Annette Scivier says:
Cowes Sailability Club has made a huge difference to the quality of life of my husband Paul. He has Huntington’s disease, a long-term degenerative neurological condition affecting his physical and mental independence, but Cowes Sailability Club has given him the opportunity to reconnect with a sport that he has been passionate about for most of his life.
Paul and I actually met at a Tall Ships Race event in Portugal nearly 35 years ago. He was sailing with the Royal Navy and I was with the Ocean Youth Trust. We married five years later after sailing holidays in Scotland, the South West and Brittany. For many years, we owned a yacht and smaller wooden boats, and Paul derived immense pleasure from sailing them, as well as refurbishing and varnishing them. Sadly, though, when Paul’s condition was diagnosed, sailing was one of the first pursuits that had to go.
You can imagine our delight when we discovered that Paul could sail again with the support and facilities offered by Cowes Sailability Club. It is wonderful seeing him look forward to an activity he has been unable to take part in for several years. Last summer, he was encouraged to helm a small sailing boat again and this experience gave not just him, but also our two teenage daughters a huge lift in spirits. Our daughters have thoroughly enjoyed being able to experience sailing alongside their dad and are now learning to sail themselves. Cowes Sailability Club gives them great memories of special days with their dad that they can treasure.
We have met many other people through Cowes Sailability Club who have been similarly encouraged to try sailing, despite challenging medical conditions. Those who have lost mobility, independence, speech, dignity and many pleasures in life have gained a new hobby, new friends and a new purpose in life.