Guest Blog: Changing lives at sea

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(Last Updated On: May 5, 2021)

The Disabled Sailing Association, located in Torquay harbour are entering a team of three yachts in this years Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit in Plymouth.

Last years event was cancelled due to Covid-19 so this year is vital we make up for the fundraising missed last year.

It’s an exciting event for our members on a 26 mile course from Plymouth out to the Eddystone lighthouse. Due to our location we will be making this a five day sailing cruise departing from Torquay on 22nd July and returning on 26th July, due to the distance involved and to make the most of the beautiful Devonshire coastline we are stopping off at Salcombe in each direction making it into five legs. This makes it more accessible for our members to either sail the full five day cruise or join in on any daily leg.

We have three yachts entered:

FREEDOM

Skippered and crewed by DSA members. The DSA’s newest yacht is a brand new in 2018 ‘A’ class Beneteau ‘Oceanis’ 38.1. Noticeably bigger than both ‘Free Spirit’ and her predecessor, she offers increased cockpit space for more guests and crew than we could previously accommodate as well as being significantly more spacious below decks.

FREE SPIRIT

Skippered and crewed by DSA members. New in 2015 and was purchased by the DSA following two years of fund-raising by our members, with an added boost from ITV Big Lottery People’s Millions. She was a brand new ‘A’ class Hanse 345 capable of crossing the Atlantic.

ZIG ZAG

Roger, who has been a skipper with the DSA for some 6 years, has offered to enter his yacht, Zig Zag of Dartmouth to make a third boat representing the DSA. She is a Sadler/Bowman Starlight 39 and will be crewed by Associate Members of the DSA.

I’m taking part in this for the full five days it’s going to be a challenge because 21 years ago I suffered a life changing motorcycle accident at the age of 19. Four years ago I made a New Years resolution to do something I enjoyed as a teenager prior to my accident. I found the DSA Disabled Sailing Association and haven’t regretted it. Little did I know that this again would be life changing for me and my family.

I’ve made some fantastic memories and great friends at sea. The DSA also has its own RYA registered training school which provides affordable training for its membership, I’ve completed my yachtmaster offshore theory and my day skipper practical which has given me confidence my ambition it to achieve my RYA yachtmaster practical and inspire others to follow.

My special thanks to Barry and Martin for organising this adventure, two people which have given me opportunities I never thought possible I also consider them a close friends now having regularly sailing with them around Torbay.

By supporting my challenge your helping the DSA support a community of sailors that thought the future wasn’t yachting.

Please follow the link for sponsorship and event details.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/DSAFREEDOMFREESPIRITZIGZAG

The Disabled Sailing Association (charity number 3331110) is based in the beautiful English Riviera a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Registered as a charity in 2006 with the aim of enabling the disabled and their families affordable access to the life changing opportunities yachting brings, our Patron is Sir Chay Blyth CBE BEM. Click here for the Facebook page.

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Team account for We Are South Devon.