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.
There seems to always be controversy when it comes to people with disabilities and sailing safety. The “What happens if …?” and “How can they do it?” doubters abound, and our answer is always: “Prepare, Prevent and Practice, Practice, Practice!”, according to Challenged America co-founder and the charity’s volunteer president Urban Miyares, a sailor with more than five-decades of sailing experience.
Sailors at the San Diego-based Challenged America Program come from around the nation and the world; of all ages, they have both hidden and obvious medical conditions. Sailing on San Diego’s Big Bay, as well as offshore, , these sailors with disabilities, along with their loved ones, as well as professional sailing instructors, therapists and rehabilitation specialists, participate in the 36-year-old, year-round, no-cost, volunteer-driven, therapeutic adaptive sailing program.
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.