ACF Sailing 'Big Week' of activity – Update 24-30th May 2019


Dear Sailors and Supporters,

We’ve had a fantastic week and can’t believe how busy it has been!

Friday started with attending Elizabeth Harwood Art’s ‘A Party of Art’ which marks the beginning of a fantastic new partnership. The evening was such a huge success with lots of ACF and CCYC members in attendance. It’s lovely to see how her art is inspired by her experiences, travels and views in life. Liz has kindly agreed to donate 10% of the evening’s profits to the Andrew Cassell Foundation and has committed to run another event for us before the end of 2019 to raise even more money!

Saturday and Sunday was back to business as usual with racing on both days. Again a huge success, with 2 Sonar’s out, 4 people up, and mixed able and disabled competing alongside each other in the Second Cowes Keelboat Championship hosted by Royal Thames Yacht Club.

It was a big milestone for us at ACF as our sailors, under the watchful guidance of our bosun Steve Palmer, are taking on more and more responsibility – including looking after the boats, working as a team and also are all now full members of the CCYC. ACF has also had inclusivity as a core aim and this is very much represented in our cohort of regular sailors – with 5 of 8 disabled and 3 of 8 female this weekend. In addition, as confidence and experience grows, we are now also seeing many of the individuals becoming the mentors for newer sailors and volunteers.

Feedback from Sailor and Volunteer David Smith (Dolphin skipper) on the racing – The first day was over by the Brambles Bank, second in the shelter of Osborne bay. Saturday’s wind was stronger than forecast and the resulting sea state meant we all got a little wet.

The racing was very competitive with only a boat length between us. Dolphin went for their spinnaker with Spare Part deciding to hold off after a practice start. But in spite of the downwind leg, it turned out that there was little advantage to be gained from putting up the Spinnaker.

Lessons were learned about sailing by the lee downwind and luffing the boat (pinching into the wind) upwind on the beats in gusts with big dumps of the sail and learning to play them better.

Second day they agreed to not use kites between them to keep the racing tight. Which still at the finish there were seconds between the boats.

ACF’s relationship with our host club CCYC is invaluable and Monday gave us the opportunity to return the favour by supporting the CCYC open day. The idea for the Open Day was conceived last year when we all highlighted the need for more volunteers both ashore and on the water. We all know that everyone leads very busy lives and we could see that the regular sailors were too busy doing their own sailing. So we needed to come up with an plan to encourage new individuals involved. Although many people are aware of the ACF, all to often people aren’t really aware of what we do on a practical basis. The Open Day provided us with an opportunity to knowing really promote awareness of the equality as well as our fully integrated approach, enabling new able sailors to train alongside the disabled and impaired sailors.

And Wow the club took it by storm, they came together and put on an absolutely fantastic day for the entire family! With live music, bbq, kids games and face painting, opportunities to go in a RIB and a powerboat or try sailing.

We supported the day by putting on a team of our sailors who volunteered for the day to help out by taking people sailing in our boats. We put 2 boats in the water, but just used one and went 5 up to keep it over manned and fun.

This was a huge success for us with 6 new potential sailors joining us and signing up to our app, we are a little over excited! And currently have 81 members on our app/website but over 6899 screen views in just the month of May just showing how active things are.

Then a slightly more relaxing end with Steve and team out in Spare Part for the regular Island Sailing Club Tuesday evening racing last night. Which also sore another new sailor who just turned up head out with them due to a space which was available.

Wednesday gave us a day to try and catch up with admin but short lived as we prep for 2 boats heading out for tonight evening racing with East Cowes Sailing Club.

ACF is entirely dependent on the dedication and good will of all our supporters and volunteers. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who turned out to volunteer in any capacity and we really couldn’t do it without each and every one of you.

Don’t forget if you’d like to get involved then do contact us via or check out our website/app or search for the Andrew Cassell Foundation on facebook.

Yours sincerely,

The ACF Sailing Team

Photo credits to;-
Mark Cockrill (SeaTography) & Elizabeth Harwood Art – ‘A Part of Art’
Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Matt Grier – ‘CCYC Open Day’

Thanks – to everyone involved form Sailors, volunteers, sponsors, supporters and membership of the CCYC.


Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club

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