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.
The sea is a demanding environment, so people always ask, “How are you able to sail if you can’t see?”
The answer: I have an acute “spacial” awareness and directional ability, and I use the wind’s varying pressure and patterns of waves to determine the direction I’m headed.
The truth of the matter is at night on the sea, everyone is blind. When the darkness takes over, it can be the most frightening or peaceful of times. A time when you can be at one with the ocean and your vessel, whether a totally blind sailor like me or blessed with 20/20 vision.
When I became completely blind in 1984, I first thought sailing would no longer be possible. Then I was introduced to a program called “Challenged America,” which is designed to teach people with disabilities of all kinds how to sail. I realized it was something I had to be a part of, and I welcomed one of my truest passions back into my life.
Having logged thousands of coastal and offshore sailing miles in my youth, I’ve been able to add to my experience by sailing and racing on the West Coast with “Challenged America.” This includes being the captain on two trans-Pacific races from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Ultimately, my blindness isn’t my biggest challenge when I take to the open sea — it’s my type 1 diabetes. Many people don’t realize the daily, if not hourly requirements that people with diabetes face. But it’s a disease that when properly managed can be nothing more than something you live with, rather than something that determines how you live.
SWYC Sail Fleet Presents… Racing to Hawaii Without Sight, Transpac 2013
Everyone is guessing and speculating about the Challenged America double-handed entry of Urban Miyares and David Hopkins in this year’s legendary, 2,225 nautical mile Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Now you can get the answers, first-hand, from Urban Miyares, co-founder of San Diego’s Challenged America Program.
The Wooden Boat Festival at Koehler Kraft Boatyard on Shelter Island this Saturday and Sunday is an important annual fundraiser for Challenged America. Several people have responded to the newsletter, but additional volunteers are needed help staff the front gate, T-shirt booth and Challenged America information booth. Please email the office (Ahoy@ChallengedAmerica.org) if you are available to help on any of the following shifts.
Also, we have all eight Martin 16’s scheduled to sail this Friday, 6/14 12 noon – 3pm and need a couple more companion sailors. Please reply if you are a qualified companion sailor and available Friday. Should be a great day on the bay.
Challenged America will be in the Transpacific Yacht Race this July 8th, 2013. Urban Miyares, Co-Founder and David Hopkins, Director of Vessel & Gift Donations for the charitable Challenged America program will be double handed racing on a Tripp 40 sailboat called B’Quest. What makes their entry special is that Urban Miyares is blind, has Type 1 diabetes (and a host of other medical issues), and David Hopkins has a hearing impairment. Both of them are disabled veterans … and well seasoned sailboat racers and they intend to win this race.
Why Are They Doing This Race to Hawaii?
Urban and David are dedicated volunteers helping those with physical and hidden impairment through therapeutic sailing and racing programs. They have literally changed the lives of so many. Now they are on a quest to bring attention to Challenged America and the needs of the many fellow disabled veterans, as well as to others with disabilities and their loved ones.
A Life of Sailing After Death
Urban Miyares’ story is well-known in the veteran community. Army infantry platoon Sgt. Miyares was presumed dead during an operation in Viet Nam in 1968 and was placed in a (KIA) body bag when, after two days, a combat medic, assigned to toe-tag the dead soldiers, found him still breathing. From that extraordinary incident and for the next 45 years, Miyares’ has gone on to grow several businesses, become a world class Alpine skier, and has developed his sailing skills to be a competitive offshore racer.
Transpac: The Famous Race Across the Pacific
The Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) is now into its second century. This legendary race began in 1906 by the request of King David Kalakaua of the Hawaiian Islands. He felt that this race would strengthen the islands’ economic and cultural ties with the mainland. Clarence MacFarlane, a racing sailor from Honolulu, initiated the race with other sailors off the coast of San Pedro. The original starting point was to be San Francisco, but due to the earthquake and fire of 1906, just 27 days prior to the intended starting date, the starting point was changed to Point Fermin in San Pedro, California. The finish line is off the Diamond Head Lighthouse in Honolulu, Hawaii totaling 2,225 nautical miles.
The challenging race course takes competitors through a myriad of unforeseen conditions: from the cold, wet Northeastern Pacific, through doldrums, enormous seas, abundant squalls and scorching heat, to the blustery trade winds of the Molokai Channel near the finish. With their start date of July 8th, Urban & David anticipate an arrival in Honolulu of July 19 – 20, with a podium appearance, with you (hopefully) being at the dock in Hawaii for the traditional Aloha Welcome and following ceremonies. With much media coverage assured, you will also be able to follow this race on both the Challenged America website (www.ChallengedAmerica.org) and on the Transpacific Yacht Club’s race website (www.TranspacRace.com).
Come With Us To Hawaii.
You can be a part of the (Sponsorship) crew with David Hopkins and Urban Miyares as they make this most-challenging and demanding crossing to Hawaii. Your support will help expand the scope of this 36 year old therapeutic Challenged America adaptive sailing program to reach the lives of thousands of kids, adults, and veterans (wounded warriors) with disabilities.
Click on the link bellow for the information on Sponsoring the Challenged America Program and Urban and David in the 2013 Transpac Race to Hawaii.
2013 Transpac Team Challenged America Campaign Committee
Tom Jarvis, Cpt. Ken Guyer, John Dodge, Dave Myer, Chris Carstens, Philippe Gadeyne
P.S. Challenged America is a therapeutic and rehabilitative program of the charitable and educational (501c3) Disabled Businesspersons Association, a volunteer-driven organization enhancing the lives of thousands with disabilities each year. All support, sponsorship, gifts and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by the law. Tax-Exempt #)33-0484461, Disabled Businesspersons Association.
P.S.S. You can make your donation by sending a check to “Challenged America<” or by PayPal at www.ChallengedAmerica.org, or talk to someone about Sponsoring Team Challenged America in the 2013 Transpac by either emailing your contact information to Ahoy@ChallengedAmerica.org or call (619) 523-9318.
Thank you Chris Carlsten from Nine Towers Audio/Video to volunteer, shoot and produce this video showcasing Challenged America
Challenged America Sails for 36 Years. View this exciting video of the Challenged America Story, from how and when it began, to where it is today. This video introduces you to the founders, disabled veterans, and how they were motivated to expand and advance their own rehabilitation to others with disabilities, kids, adults, veterans and recent Wounded Warriors. See how the entire family can be actively involved with a loved one’s rehabilitation at Challenged America. From sailing year-round in small, 16-foot, two-person sailboats in San Diego bay, to sailing offshore in ocean-racing yachts. Discover how contributions by the general public, donation of vessels, and the volunteering effort by hundreds have made Challenged America North America’s premiere adaptive sailing therapeutic program since 1978 … and how you can help, regardless of where you live, to support the work the charitable Challenged America program does, and join us in the next big adventure of sailors with disabilities racing in the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii. Call us today at (619) 523-9318, email Ahoy@ChallengedAmerica.org,