Frensham Pond Sailability 2003 Highlights
- Very successful, enjoyable and busy second year - following Frensham Pond Sailability's launch in September 2001
- Sailing held every Thursday and Saturday from 1 April to end October. 2.4 racing is continuing on Saturday afternoons throughout the winter
- Over 80 active and regular sailing members, approximately 50% attending independently, 50% through organisations. A further 180 disabled youngsters and adults sailed on single visits. Over 1000 'sailor sessions' on the water during the year.
- Organisations sailing with FPS during 2003 included William Cobbett Junior School Special Unit, Abbey Special School, Treloar College, Hemihelp, Hydon Hill and Le Court Cheshire Homes, Whitmore Vale Housing Association, Disability Initiative, Farnborough MS, Woodlarks Summer Camp, Southampton Sports Association for the Disabled.
- 3 additional Access dinghies added to the Sailability fleet (now totalling 14 boats) in 2003, funded by HemiHelp, Leonard Cheshire Homes and RYA Sailability respectively.
- Leonard Cheshire dinghy ('Red Feather') presented to FPS in June by Charles Morland (Chairman, Leonard Cheshire) and Peter Harrison (Chairman, Peter Harrison Foundation and Americas Cup sailor). Representatives from 6 local Leonard Cheshire organisations present (plus Meridian TV and local press!)
- 'Sporting Challenge 2003' launched during mid-summer. Aimed at specifically encouraging younger people with disabilities to sail, particularly those wishing to take up sailing as a competitive sport. Our 'vision' is to have a FPS member sailing in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics!
- FPS continued to offer a wide range of sailing experiences - from 'therapeutic' cruising around Frensham Pond to fully competitive and integrated racing. Racing highlights included:
- Frensham Pond Access Open in May - attended by 28 boats from all over the UK
- Waverly InterTown Sports in May - hosted disabled sailing event
- Frensham Pond 2.4 Open in September - attended by 12 boats
- FPS sailors raced at Rutland, Wolverstone (Ipswich), Burghfield, Queen Mary (Staines), Cotswold Water Park, Surrey Docks
- Rachel Morris won the Access 303 (two-handed) UK and US National championships, sharing the helming and crewing with a non-FPS sailor. Rachel also sailed in the first European Access meeting held on Lake Geneva (lovely location but no wind!)
- Integration into Frensham Pond Sailing Club's sailing activities continued. The 2.4 mini-keelboats, with a mixture of able-bodied and disabled helms, are racing throughout the winter on Saturday afternoons. Two Access dinghies also sailed in the club's annual 10 Hour Race in June - with a rotating team of 8 sailors.
- FPS members organised and ran the shore activities for the 10 Hour Race and BBQ, thereby raising £3400 for FPS funds - a marvellous result.
- Great BBQ evening held in August, with 'free' firework display launched from the Pond - courtesy of a wedding party at the adjacent Frensham Pond Hotel
- FPS video, completed in 2002, proving a great success - over 40 distributed to-date. Shown at the National Dinghy Show in February. It has proved a great help in communicating the scope for sailing for people with disabilities.
- Band of enthusiastic and dedicated helpers continues to grow (now totalling over 40) but more still needed! A particularly pleasing development in 2003 was the involvement of a number of the Club's junior and youth sailors.
- FPS had a display, including 2 boats, at the first Surrey Disability Sports Fair ('vesucan') held in Haslemere in December.
Watch this space for our 2004 plans - to be issued in March