Adults and children with disabilities had the opportunity to experience the world-renowned Cowes Week regatta from the water, along with their families and carers.
For the fourth year running, Cowes Sailability Club made it possible for island residents with disabilities to overcome their personal challenges and enjoy the excitement of Cowes Week on a boat. Over a five day period, 200 adults and children took part in the trips, of whom 99 had a range of disabilities and 34 were wheelchair users.
“Often, people with disabilities are unable to really appreciate large events like Cowes Week because of the crowds and the lack of accessible facilities,” says Cowes Sailability Club Commodore, Patrick de Peyer. “Cowes Sailability Club changes this by making it possible for disabled people and their families, or carers, to experience the thrill of a world-class sailing regatta from the water.”
The trips, which were offered entirely free of charge, enabled people with disabilities to speed across the waves, feel the spray of seawater on their faces, have a go at steering and get up close to the sailing action in the Solent. Many families with disabled children or grandparents were able to have a special day out together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
The hour-long trips took place on Wetwheels Solent, a nine-metre catamaran that can accommodate up to three wheelchair users at any one time. The vessel was made available to Cowes Sailability Club for Cowes Week by the Wetwheels Solent team, through the generous support of the quadriplegic yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE DL.
- Do you know someone with disabilities who would like to try sailing or boating?
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