“Let’s go sailing!” has been a call of people all over this country for many years. We are only a few small islands with lots of coastline. For our population, New Zealanders have ‘punched well over our weight’ in the field of sailing. Kiwi sailors have won many Olympic Medals, lots of World Championships and of course the Americas Cup. So people with disabilities have long wanted to get in on the action.
To enable this to happen, Sailability Wellington began nearly fifteen years ago at Evans Bay Yacht Club. The single purpose of Sailability Wellington is to provide sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. We now have three bases. We sail on:
• Tuesdays & Wednesdays at Seaview Marina in Lower Hutt,
• Thursdays in Porirua Harbour
• Fridays & Sundays at Evans Bay.
In fact Sailability Wellington’s Sarah Dunckley holds the world title in the Liberty class of yacht.
The yachts we sail are Hansa Sailing Dinghies, which have a weighted centreboard and are very forgiving. There is no need to lean out to keep the boat flat! Both the skipper and crew sit in ‘hammock’ style seats facing forward. Sailing is a lot of fun and easy to learn. We pride ourselves on teaching people the skills of sailing and the rules of racing.
Sailability Wellington is run as a club, and so all our sailors join up and pay $115 for a year of sailing. We have many volunteers who enable us to run the programme and a small team that looks after administration, and raising the funds needed to buy and maintain yachts and to run the programme.
At the Wellington Boat Show, we are providing sailing in our yachts for a small donation. Come along and get out on the water in a very safe environment. We look forward to having you aboard our little yachts!