Challenged America: Let’s do the 2013 Transpac

Let’s do the 2013 Transpac

What began as an impossible  dream in 1991 (to do the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu), is now a reality at the San Diego-based Challenged America program of sailors with disabilities.

With a crew of six disabled sailors in 2003, aboard their (donated) Tripp 40 sailboat “B’Quest” , Team Challenged America made history in being the first disabled crew to do this legendary 2,225 nautical mile race, and repeated the adventure across the Pacific Ocean again in 2005.

Today, 2013, with more than 30 candidates from around the world vying for a crew position, but due to limited funding to accommodate a full crew and attract a larger, donated sailboat, two disabled veterans, David Hopkins and Urban Miyares, will be racing, double-handed, aboard Team Challenged America’s Tripp 40 sailboat in the Transpac.

Much in modifications and an adaptations are required of “B’Quest” to safely and comfortably accommodate this two-person crew,  advancing rehabilitation further in the design and layout for future offshore racing and sailing vessels crewed by sailors with disabilities, or those who become physically impaired while at sea.

Challenged America was created by disabled veterans in 1978 to self-direct and advance one’s own rehabilitation, and today hundreds participate each year in the (no-cost) Challenged America year-round adaptive sailing program.

Challenged America is a therapeutic program of the charitable and educational, volunteer-driven, 501c3, Disabled Businesspersons Association (DBA).  Your support will help make dreams a reality for thousands of kids, adults and veterans with disabilities, and their loved ones..  All donations, contributions and gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent the law allows.

To make a tax deductible donation, click here

Thank you Chris Carstens and Nine Towers for the video

Shelter Island Boat Yard To Sponsor Challenged America 2013 Transpac Campaign

Challenged America’s Tripp 40, “B” Quest” will be hauled out of the water on Monday, February 25th, at the Shelter Island Boat Yard, 2330  Shelter Island Drive to begin major modifications to get ready for the 2013 Trans Pacific Race from California to Hawaii, approximately 2,225 nautical miles.

Challenged America is proud to announce that Shelter Island Boat Yard is  sponsoring Challenged America for our 2013 Transpac race. Owner Bill Roberts has graciously donated his facility and crew to prepare B’Quest for the race.

Shelter Island Boat Yard will pull the mast; haul B’Quest out of the water, hydrowash and paint the bottom. SIBY is a full service boat yard, they have both an 80 & 30 ton travel lift, 25 ton crane and a full array of yacht maintenance services.

SIBY is located at 2330 Shelter Island Dr. The overhaul will take about two  weeks and a lot of the work will be done by volunteers.

Challenged America Joining the Transpac

Transpac 2013, Sail Revolution 01/30/2013

Very rarely do you get to meet a person as inspiring as Urban Miyares, the current president and co-founder of the adaptive sailing program Challenged America. The story of how, and why, he was inspired to join Challenged America back in the mid 1980s is quite astonishing, and for perspective, bears repeating as often as possible. In 1968 the then 20 year-old Army Sergeant Miyares’ platoon was engaged in a fire fight, when he slipped into a diabetic coma. Left for dead, Miyares was placed into a body bag where he spent 2 days until an alert medic detected a heartbeat. Miyares spent the next six months recovering in a military hospital, but the event left its mark. “I’m totally blind, I have diabetes, several organ transplants, and a whole number of medical issues.” Due to severe nerve damage in his lower extremities, Miyares is considered a walking paraplegic. Miyares doesn’t let any of it slow him down; he has solidly engaged life more than most able-bodied people!

Miyares sailed as a youth, and after his experience in Viet Nam, he never thought that he’d be able to actively sail again. In the late 80s he was invited aboard a Beneteau First Class 10 to race in the Oceanside Race, he remembers, “It was a windy day, we had some problems on the boat, and all of the sudden I started remembering things from years past.” He and his other crew members, who were also disabled vets, began thinking about developing an adaptive sailing program, and Challenged America was born! Through Challenged America, Miyares has reached thousands of disabled vets by getting them aboard sailboats. Challenged America has a small fleet of adaptive sailing boats at their facility in San Diego, and a testimonial from one of their clients says it all, “The phrase ‘leave your disabilities at the dock’ could not be more true! When I’m on the water, at the helm of a sailboat, and enjoying all the sights and sounds of San Diego Bay, I forget about the wheelchair sitting on the dock.”

 This year, Miyares and crew David Hopkins have entered the Transpac, and will race in the double-handed division aboard their Tripp 40 B’Quest. Miyares recalls, “We’ve taken her two times before on Transpac, 2003 and 2005, with a crew with disabilities. We’ve modified the boat quite a bit for the different disabilities; we’ve added quite a bit of weight, and this time we’re going to take the boat again.”

Read more:

2013 Transpacific Yacht Race, Pineapple Express-Sailing Anarchy

A Big thank you to Scot Tempesta and Sailing Anarchy for their continued support and the publication of the announcement

From our friend, hero and pit bull, Urban Miyares from Challenged America

Between the televisions show “Adventures in Paradise” and the Broadway hit “South Pacific” in the late 1950’s, sailing to Hawaii in the Transpacific Yacht Race has haunted me. Ever since my youth, growing up in New York City, I‘ve Just never been able to get Juanita Hall singing “Bali Hai” or the fantasy of sailing to the Hawaiian Islands out of my head,,” says Urban Miyares, co-founder of the San Diego-based Challenged America program.

The 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii will begin this July 8. Commonly known as “Transpac,” this legendary race from Los Angeles to Honolulu (2,225 nautical miles) has more than a century of folklore and tradition, and is recognized as one of the world’s great races with some of the fastest boats and very best of international sailors. Challenged America is part of this legend, with a crew of sailors (mostly) with severe disabilities racing in the 2003 and 2005 Transpac. A first in Transpac history, and they are doing it again in 2013 with a double-handed crew of disabled veterans: Urban Miyares and David Hopkins.

Urban Miyares’ story is well-known in the veteran community. Presumed dead, Army infantry Sergeant Miyares was put into a KIA (killed in action) bag during a field operation (Vietnam, 1968), when an alert combat medic, assigned to open up body bags and identify the dead soldiers inside, discovered him still breathing and saved his life. For the following forty-five years, Urban’s story is one most often read about in books and seen in movies, as he’s combated the medical issues of war (blindness, type 1 diabetes, PTSD,, hard of hearing, spinal cord injury and disease, stroke survivor, transplant recipient, nerve damage in both legs, chronic pain and other medical complications) to become a nationally-recognized entrepreneur and educator, community leader, world-class athlete and sailor. His life-long “call to Hawaii” was answered when he put together Team Challenged America and competed in both the 2003 and 2005 Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii. Urban Miyares is the founder and president of the charitable Disabled Businesspersons Association and co-founder of the charity’s Challenged America program – a therapeutic sailing program first launched in 1978 by two disabled veterans in wheelchairs who, inviting Urban to sail with them, when they coined the name “Challenged America.”

David Hopkins, a Navy veteran (with a military-associated hearing impairment) and San Diego resident grew up in Florida, where he was introduced to small boat sailing and racing as a youth. An active sailboat racer, David has skippered and crewed on many vessels of all sizes, as well as being owner of a number of racing vessels up to 70 feet in length. Hopkins has had a goal of one day doing the Transpac to Hawaii. “It’s just one of those major races in the world every serious and passionate racing-sailor just has to do, David proclaims.

According to Urban, “We have quite a large pool of Challenged America sailors from around North America who want to do the Transpac, as well as some who are most interested in double-handed and solo offshore sailing and racing. With all the new technology, gear and equipment now available, modifying our Tripp 40 to be more sailing accessible by a limited crew and testing this in a race like Transpac, will definitely raise the bar and give us the opportunity to advance rehabilitation and the sport of sailing further. Everyone is challenged by the sea. And we (Challenged America) strive to see who can best meet this challenge.

B’Quest will be entering the boat yard, at this writing, and after an evaluations of her hull, much in modifications are to be done, to include adding a bowsprit, new sail plan (to include roller reefing, much like the around-the-world racers of today), realign all running rigging, and modifications below-deck to better meet the new electronics, medical, fool and water storage needs of sailors who have or become disabled while at sea. Sponsors are now being soughtt to assist with these many changes, adaptations, and modifications to the Challenged America boat.

Support Team Challenged America 2013 Transpac campaign and the volunteer-driven Challenged America program, which is a recognized leader in therapeutic sailing. Donations of vessels may qualify for up to 100% of the current appraised value as a tax-deduction, and all gifts and contributions are fully tax-deductibles. Challenged America is one of five all-volunteer programs of the 501c3 Disabled Businesspersons Association.

For additional information on Challenged America and how you can support the program and its 2013 Transpac campaign, contact Urban Miyares or David Hopkins at Challenged America, 955 Harbor Island Drive, Suite 130, San Diego, CA 92101, Office , , or our website.

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