Sussex Sailability had a winning weekend at the 11th RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta on 04-05 August 2018, with Chris Hodge and Declan Rock, both from Shoreham, taking the honours in the RS Venture Connect class.
More than 80 sailors across a whole spectrum of abilities took to the water at Rutland for the UK’s biggest disability sailing event of its kind to compete in eight classes of boat, many of which have been adapted to enable people with disabilities to compete on a level playing field.
In beautiful sunshine, scorching temperatures and tricky light winds, the event kicked off on Saturday with two hotly contested back to back races followed by the famous Ken Ellis pursuit race.
The event, first staged in 2007, sees sailors who have competed at international level to beginners just finding their way in racing, come together to compete in an annual celebration of what’s possible on the water.
Chris Hodge, Chairman of Sussex Sailability and skipper of the winning boat in the RS Venture Connect class said: “It was great to be back at Rutland Sailability to take part in the RYA Multiclass Regatta. Last year we had missed out on top honours, and so to get a clean sweep of victories in challenging conditions was a real thrill.”
RYA Sailability Manager Joff McGill added: “There are so many things that make this event stand out including the number of competitors coming together and the camaraderie that exists between them. Some people have been doing this for years, meeting up with old friends, but there are also so many new people this year just exploring their first steps in racing. They get a huge amount of support from both the volunteers and the more experienced sailors.
“Thank you to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly all weekend to make this event possible.”
This year, the Multiclass Regatta also had added interest as the sailors selected to represent Britain when sailing makes its Invictus Games debut in Sydney in October were using the event as part of their Games preparations.
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 network of approved Sailability sites have boats and facilities to cater for every one of all abilities. For more information visit www.rya.org.uk/go/sailability
Sussex Sailability, based at Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham, has a thriving racing team giving disabled people the chance to get active in yacht and dinghy racing from its base at Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham. Members take part in national competitions and open race meetings on the south coast such as the Chichester Harbour Race Week using the RS Ventures, which were bought with support from Sport England and the Wooden Spoon charity. The racing team integrates disabled and able-bodied team members and ensures everyone plays their part in getting the best out of the boat. Visit https://www.sussexsailability.org.uk