BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENT DO MORE THAN TAKE A RIDE AT CHALLENGED AMERICA
Imagine eight, nine and ten year old, blind and visually impaired elementary school students steering and trimming a sailboat all by themselves as the navigate they busy and tricky waters of San Diego’s Big Bay.
“We’re not a go-for-a-ride sailing program,” says Dave Meyer, volunteer coordinator of the therapeutic Challenged America program. “These kids’ first-time experience sailing will be an instant reality happening as they learn to steer and trim the sails, even though they can’t see, with their sailing instructor sitting behind them in the two-person, Martin 16 sailboat.”
Following the great sailing, all the participants, volunteers and many other friends of Challenged America gathered at the Sunroad Resort Marina pavilion for a pot-luck feast to celebrate the holidays and coming New Year.
All eight of Challenged America’s Martin 16 s were out sailing on San Diego Bay Saturday, enjoying the beautiful weather. Several competed in the last races of the 2013 Loch and Clare Crane Regatta Series and some just day-sailed. Sue Taetzsch and companion sailor Marshall finished third; Eric Berkey and John were second and future Paralympian Ryan Porteous and Kristy led the fleet with 3 bullets for first place.
On Saturday, 11/16/13, a group of deaf teenagers came from all over Southern California to sail Martin 16s with Challenged America on San Diego Bay. Special thanks to Sue and Lori for setting up this special group sail; to Cameron, Lori and Phil for interpreting; and to Phil for the photos.