This 28 sailors head to Cowes with 12 visually impaired and 12 sighted sailors making up 6 teams, all competing for the title of Blind National Champion 2018.
But!!! The weather was not on their side. With force 6 bring wind of 30 to 47 knots the teams where held ashore.
Looking back you can think that this report will be of sailors sitting around but no so much happened.
Friday the teams worked on communication and rules with coach David Bedford and their individual sighted Tacticians. Some might think this happens naturally, but it is key when half the boat can not see at all or only see a small distance. The teams worked on key words that they all could use that created a true picture, just close your eyes and imagine how you would describe what you are looking at but in a moving boat. They then took this into their teams with an outside windward leeward course set on shore. All holding one piece of rope they raced round the course together against the clock ensuring all new the change in direction a great fun way of learning.
They then went back inside for rules, but for all those sailors what red books and watch PowerPoint again when you can not see the hole picture you have to make it tackle. So with sticks and 3D boats the race course was made tackle and the learning took place with lots of rules and questions.
Friday evening we were hosted in style by The fountain hotel a great night with great food, thank you to Allan and his team.
Saturday again we all looked hopeful for sailing but again the wind blew the only change was the sun was out.
But the team got to work on checking the boats out and for those new to Sonars and for some this was only there third season was invaluable. Each boat was checked and rugged by sighted and Vi’s together great team work and also getting to grips with parts of the boat you don’t always see until they break.
Then it was out onto the water but sadly not for sailing, under the instruction of our coaches learning about waves and wind but from the safety of the rib. A great team and learning experience for all.
Saturday evening it was then Blind Sailing Awards for 2018 a great meal from CCYC and then the awards where we sat thanks to all but also remember some special members that we have sadly lost by presenting trophies in their memory, the winners were,
Ian Cormack Cup
1st Ben Hazeldine
With a special thanks to Liam Cattermole and Jonny Cormack. All showed commitment with a smile always lending a hand to others never looking past anyone.
Charley Findlay Trophie went to Will Morris a new young member but one that has put amazing effect into charity. It has been said by those closest to Charley that Will has all the catcher that Charley showed to the charity and to life.
Sunday we all remind confident an early start and out on to the water for 09.00, boats rigged but with a minor delay the weather creped in and visibility disappeared and an AP was flown but with the rain storm the winds increased to high 20 knots with no sign of this easing the racing was called off.
Blind Sailing will look to re-run the Nationals but can truly say that sometimes it’s not all about sailing it’s sharing knowledge and experience building confidence in others.
A big thanks to CCYC, UKSA, Island Sailing Club and RYA Sailability for supporting the event.