01 Dec 2011

Lunch meeting: Michael Rawbone on 'Sailability'

We had Rtn Fali as our birthday boy but he requested not to sing, Acting President DDS Francesco presented a bottle of red wine as birthday gift.

The speaker today was Mr. Michael Rawbone; he talked about “Sailability.”.  Sailability originated in Great Britain. In the 1980’s the Royal Yachting Association formed the Seamanship Foundation, while at the same time a number of individual Sailability groups had formed the embryo of a national organization for sailors with a disability. As a result RYA Sailability was formed.  Under various names, Sailability operates in Australia, France, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Timor Leste and USA with new national Sailability organizations currently being established in all parts of the world. Now in Hong Kong being the latest

As the first sailability program to be established in Hong Kong, they intend to provide sailing instruction for those persons with a disability who wish to learn to sail. They can also provide a sailing experience for those with higher support needs.  Utilizing the new specially designed “Access Dinghies” (the Access 2.3 dinghy),  which is an official class in the Paralympics for dinghies, they hope that in the not too distant future Hong Kong can achieve national representation in this class at the event. At the present time they offer structured sailing and racing courses.

Sailing is one of the very few sports in which sailors of all abilities can participate together.  Mr. Rawbone showed us a video that how a young local girl (sadly totally paralyzed except for being able to move her head and mouth) can now sail a dinghy alone!

PP George collected HK$1,105 for raffle and fines.  Rtnne Michelle won the prize as a book donates by one of our member.  Hon. Sec. Michael won another raffle prize, a T-Shirt donated by Mr. and Mrs. Rawbone.