Blind Sailing is a Registered Charity, who provide sailing for blind and partially sighted people. We organise regular training sessions with coaching and help to enable novices to learn to sail. We also coach the more advanced to enable them to compete at both national and international events. The Charity use lots of different and excellent sailing schools, clubs and organisations all over the UK.
MORE ABOUT US
Who we are
Our aim is to help blind and partially sighted people sail at all levels. We organise regular training sessions and racing events. We provide coaching and help to enable novices to learn to sail. We also coach the more advanced to enable them to compete at both national and international events. We are supported by a number of excellent sailing schools & related organisations who provide their expertise, boats, venues and safety cover
Within Blind Sport there is a classification system that allows you to obtain a registered sight classification and allow you to attend events that are governed by this classification.
Blind Sailing welcome all up to B4 when training and up to National Level. But to compete up to World level we are only able to take up to B3, we work with British Blind Sport to ensure all are aware of their category.
Sight classifications are important as they ensure a fair and equal competition. Success at competitions should be defined by an athlete’s skill and ability, not their impairment. The sight classifications should give all athletes the confidence that they are competing against others equally.
For visually impaired sports in the UK, participants are graded into five sight categories, these are:
B1: This category encompasses no light perception in either eye up to light perception, but the inability to recognise shapes at any distance or in any direction.
B2 & B3: Both of these categories involve a low level of usable partial vision, those in the B3 category will be able to see more than those graded as B2. B3 is the highest category used for international & Paralympic sport.
This is where the sighted volunteers and coaches step out of the boat at the 7-minute gun. The racecourse and boats are marked by audible sounds - each buoy marking the course giving out a different sound. Each boat also makes a different sound depending on their tack. We are again successful in this area. Using your own skills and working as a team of VI's, gives a great sense of achievement. The event provides very close racing, with each team trying to get a penalty on the other.
As with fleet racing, no rules are changed, other than the course and boats being audible.
Match racing and fleet racing run alongside each other, as fleet racing gives the sailors the skills and confidence needed to step into the boat ready to race.
When fleet racing, we compete as a team of four. Two sighted crew members carrying out the role of tactician and crew and two VI's - one on the helm and one on the main sail. The racing runs from national to world level and is di- vided into the three sight categories previously mentioned. This creates an even playing field with B1’s racing B1’s etc. We have had a great string of successes in all three categories. Our sighted volunteers give vast amounts of time whilst we work to become a team, each knowing the roles of others. The sighted tactician creates a visual image of the racing and tactics re-quired. As with all sailing having the skills to feel the wind and know you are in the groove as a VI creates a successful team. The racing is very close, and no changes are made to the sighted rules of sailing.