optimum Time.

And those behind Team Margot, alongside following our progress at the Worlds, please open and after reading the work Team Margot do, take a swab and become a potential donor.

Please follow us at @BlindSailingUK

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