Victory For Sussex Sailors At National RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta
Seven sailors from Sussex Sailability had a successful weekend at the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta, the UK’s biggest disability sailing event of its kind, on 5–7th July at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The seven competed in five different boats in the Weta and RS Venture classes, with Chris Hodge from Shoreham and Tony McCoy from Brighton taking victory in the Weta class. This was Sussex Sailability’s biggest participation in the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta yet.
The regatta has evolved over the years and is now a real festival for and a celebration of the impact sailing can have. The event provides a whole host of opportunities for participants of varying abilities to get out on the water. This year saw more than 120 sailors compete in over 70 boats. There were ten classes of boat, many of which have been adapted to enable people with disabilities to compete on a level playing field.
The event, first staged in 2007, sees sailors who have competed at international level to beginners just finding their way in racing, come together to compete in an annual celebration of what’s possible on the water.
Chris said of the event: “Everyone had a really enjoyable weekend of racing: pushing their sailing skills, meeting disabled sailors from other Sailability groups and gaining experience of taking part in a national level regatta in the amazing Olympic and Paralympic sailing venue at Weymouth and Portland.”
Tony added: “It was a great weekend at a superb venue. Everything was well organised and managed and it was brilliant to meet other Sailability groups and network. Winning just made it perfect.”
RYA Sailability Manager, Joff McGill said: “This year’s regatta was our biggest and best so far. Along with the exciting fleet racing and the annual Ken Ellis Pursuit Race, the event allows those who have never even been on the water before to give it a go and experience the freedom that being on the water brings.”
Thanks go to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly all weekend to make the event possible, including hosts Weymouth and Portland National sailing Academy. Thanks also go to support teams including: Chesil Sailability, the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre, the OTC, and the Miss Isle Sailing School.
Sailability is the national programme run by sailing’s governing body, the RYA, giving people with disabilities the chance to try sailing and to take part regularly. The British network of more than 200 RYA-approved Sailability sites have boats and facilities to cater for people across the whole spectrum of abilities.
To find out more about sailing opportunities for disabled people, or those that need specific support to get on-the-water visit www.rya.org.uk/sailability
Watch the video https://youtu.be/8R6CTjBcbeo
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