Cowes Sailability Club provided free, accessible boating trips for disabled islanders and their families or carers during the Cowes Week regatta.

For the sixth consecutive year, Cowes Sailability Club provided accessible boating trips for island residents with disabilities, and their families or carers, during Cowes Week.  Over a five-day period, 192 adults and children enjoyed excursions on the water, of whom 91 had disabilities and 23 were wheelchair users.

Julie Bell took part in one of Cowes Sailability Club’s Cowes Week excursions with her 24-year old son, who is non-verbal, epileptic and wheelchair-bound. “Not only did my son David not stop smiling for the whole boating trip, he has not stopped smiling since!” she says. Read more about her memories of the day here.

“Cowes Sailability Club’s mission is to put smiles on faces – and we certainly achieved that during Cowes Week,” says Commodore Patrick de Peyer.  “Over five days, were able to take 91 disabled people out onto the water, along with their families or carers, giving them the opportunity to experience a major sailing regatta from the sea, no matter what their disability.  It was wonderful to see nearly two hundred smiling faces and know how much the trips meant to everyone.”

The trips were provided entirely free of charge thanks to the commitment of a team of volunteers and funding from organisations including Cowes Rotary, the Little Britain Challenge and the High Sherriff Trust.  They took place on a nine-metre catamaran called Wetwheels Solent that can accommodate up to three wheelchair users at any one time. The vessel was made available to Cowes Sailability Club for Cowes Week by the Wetwheels Solent CIC.

Could you help fund boating trips during Cowes Week next year?  Find out how to make a donation here.