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RYA Sailability Marina a Popular Attraction at RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2010

9th March 2010

RYA Sailability Marina a Popular Attraction at RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2010 news article

At this year’s RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, held at Alexandra Palace, London over the weekend of 6-7 March, RYA Sailability showcased a fantastic range of boats suitable for disabled sailors.

The Sailability Marina provided visitors with the opportunity to see all the different boats at close quarters and speak to representatives from the different class associations to find out all about the boats, what would be good for them and what boats would be good to progress to in the future.

On display were seven different boats including, The Access 303, the Access 2.3, the Challenger Trimaran, Artemis 20, Paralympic 2.4 metre single hander, Paralympic Skud 18 and the new Windrider 10.

The two Access dinghies (203 and 303) were moored to an Access wheelchair user Transfer pontoon along with an Access personnel hoist.

Ray Johnston Sailability Regional Organiser who was with the Windrider 10 said: “The best thing about this boat is not only for disabled sailors but able bodied sailors too and there is no need to launch from a jetty so it’s very easy to get into the water.

“The Dinghy Show has been fantastic for Sailability because it has given us the opportunity to create awareness by letting disabled people know where they can learn to sail and how easy it is to get involved. We have also been encouraging able bodied sailors to get involved with Sailability too.”

Chris from the Access Class told us: “The show went very well for us, we were surprised at the amount of people looking to set up disabled facilities in their clubs and people were very interested the Access boats we had on display which is great for beginners.”

As well as all the fantastic boats, there was the opportunity for visitors to chat with RYA Disability Racing Development Coach Matt Grier about how they could get involved in racing events and discuss what their development pathway could be, perhaps even in to the 2.4m class which is a Paralympic class and can be sailed by disabled and able-bodied sailors.

Debbie Blachford, RYA Sailability Manager and her team were also on hand providing advice to groups and centres that were interested in becoming a Sailability club and providing advice on how to develop disabled sailing activities at existing clubs.

Debbie said: “Having the marina at the show we’ve been able to show just how many different types of boats are available for disabled people to sail. It has also allowed us to provide greater awareness of just what sailing opportunities there are for disabled people and how clubs can integrate disabled sailing in to their clubs.”

For more information about RYA Sailability visit the RYA website www.rya.org.uk and click on the Sailability link at the bottom of the home page.

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