GBR Blind Sailing
Blind Sailing provides a safe place for visually impaired to dip their toe in the water for the first time or set goals to represent their country, there is something in Blind Sailing for everyone to enjoy. Sailing provides to our community is often described as a sense of freedom and adrenaline like no other.
Blind Sailing prides it's self on being an RYA Affiliated Club and RYA Sailability Group, always ensuring we have a great team supporting on the water. We rely on our volunteers to provide a fun and safe environment. Each volunteer offers help in different ways some onshore keeping our guide dogs safe and others who are all qualified under the Royal Yachting Association with a great background of experience, who support on the water. Many have celebrated over 16 years of volunteering and representing their country alongside our visually impaired sailors, which has been recognised by the Royal Yachting Association
Our sailing is based on Fleet and Match Racing, fleet racing is so inclusive and a great platform for our new sailors to start racing, we race with two sighted and two visually impaired but each sailor taking on a full roll making a great team. Then as sailors advance Blind Sailing introduce the sailors into Match racing, were for the first time we adapt the course using acoustic marks, this shows the skills as the Blind sailors as at seven minuets the sighted coaches jump into the coach boat and the visually impaired sailors race using the sounds and their senses.
With the support of the volunteers the charity enables so many to reach their goals, new sailors taking to the water, Blind Sailing being Awarded the Squadron Blind Sailing World Cup 14 years, with individual sailors being crowed multiple world champions. But set aside the completions Blind Sailing is about the community it creates for the sailors a place to sail and a place to talk especially when we welcome new sailors that have recently suffered sight loss.
Blind Sailing welcomes all sight classifications up to B4 when training and up to National Level. However, in order to compete at International level, we are only permitted to take up to B3. We work with British Blind Sport to ensure all are aware of their category.
For visually impaired sports in the UK, participants are graded into five sight categories, these are:
B1: This category encompasses no light perception in either eye up to light perception, but the inability to recognise shapes at any distance or in any direction.
B2 & B3: Both of these categories involve a low level of usable partial vision, those in the B3 category will be able to see more than those graded as B2. B3 is the highest category used for international & Paralympic sport.
Blind Sailing also works to ensure sailors can sail at their local clubs via our #sailathome project. The team provide training to RYA Clubs, so that we can introduce our sailors into normal running of the club activities ensuring we link sailors with clubs 30mins from home. This then enables them to sail on a weekly bases and have a club and environment close to home which supports their sailing with Blind Sailing, building wider friendships on their door.
Blind Sailing is a platform for all.