Determined that his life will not be limited by his wheelchair, Stephen has enjoyed opportunities to helm a 35-foot sailing yacht.

Stephen Skipper says:

My love of sailing began in the 1970s when I was in the navy, but as my health worsened and my disabilities increased, I feared I would never be able to go out in a boat again.

I am now a permanent wheelchair user, but thanks to Cowes Sailability Club, I have had a great summer taking part in sailing and boating activities.

Through Cowes Sailability I gained the opportunity to go on two sailing trips on the Spirit of Scott Bader, a 35-foot wheelchair-accessible sailing yacht. It was absolutely fantastic! On Spirit I could helm the yacht from my wheelchair. I loved the fact that I could be involved in the process of sailing and I enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of a crew. I can’t wait until next time!

In addition to sailing on Spirit, I also went on several motor boating trips organised by Cowes Sailability. I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie, so I enjoyed the experience of speeding fast across the water! I could also helm the motorboat from my wheelchair, which again, made me feel involved.

I have spent a lot of time at home recently, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. It has been a relief and a pleasure to be able to get out and have conversations with other like-minded people, who also enjoy sailing and boating. Cowes Sailability Club is full of people on the same wave-length as me and taking part really lifts my spirits. My wife always says that I’m like a kid, brimming full of excitement, before I go out with Cowes Sailability!

Stephen Skipper