Hilary Lister provides a sailing lesson
Quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister, famed for being the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain, joined the GAC Pindar team in Cardiff for the UK leg of the Extreme Sailing Series last week and showed everyone a thing or two about sailing!
The Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff was a hub of activity from start to finish and the GAC Pindar team were kept very busy throughout their program including a morning devoted to sailing with the Llamau charity for homeless children and the exclusive opportunity to go sailing with disabled sailor extraordinaire Hilary Lister.
The British born sailor who has been a Pindar Ambassador for nearly a decade, cruised into the record books in 2005 when she sailed across the English Channel. In 2009, Lister sailed solo around Britain in her adapted Artemis 20, a high performance racing keelboat, specially designed to be sailed by both able and disabled sailors alike.
At the Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff, a select group of VIP guests and some of the GAC Pindar team including skipper Andrew Walsh and Shore Manager Olly Smith were given the opportunity to sail with Hilary around the Extreme racecourse. Using the 'sip puff' method, guests used their breath to control the boat via three straws connected to sensitive computerized pressure switches that enabled the boat to move. Despite many of them going round in circles, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and some said that the sailing experience was the highlight of the entire event.
Hilary Lister said: “It was just an incredible weekend! I've been very lucky to spend a lot of time going on some amazing boats, the Extremes being a part of that group. What was really lovely was that people got the opportunity to sail on my boat. It was great for them to understand the challenges I face when sailing and have a go themselves. When you spend 24 hours a day confined to a wheelchair, or a bed, sailing is the ultimate freedom. It's important that sailing is not dismissed as a sport or activity for quadriplegics, as it’s so liberating.”
Andrew Pindar, GAC Pindar Team Principal added: “It is some seven or eight years since I was first introduced to Hilary. Like others who meet her or enjoy an association with her and her campaigns, I am spell bound and more than a little humbled by her. The skill and technical expertise she demonstrates in controlling her boat using breathing techniques is incredible, and very difficult to master, and we are really pleased that she could teach others how it's done. It was great to see Hilary skillfully sailing her Artemis 20 out in Cardiff Bay on the racecourse that was also used by some of the world’s best able-bodied sailors, demonstrating how inclusive the sport is.”
After a such successful weekend with Hilary Lister, GAC Pindar are now currently working on her 2013 sailing schedule which will encompass a range of events including the Extreme Sailing Series.