Dick Lancaster, chairman of Blind Sailing New Zealand, provided the following round up on what’s been going on in the world of Blind Sailing.
Adapting to Change
Our more active Blind Sailors have all reported an enjoyable and busy summer of Sailing at their own local Yacht Clubs around the North Island. Blind Sailing in NZ no longer has the convenience of being centred at Auckland and we are adapting to accommodate this change.
Following the lead of the IFDS and the YNZ Committee for sailors with disabilities, BSNZ is supporting the rapid growth of Disabled Sailing around the country. There were five Blind sailors competing at the three-day Hansa Class National Champs for disabled sailors at Waitara last summer. It makes good sense to foster this relationship. The popular “Access 303” ballasted-centreboard one or two person dinghy, is very suitable for training and for the B1s with supporting sighted crew, and handles well as a monotype dinghy for the B2 and B3 sailors.
More of our sailors are now enjoying the simplicity and satisfaction of competitive solo sailing in Access 303’s. We are considering this class for our Blind Sailing Nationals which failed to happen last summer. This relationship with Disabled Sailing also offers a clearer training and participation pathway to more blind and vision-impaired persons who may wish to try sailing as a sport or recreation.
More details on individual blind sailors here: http://blindfoundation.org.nz/members/members-stories/blind-sailing-news