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Launch of Unique yachts


Launch of Unique yachts

Sailability Auckland is the City of Sails sailing club for people with disabilities and has just purchased five new yachts especially designed to cater for sailors with all sorts of physical challenges, as well as rough weather on Waitemata harbour.

Tim Dempsey, who has Becker Muscular Dystrophy, is the club’s spokesman and international sailor who says it’s exciting and rewarding for everyone to see these sailors going solo on the water with a grin from one side of their face to the other.

‘Some of our sailors are blind, are tetraplegics or paraplegics, some are amputees, others have various physical disabilities’.

Tim Dempsey says these new yachts will also be used as race boats in an international regatta “The Kiwi Cup” for disabled sailors that’s being held on Auckland’s Waitemata harbour in January next year.

‘The yachts and sailors are no token gesture. It’s not just a case of disabled people being ‘taken out’ for a sail. They have learnt how to match race, compete to international standards, and win. Sailability member Josh McKenzie-Brown is the current Liberty World Champion. These new yachts mean our sailors have the latest boats and technology, which allows them to sail competently and safely on their own – for leisure or racing. It’s a life changing experience for many of us.’

Four one person Liberty yachts and a two person SKUD 18 (Paralympic yacht) are being launched at the Emirates Team New Zealand base at midday on the first of March.

Guests include many disabled sailors who are available to comment, people who have made donations for the purchase of the yachts, the CEO of Paralympics New Zealand, and members of Emirates Team NZ.


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