Cowes Keelboat Championship 1 – RYS- ACF Sailing Update
When your knackered from a great weekend sailing and in sunshine with friends, success is shown from a phone call the next day with finding out we were technically the biggest fleet racing on Sunday out of all the classes with 3 Sonar’s, we know not much but it’s a nice way to start the season.
We most likely won’t be again but still it shows how hard work with organizing winter sailing has encouraged people to play, also helped with getting dates in peoples diaries and chasing.
This weekend we started our first of the Cowes Keelboat Championships which are committee boat start line, racing weekends with 6 in total over the summer. Our aim here is to create opportunities for disabled and impaired individuals to take part in sail racing alongside and against able bodied individuals.
Our challenge set by ourselves but inspired by a need to enable plus support independence, inclusion and equality within the sport of sailing. These weekends include rigging, craning boats in, racing, and then repeat, all alongside other individuals, team members and competitors who have the same drive and passion to have fun with sail racing and enjoy some good banter in the club after racing.
I regularly get asked why we crane in and out every evening, ignoring the fact we have too, due to the set up at the club, we also want too. It’s a well known fact that individuals don’t look after things that don’t belong to them as well as they do their own. Our approach, which includes being fully part of the team means that all sailors with us have to get involved and help. Meaning the kit gets looked after, people get educated in the process and less goes wrong enabling more time on the water.
So on this weekend we had 2 Sonar’s out on Saturday, Spare Part was 4 up with 3 disabled and 1 Able/impaired and Dolphin with 2 disabled and 1 Able. It was not busy on the water which made it great to come and play for our first time. Followed by Sunday where we had a few more individuals join us and managed to fill 3 boats 3 up in each boat taking Andy’s Sonar Jenny out with us also making us the biggest fleet for the day.
Many other classes disappeared off for BBQ’s when the wind was failing to fill in the morning but missed out on some fantastic wind and racing. We made the best of it though, started with an ice cream and chilled once all of our kit was ready to go. Then the Royal Yacht Squadron called us out to race and thus we jumped. It reminded us of how long it takes to get ready, it’s getting quicker but is always going to be tuff when you have disabled sailors who all have mixed abilities to get changed, rigged and going. But it’s all part of the fun.
So the scene is set, challenge is on and moving forwards. Now we just need to keep it up and get the fundraising going to enable this opportunity to survive.
Huge thank you to all who made this weekend happen with a special thanks to the Cowes Clubs and Classes Association (CCCA) for their support and the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) for hosting some great racing.
Also – we now have Spare Part regularly going out on a Tuesday evening for the Island Sailing Club Evening series and 2 plus boats heading out on Thursday evening with East Cowes Sailing Club Evening racing – Keep an eye on our Face book page for updates on those.
If you’ve like to get involved, whether it be a sailor, volunteer, shore or water based them do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
for more info or check out or website www.acfsailing.org
and sign up to it to find out more.
The ACF Sailing Team
Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club