Former YM editor's legacy continues

Former Yachting Monthly editor, the late Des Sleightholme, was contacted in the 1970s by someone wanting to find out where he could go sailing.

Des was puzzled as to why he needed to state the obvious, but then discovered that his caller was blind.

Des began his quest to see how this sailor could get on the water and through his efforts hundreds of visually impaired and blind sailors have been able to get involved in the sport over the past 35 years.

This year was no exception and 46 visually impaired sailors have spent a week cruising on 23 yachts.

The event was again hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth, where the event has been staged every other year since its inception.

On alternate years the event moves to the Solent where the Royal Southampton Yacht Club has hosted the event for the past decade and both clubs raise funds for a dinner at the beginning and end of the week for all the crews.

This year the 23 yachts split into four groups with one group sailing to the Scilly Isles.

Most of the yachts taking part are volunteered by their owners, but some are chartered especially for the event by trusts, sailing clubs and charities at no cost to the event.

The week is run by the ‘Sporting Opportunities for Disabled People’ charity and if you would like to become involved as an owner, crew or supporter visit