Tag Archives: Sailing

Sailing Update from VISA-GB!

Sailing Update from VISA-GB!

Good morning shipmates, hope all is well as we march into April!

Here’s a message from young Sue, our overworked membership sec, who’s been manipulating spreadsheets and doing her very best to squeeze every last bunk to make sure we get as many of our enthusiastic crew onboard.

Royal Escape Race, Round the Island and the Scottish Flotilla are now fully booked.

Sea Vision, 7th to 28th August passages between ports are fully subscribed BUT there are a few spaces for the day sailing, dates as follows:
Poole on 12th Fully booked. Poole on 13th Fully Booked Torquay on 19th, 4 spaces available. Torquay 20th Fully Booked Plymouth 24th, 4 spaces available Falmouth 27th, 4 spaces available

If you can get to these locations we are offering a free taster sail starting at 10 a.m., back by 4 p.m., We will meet you at the marina gates, escort you to the 46′ yacht where you will be welcomed with a cup of tea and a biscuit, we will then give you time to familiarise yourself with the layout of the boat before having a safety briefing and leaving for a short sail. You don’t need any experience to take part, there will be other visually impaired sailors onboard to help you along with an experienced sighted crew. A light lunch will be provided and we’ll get you back by 4 p.m.

All these day sails are free of charge thanks to the support we’ve had from the National Lottery, you’ll need to pay your travel costs to and from the location. If you’re interested in taking part Sue’s number is 07767717440 or membership@visa-gb.org.uk

The September trip from Cowes to Brighton, starting on 5th September in Cowes and finishing in Brighton on 9th has a couple of spaces.

the return trip starting in Brighton on 10th September returning to Cowes on 14th has also got a few spaces left. Cost for this trip is £40 per day, this includes all your food onboard but you’ll need to pay for travel and any meals ashore. Sue’s number is 07767717440 or membership@visa-gb.org.uk

We are planning a warm weather cruise in October, if restrictions allow, somewhere in the Mediterranean, details to be announced. If you are interested in the idea please contact Sue, as she says, “even if it can’t happen this year let’s get planning for 2022”. Expected cost is around £500, plus airfare, so if you are interested get in touch. Sue’s number is 07767717440 or membership@visa-gb.org.uk

And finally some great news as we are excited to confirm that we now have, not one, but two women skippers for our trips. This is a significant step forward for us as we are very keen to make sure our sighted volunteers represent the demographic mix of our membership. If you’re a keen sailor and would like to help us run these trips we’d love to hear from you. Sue’s number is 07767717440 or membership@visa-gb.org.uk

That’s all for now folks, stay safe, keep calm and practice your knots.

 

 

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Blind Sailing Week 2021 is Cancelled!

Blind Sailing Week 2021 is Cancelled! New date: 2- 9 July 2022

We are sorry to say that we have taken the sad decision to cancel Blind Sailing Week 2021 which was scheduled for 12 to 19 of June.  As you may have already realised, in view of the Prime Minister’s recently published pandemic ‘roadmap’, the event could not proceed lawfully in this timeslot.

We are deeply disappointed that Blind Week, like so many other events, will not be able to run for a second year due to the impact of Covid.  The pandemic has not only created many obstacles and uncertainties over the last 12 months, but as many charities, organisations and businesses are now finding, it has created backlogs that will lead to delays in resuming normal activities, even once the majority of measures are lifted.

We have been investigating the possibility of delaying Blind Week until a later date in the summer.  Sadly, the reorganisation of our sailing event, involving a week of overnight accommodation on small yachts, and also requiring large gatherings of people for safety briefings, arrivals/departures, socialising and the like, is a hugely challenging scenario during a period when the UK is recovering from, but by no means clear of Covid.  Consequently, it has not been possible for yacht clubs, venues, marinas, charter companies, etc to accommodate Blind Week ‘as we know it’ later in the year.

Mindful of the fact that a Solent-based Blind Week will be an easier re-start after a two-year stoppage, we have already been in discussions with Royal Lymington Yacht Club regarding dates for next year.  We are pleased to confirm that we have reservations in place and the next Blind Week will be from Saturday 2 to Saturday 9 July 2022 in Lymington.

Meanwhile, the consensus amongst numerous sailing charities seems to be that day-sailing activities and informal small gatherings may be possible later in the summer of 2021.  We know of several organisations, including the Gwennili Trust, GBR Blind Sailing UK, VISA GB, East Anglian Sailing Trust and Coutts Bank Sailing Club who are currently assessing the viability of this alternative for VI sailors.  If viable, it is understood that their offerings are likely to be day-sails, mostly Solent-based, or possibly small-scale overnight cruises.

For those VIs interested in pursuing any of these potential opportunities we have listed the contact details for each organisation below.

Gwennili Trust – www.gwennili.org.uk

GBR Blind Sailing UK – blind.sailing@yahoo.co.uk

VISA GB – www.visa-gb.org.uk

East Anglian Sailing Trust – www.east-anglian-sailing-trust.org.uk

Please bear in mind that travel costs would need to be found, and due to the nature of day-sailing, early starts and later finishes may be necessary.  Blind Sailing Week will offer these organisations, or participating individual skippers, use of our 3-D navigation charts, and full user guides for the VIS Compass smartphone-based audio compass system.

We look forward to better times when we can all get back on the water and enjoy one another’s company in the form of Blind Week.  In the meantime, thank you again and we very much hope you and your family will stay healthy and active for the remainder of 2021.

With our best wishes

Will Bridge  &  Rosie Shorman

Sporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust:  Charity no. 1044893

31 Pacific Close

Southampton SO14 3TX

mail@blindweeksailing.co.uk

 

 

Free online sailing course with GBR Blind Sailing!

Free online sailing course with GBR Blind Sailing

Try a free online sailing course with GBR Blind Sailing!

Want to find out about a new sport, meet new and make new Friends in lockdown and work toward your Start Sailing Certificate?

The online sailing course is running over four weeks on sailing theory, for anyone that has never tried sailing or has had a go and would like to know more. The course is designed for any level of visual impairment and they will have a team at hand to support all.

Topics that will be covered…

  • Introduction to Sailing,
  • The different types of sailing available and hear first hand some inspirational story’s from Blind Sailors.
  • Parts of the boat
  • The different types of sailing available and hear first hand some inspirational story’s from Blind Sailors.

And so much more, if you have had questions about sailing this course will answer them.

Time & Location

11 Mar, 19:00 – 01 Apr, 20:00
Blind Sailing Zoom Classroom

Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/OnlineSailing

(choose the number of needed free tickets needed and a new option will then appears to add your contact details)

This will be a fun few weeks with laughs along the way and you never know this may start you on the path to becoming GBR’s next World Champion.

Website: https://www.gbrblindsailing.co.uk

 

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Ahoy Shipmates! A Video from visa-gb!

A video about blind and partially sighted sailing from visa-gb!

Ahoy Shipmates and a very happy new year to you all.

It’s great to have seen off 2020 with a size 12 sailing boot in the stern quarters.  Our faces now turned to windward as we await nursey to arrive in full sail with hypodermic pointed at our quivering buttocks, ah the pain and the pleasure!  But before we drift off into the arms of carry on nursing your attention is required.

Way back in the dim and distant days of yesteryear you’ll recall rumours of daring-do on the high seas as team Visa took on the Hollywood big wigs and shot an adventure fit for the big screen – well my hearties that moment is nearly upon us and the first cut is, as they say, in the can.  As this is the first cut and the audio described version is still at the studio we’ll give you the heads up on the action.  Please read below, to set the scene or you can jump to the video Here:  Quick link to the video 

Setting the Scene

With your freshly brewed cuppa and a newly opened packet of digestives, the king of biscuits as voted in 2020, you should sink into your favourite chair, put your feet on the cat and snuggle down as we set the scene.

Our story begins with the tinkling of halyards, sound of the sea, and the music begins.  Our boat, a 45’ Jeanneau sailing yacht with a large cockpit, two steering wheels and enough bunks to sleep ten,  was kindly loaned by to us by UKSA.  We are moored, starboard side too, at Town Quay marina in Southampton.

Town Quay is located to the East side of pier where you would catch the Red Jet to Cowes and about 100 metres from the Red Funnel port.  Once you leave Town Quay you are in Southampton water, which on the two days of filming was unremittingly grey with only the occasion squall to keep us honest.

As you leave the Quay you would expect to pass the huge cruise liners that start their world journeys in normal times.  Anyway back to the music and this heralds the arrival of Anil and Nathalie, Anil is self-guiding himself along the pontoon and Nathalie has the arm of Jane, one of our splendid volunteers.  As they reach the boat canes are folded and they climb aboard to join up with their crewmates Karen, Lorraine, Lofty and Vijay along with volunteers Jane, Bruce and Tim.

Once onboard the trip begins and the visually impaired crew make the boat ready for departure,  engine started, lines off and we are away out into Southampton water.  During the journey the crew hoist the sails, steer the boat, tack the boat, make a brew and do everything needed to go sailing.

With a first time sailor onboard and a busy stretch of water there are two reefs in the main and the headsail is also reefed, wind speed ranges from 8 to 18 knots.

The sea state is smooth as the wind is a north-westerly blowing offshore The voices you hear are from some of those taking part, the first is skipper Tim, then you’ll hear from Lofty, Lorraine, Nathalie, Bruce and Vijay.

We hope you enjoy this film below

We hope their words remind you of the fun of sailing and encourage you to join a trip with us in 2021 

Sailing Schedule for Visa-GB 2021

Website: https://visa-gb.org.uk/

 

VI Sailors’ Week – Blind Week 12- 19 June 2021

VI Sailors’ Week - Blind Week 12- 19 June 2021

VI Sailors’ Week – Blind Week!

12-19 June 2021 – Lymington

Register your interest by emailing mail@blindweeksailing.co.uk

Happy New Year and we hope that you and your families are all safe and well under the challenging circumstances we are all currently enduring!

We were very disappointed to cancel Blind Week 2020 in Falmouth and have been hoping that the New Year 2021 will allow the event to return, even if constrained by health restrictions.  In preparation for this, we have developed a preliminary Covid-19 strategy taking note of Government and RYA guidance.

Whilst the prospect of a vaccine gives cause for longer-term optimism, the extra measures that became necessary over Christmas remind us how serious the situation still is.

Although current indications are that social distancing measures and the tiered restrictions will be in place for some time during the rollout of the vaccination programme, we are nevertheless hopeful that these measures can be eased sufficiently by the summer to allow Blind Week to go ahead, albeit not necessarily in precisely its usual format.

We are therefore having to organise things a little differently this year and at this stage, we have decided not to invite detailed VI applications yet.  Instead, we are now inviting you to simply ‘register your interest’ in taking part in Blind Week 2021.  We will also be asking the Skippers to do the same.

As we are sure you will understand, currently we cannot guarantee that Blind Week will proceed, and if so, in what format and timing.  The final decision will need to be taken by Easter at the latest.

At that time and, subject to the outlook being positive, we will make direct contact with those who have registered their interest in order to move things forward at an accelerated pace, although this delayed and compressed application process will no doubt prove challenging!

At that point, we will obviously give you more details of the event and its measures to keep everyone as safe as possible.  We are very conscious of the fact that the pandemic situation may evolve to permit some, most, or all aspects of our usual Blind Week formula to work in June 2021, or that a postponement to dates later in the year may need to be explored.

We are very keen to return to those days out on the water, enjoying the freedom of the seas and the sensations of sailing – with a VI at the helm and a cuppa somewhere in the picture – which all of us have missed so much!

We, therefore, ask you to register your interest in participating in Blind Week 2021 via an emailed reply to this letter  – including your name and mobile phone number as soon as possible and no later than 15 March 2021 to mail@blindweeksailing.co.uk

This will ensure that we are then able to make direct contact in the spring with all those who have expressed an interest, at which time we will be able to provide a clearer picture of how the event will run and a speedy completion of VI application forms will be requested!

We hope you will register your interest in getting out on the water in 2021 in whatever format we can safely deliver!

With our warmest wishes for a good and hopefully an improving 2021!

Will Bridge  Blind Week Co-ordinator  &  Rosie Shorman Blind Week Administrator

Sporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust:  Charity no. 1044893

31 Pacific Close, Southampton, SO14 3TX  mail@blindweeksailing.co.uk

 

Blind Sailing week video Below

RYA Website