Roger Sutton

Over 1,100 accessible sailing and boating opportunities were provided by Cowes Sailability Club in 2023.

2023 has been the most successful year ever for Cowes Sailability Club, which has been operating on the Isle of Wight for more than 20 years.  During the 2023 sailing season, it offered a record 1,112 places on accessible motor and sailing boats for disabled people, their carers and families. 

This achievement was made possible in part by the acquisition, earlier this year, of a new Drascombe longboat, which increased the number of places available for weekly sailing by 50%. 

In addition, Cowes Sailability Club was successful in securing additional funding this year from grant providers including WightAID, the Eight Foundation and the Bruce Wake Charitable Trust which enabled the club to charter the wheelchair accessible motorboat Wetwheels Hamble for additional trips throughout the spring, summer and early autumn. 

“I’ve been volunteering with Cowes Sailability Club for many years, and this was undoubtedly our busiest year yet,” remarks Cowes Sailability Club Trustee Paul Wilks.  “There are so many people with disabilities on the island, and being able to provide more opportunities for them to enjoy a water-based activity has been incredibly rewarding.”

Planning and fundraising has already begun for 2024, and Cowes Sailability Club aspires to offer just as many accessible sailing and boating trips next year—if not more.  

“We would not have been able to achieve this success without the support of our many volunteers and local organisations including, in particular, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and East Cowes Marina,” says Roger Sutton, Commodore of Cowes Sailability Club.  “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us to provide so many wonderful experiences for people with disabilities this year.”