Bolton Sailing Club in Lancashire was the venue for the 2nd Northern Sailability Regatta. This event is designed for young people with learning difficulties, from the North West and the North East. It allows them to sail competitively against each other in ‘Access boats’.

Six schools were represented from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire. Yorkshire was hoping to retain the trophy they had won at last year’s event at Otley.

The day was well attended by local RYA Coaches who gave ‘on water’ adviCe and encouragement to the sailors – some who were sailing for the first time.

Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Lancashire County Council who has responsibility for schools and children spent the day ‘on and off’ the water and presented the sailors with their trophies at the end of the day.

Her comments were very positive:
“Absolutely fabulous day, helped by the wonderful weather. I am in awe of the children who are participating, for some of them it is their first time on the water. Their bravery and mastery of the dinghies is incredible. I would urge many more Lancashire schools to participate allowing their students to gain so much independence, self confidence and sense of achievement whilst learning an age appropriate sport. I hope I will be invited again next year”

7 boats sailed 2 races on a simple course with a constant Force 4 wind.

Race 1  winners Ainsley and Kim from Cheshire, Race 2 winners Alex and Joe from Lancashire. Overall winners were Alex and Joe (Astley Park School) so Yorkshire lost the Trophy to Lancashire on the day.

Warren Price, Sailability Coordinator for The North West Region who organised the event said:
“It’s been a great day’s racing- all the children have been a credit to themselves and their schools. I am delighted Lancashire has won the trophy.”

A fantastic day for all- even the helpers were rewarded with a Tee Shirt. Next years event will be held over the border in Yorkshire and lets hope we have more entries from all the regions.

Competing schools;
Yorkshire
John Jamieson School
John Smeaton School
Cheshire
Green Lane School
Lancashire
Sir Tom Finney School
Astley Park School
Pendle Community High School

Other comments
Ian Irvine – Volunteer “the smiles on the  youngsters faces said it all!!”

Dave Williamson Chair , R.Y.A.  N.W. Executive “An excellent day, the young people were superb, keen and very enthusiastic”.

Advert we are trying to raise money to purchase more of these superb little sailing boats “Access Dinghy”. In order that more people can experience and enjoy thrill of sailing in the North of England. If you would like to help or donate ,please contact either:

Warren Price ( NW) – warren@sail.org.uk
Or
Peter Fox  (Yorkshire) – pfox119@btinternet.com