Paul Wilks, Commodore of Cowes Sailability Club (left)

Ahead of the anticipated relaxation in COVID-19 restrictions, Cowes Sailability Club’s new committee is now putting plans in place to resume boating activities this summer.

Cowes Sailability Club is looking forward to a summer afloat and is planning a range of boating and sailing activities for adults and children with disabilities, debilitating medical conditions and poor mental health.

A full schedule of events is currently being put together by the club’s new committee, formed following Cowes Sailability Club’s Annual General Meeting on 29 March 2021. This team of volunteers is led by Paul Wilks who takes up the role of Commodore again, a position he has held on two previous occasions. He is supported by Judy Wyatt in the role of Vice Commodore.

Trish Rooke is continuing as Fundraising Officer, having been incredibly successful in this role for many years. Nigel Fountaine is resuming the role of Training Administrator, and Chris Chadwick has taken on responsibility for managing the sailing rota and calendar as Sailing Coordinator.

Cowes Sailability Club has also welcomed four new volunteers to the committee this year. Natacha Gaskin has been voted in as Honorary Secretary, bringing lots of experience to this key role. Carol Cunningham, an experienced bookkeeper, has become the club’s new Honorary Treasurer. The role of Membership Officer will be fulfilled by Charlotte Barton-Smith.

Janet Newton, David Codd, Roger Sutton and Paul Wilks continue as the charity’s trustees.

“The last twelve months have been incredibly tough for people with disabilities as they have had to self-isolate and have had few opportunities to interact with others,” says Paul Wilks, Commodore of Cowes Sailability Club. “We want to give them the opportunity to socialise, make friends and have fun again, while having uplifting new experiences on the water.”

He adds: “After COVID-19 prevented us from doing any sailing or boating at all last year, everyone in Cowes Sailability Club is really looking forward to getting back out on the water again this summer. I am very grateful to everyone on the committee for everything they are doing to make this possible.”

If the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions goes ahead according to the Government’s current roadmap, Cowes Sailability Club aims to resume boating activities from 21st June 2021. Training sessions for volunteers will be conducted in a COVID-secure setting in May.

For information about membership and how to take part in boating trips, please contact [email protected]