We are a small registered charity who create opportunities on the water for visually impaired sailors around the UK.
For those who live with a visual impairment, life can be a daily challenge, the simple things that many take for granted like jumping into your car or seeing the bus coming are challenging and for those that acquire a visual impairment daunting, but through sailing, we provide a platform that enables them to develop their skills, alongside those that love the sport.
GBR Blind Sailing has helped many sailors overcome their fears and achieve great success both on, and off, the water. We use communication to provide the feeling of freedom, communication without boundaries.
Blind Sailing hosts monthly training weekends to enable that sense of freedom, we cater for all ages and abilities. These weekends provide valuable coaching time as well as bringing our sailors together in a supportive environment. Many of our young sailors find this particularly helpful as it gives them an opportunity to spend time with other visually impaired young people who experience the same challenges as them in day to day life.
In 2020 we are looking are looking to enable more visually impaired people to get involved with sailing alongside competing in Match and Fleet racing events both in the UK and within Europe. Our long-term goal is to send three teams to the 2021 Blind Match racing World Championships, to defend our World title.
Your donations would support the following activities,
Coached weekends; 10 over 12 months including grassroots beginner sailors.
Sighted Support for training weekends; 10 over 12 months.
Equipment hire e.g. boats, ribs and venues
October Open Nationals
Blind Match Racing Europeans/Training Camp
RYA Keel Boat League, 5 teams, volunteer expenses and entry support.
A donation of £25 would fund fuel for safety cover, £100 would charter a boat for training.
Here is just what one sailor says,
Sharon - Sight Category B1 Blind Sailing has given me the opportunity to take part in an active and exciting sport with the camaraderie of a group of enthusiastic sailors, who, like me happen to be partially sighted or blind. I have learnt so much from training and from the other sailors, and always look forward to the next weekend. I enjoy the competitive buzz of racing too and improving my sailing for the next event gives me a goal to work towards.
Whilst a small charity, we have a focused and determined group of sailors and volunteers. The team has consistently achieved high standards on the world stage;
2013 - World Blind Fleet Racing Champions with individual, B1 Gold, B2 Gold, B3 Silver.
2014 - World Blind Match Racing Champions
2015 - World Blind Fleet Racing Champions with individual, B1 Bronze, B2 Silver, B3 Silver.
2016 World Blind Match Racing Champions
2017 World Blind Fleet Racing Champions with individual, B1 Silver, B2 Gold, B3a - Gold, B3b Silver.
2018 World Blind Match Racing Champions
2019 - World Blind Fleet Racing Champions with individual, B1 Bronze, B2 Gold, B3 - Silver.
We breakdown barriers using little or no adaptions to a sport so many love, we can race along side anyone as well as train as a group.
Kate Sight Category B1- When I was a child, I enjoyed trying different activities, one of these was sailing but I didnt find my passion for this sport until more recently. I live with my partner who is also visually impaired, he doesnt take part in any sporting activities but is happy that I enjoy the challenges and thrills sailing gives me. I used to play Goalball but have noticed my determination to get fitter and train harder has largely increased since joining Blind Sailing. Although I havent been training with the team for years, I have noticed that the confidence the training installs in you has impacted on my work and home life. For example, I never staid in bed and breakfasts by myself before but I am gradually gaining the confidence to do this. I work for a blind society and in the past, I would have avoided talking and delivering sight loss awareness training to large groups of people and aloud colleagues to take the lead. I have been training with Blind Sailing for a little over a year and have learnt that communication is so important especially as everyone has varying levels of sight loss, you have to verbalise everything. The freedom of being part of a team that harnesses the power of the wind to make the boat move is second to none. When I am on the water, I am Kate the sailor and on land I am judged before I do anything because I am blind. The training enables me to focus on the here and now and is a chance to clear my head. It also allows me to throw off the shackles of feeling I have to apologise to society for being visually impaired. Looking forward I would love to be part of a world championship teem in the future, this is something I didnt realise was possible until I embarked on this amazing life changing voyage.