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.
Challenged America is joining forces with a new disabled veterans organization in Australia to assemble crew candidates consisting of experienced offshore racing sailors who are also (severely) disabled veterans to race a 50+ foot offshore racer (with a crew of 15) in the 2014 Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race
Interested? Do you qualify?
Commitment to train in Australia required; fundraising now going on.
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (sometimes referred to as the Bluewater Classic in the Australian media) is an annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km). The race is run in co-operation with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.
August 17, five frequent Challenged America sailors were joined by two guests from Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS) in San Francisco for this month’s Martin 16 mini-regatta and PLYC Big Bay Charity Race. Special thanks to Point Loma Yacht Club for adding an additional start for the Martins to their Big Bay Charity Race on San Diego Bay and for the after-race party.
Tammy Airhart and companion sailor Brook Wilson led the fleet over the finish line after 3.25 nm. Amelia Opean and Marshall Lubin took second