Lynne Swan and Stu Swan from Weston Sailing Club in Southampton were celebrating their win this week as they emerged as class winners in the Skud 18 class while Natalia and Alan Hillman, from Eastleigh were also celebrating their win in the Hansa 303 class.  

Natalia said “It was an amazing regatta and I was so happy to win amongst so many inspirational sailors,” adding “The wind on Saturday was incredible, giving perfect conditions, and the racing was really exciting.”  

With more than 120 sailors, competing in over 70 boats, the UK’s biggest disability sailing event of its kind took place during the weekend 05–07 July at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.        

The RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta has evolved over the years and is now a real festival 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.   Ten classes of boat competed, many of which have been adapted to enable people with disabilities to compete on a level playing field.  

RYA Sailability Manager, Joff McGill concluded: “This year’s regatta is 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.”  

Sailability expressed their appreciation to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly all weekend to make the event possible, including hosts Weymouth and Portland National sailing Academy.

Thanks also went 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 the Sailability webpage.   Watch the video.