Sailors battle 30kt winds at Surrey regatta

Sailors at the Access Dinghy National Disabled Sailing Championships battled it out in 30kt winds this weekend. A blind crew, a paraplegic sailor, stroke victims and cerebral palsy sufferers were among the 46 less-able sailors competing at Frensham Pond Sailing Club, Surrey.

Club Commodore Nick Royce was impressed by the number of sailors out on the race course: ‘I have raced for many years but I really admired the competitors at the Nationals venturing out in conditions I would have thought twice about tackling myself.’

One of the competitors said: ‘Sailing offers a real challenge to people who have sometimes been to hell and back, but above all it’s fun.’

The single-handed class was won by Ann Lewis from Wolverstone. The Access 303 category was won by Chris Atkin and Johnty Dickinson, and the Buddy Assist class by Renaldo Fernandez and Pauline Fox/Abi Baker from Tideway.

RYA National Paralympics Coach, George Barker, gave all the participants a presentation on racing and tactics after the event, which was sponsored by the Rotarians and local businesses. To find out more about RYA Sailability visit