Cowes Sailability Club made it possible for islanders with poor mobility and other disabilities to enjoy a gentle cruise along the River Medina during Riverfest 2016.


For the third year running, Cowes Sailability Club participated in the Isle of Wight Riverfest event to demonstrate that boating really is accessible to everyone.  The club ran six river cruises during the day on its wheelchair-accessible motor catamaran, Dougal, enabling people with poor mobility and other disabilities, as well as their carers and families, to enjoy an exciting excursion on the water.

“Over 50 people enjoyed trips on Dougal during Riverfest this year, including adults in wheelchairs, elderly people with dementia and children with a range of learning difficulties,” says Paul Wilks, vice commodore of Cowes Sailability Club.  “It is great to be able to help all islanders to experience the fun and excitement of boating and sailing, whatever their disabilities.”

Riverfest took place this year on 21st May, on the quayside in Newport, and attracted plenty of visitors despite occasional rain showers and overcast skies.  This annual community-led event is organised by the Footprint Trust and aims to raise awareness of the environmental and leisure benefits of the water environment.