Determined 'Sip and Puff’ sailor Natasha 'Miss isle’ Lambert arrived in Falmouth today (03 August) with a huge smile on her face after a day of champagne sailing in sunshine and good breeze.
The 17-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and controls her boat by breathing through a straw in a specially-engineered bicycle helmet, is now 8 legs into her 12 leg sailing challenge and was delighted to be sailing with more power as she completed the 22 miles from Fowey in 5 hours.
Natasha’s coach Phil Devereux said “The whole journey was upwind today so we did zigzag and ended up sailing a few extra miles. However Tash was pleased to get back on the water after having lost a day yesterday due to bad weather conditions. We started off with light breeze but it picked up to a Force 5 at times this afternoon and Tash loves the speed. We had some nice waves too!”
Tomorrow ‘Miss isle’ plans to sail from Falmouth to Newlyn. She will then have a short rest period before taking on her sternest sailing test to date-the 60 mile leg which will take her around Lands End ending in Padstow.
“Natasha’s biggest challenges are creeping closer now but after a great sail today she remains focused and determined and we’re excited for more decent breeze tomorrow” Phil concludes.
Sea and Summit is Natasha’s biggest challenge yet - a month-long project sailing her specially-designed 21ft yacht, Miss Isle Too, single-handed around the South West coast of England to Wales before she swaps her boat for her special walking aid, called a Hart Walker, to climb Pen y Fan, the highest peak in Southern Britain. In total she will sail around 430 miles and climb 2,907ft.
Through the Sea and Summit challenge Natasha is raising money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the RYA Foundation, as well as the profile of sailing for people with disabilities. She has a target of £15,000 to raise by the end of her challenge and is already two-thirds of the way there!
Sailing has been Natasha’s big love since she first went on holiday with the Calvert Trust aged nine. She then started sailing at home and spent two years sailing with the Even Keel Project and her local RYA Sailability.RYA Sailability is the national programme providing people with disabilities opportunities to learn to sail and sail regularly.
Last year she sailed across the English Channel, and in 2012, the 50-miles around the Isle of Wight. To support Natasha's challenge visit www.missisle.com
For more information on getting involved in disability sailing visit www.rya.org.uk/sailability