Sailing for everyone at the Volvo Ocean Race
The Irish Sailing Association and Galway Speeders Club have announced their programme of events for the Volvo Ocean Race finale at a test run at the Galway Docks.
The crews of the six racing boats will not be the only people sailing over the course of the festival: those with mobility restrictions will also have the opportunity to experience and learn sailing, sea kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding, and water polo.
Those with restricted mobility are well-catered for. The accessible sailing team had a practice session where they went through many of the on-water activities.
Niamh McCutcheon, president of the Irish Sailing Association, said it was a great chance for people with mobility issues.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people with disabilities to go sailing in the west of Ireland and experience a world class sailing event on Galway’s doorstep,” she said. “We wish Gary Allen, Ciarán Murphy, and their team every success in running a safe and enjoyable accessible sailing programme.”
Jack Colbert, 14, whose parents helped set up the Galway Speeders Club, said he has been preparing for the Volvo Ocean Race for weeks.
“Along with four friends from Galway Speeders sports club, we took part in a sailing day exercise, to check out were the docks user friendly in terms of transferring from pontoon to boats,” he said. “Everyone got to go sailing in two different sail boats and a rescue boat. I can’t wait to see the boats and for the city to come alive.”
Jack has been a member of the club since September 2011 and he is currently national junior wheelchair boys’ table tennis champion. He is a member of the Irish senior table tennis squad who train in Dublin one weekend a month.