101 smiles light up Cowes Week

While the world’s top sailors competed for glory in Cowes Week, 101 people with disabilities had the opportunity to experience the thrill of the regatta from the water.



During Cowes Week 2015, Cowes Sailability Club organised free boating excursions for disabled people, their carers and families, and ran 20 trips over 5 consecutive days.  The event enabled 101 adults and children with a range of complex needs, plus 92 able-bodied companions, to have a lot of fun and gain a close-up view of all the sailing action.


The excursions were made possible thanks to the generosity of key sponsors and supporters including Suzuki Marine (UK), The Rotary Club of Cowes, East Cowes Marina and local charitable trusts.  All the trips took place on a specially designed motor catamaran, owned by the record-breaking disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE DL.  Called WetWheels, the vessel can accommodate wheelchair users and has a ramp-accessible helm, allowing all passengers to experience the excitement of steering a course through the waves.


“Seeing 101 smiles on faces is wonderful, but the benefits go so much further,” says Patrick de Peyer, Commodore of Cowes Sailability Club.  “Boating and sailing help people with disabilities to relax, build confidence and overcome their challenges.  We are delighted to have been able to offer this incredible opportunity for so many people during Cowes Week.”