First quadriplegic to sail solo across Channel
Hilary Lister, who showed amazing courage to become the first quadriplegic
to sail solo, across the English Channel in August, was awarded the
‘Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration’ at the 2005 The Sunday Times
Sportswomen of the Year Awards. She hopes to circumnavigate Britain in 18 month’s time.
Having learnt to sail just two years earlier, Lister, 33, from Faversham,
who is able to move only her head, eyes and mouth, overcame severe
physical pain to navigate her boat unaided through one of the busiest and
most treacherous shipping lanes in the world. Using a sip-puff mechanism
to control her boat, sipping and puffing down two straws to adjust the
sails and to steer her boat, ‘Malin’ she crossed from Dover to Calais in
just over six hours. The remarkable feat also saw Hilary enter the record
books for completing the world’s longest solo sail by a quadriplegic.
The prestigious awards, now in their 18th year, honour outstanding
achievement at every level of women’s sport in ten different categories,
nine of which are adjudicated by a panel of Sunday Times judges, in
addition to a public vote for the overall ‘Sportswoman of the Year’.