Wheelchair proves no obstacle to speed

Cowes Sailability Club member Andy Barton will soon be whooshing through the Solent after overcoming his physical challenges to gain a recognised powerboat qualification.


With the support and encouragement of Cowes Sailability Club, Andy Barton has succeeded in gaining the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Powerboat Level II Certificate of Competence, despite being confined to a wheelchair.  Ten years ago, he was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, but now he has categorically proven that his disability is no obstacle to having fun on the water.


“This achievement, gaining the RYA powerboat level II qualification with Cowes Sailability Club, is the most beneficial thing that I have done since I moved to the Isle of Wight,” says Andy.  “I feel that I can now contribute towards a meaningful activity on this fabulous island.”


Cowes Sailability Club is very grateful to Tim Griffin of Griffin Marine Services, who provided invaluable instruction for Andy and helped him prepare for the RYA qualification.  Andy will now help to helm the motor catamaran Dougal II, alongside club volunteers, and play a key role in inspiring other people with disabilities to discover a love of boating.