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An amazing cat sailing experience at Vassiliki for disabled sailors.

Wildwind's resident Sailmaker Thanos organised a fantastic 2 day event for the Greek Sailability in September.  The sailors really enjoyed the thrill of sailing on cats.  The event was such a success that they are hoping to organise it again next year and Thanos has been honoured by the National Sailing Club in Greece.  

The season ended on a great note with Thanos Vakalopoulos our resident sailmaker running some special sailing sessions for Greek Sailability.  In the past Thanos had taken out blind and other physically disabled people on the Tornado Catamaran and he noticed at the time that they made an ideal stable platform for teaching disabled sailors.  This experience planted the idea in his head about running a camp for disabled sailors at Vassilki.  He contacted the Greek Sailing Federation and Sailability and planned a 2 day camp at the end of the season in Wildwind.

The sailors from Greek Sailability had only ever sailed in Dinghies called Hansas before, (Hansas are a range of dinghies that are specially designed to be accessible boats for disabled sailors.) When Thanos invited them to Vassiliki they were thrilled to be given the chance to sail some faster, more exciting boats.  When they first arrived, they were a little nervous about sailing the cats, but it wasn’t long before they were sailing happily around the bay enjoying the extra speed that the cats offered.  The presence of an able-bodied instructor on each of the boats and the high-level of rescue cover offered by the Wildwind team boosted their confidence and by the end of the first session some of the sailors were already asking about the possibility of trapezing!  The president of the Greek Sailing Federation came along to see how the sailors were getting on and seeing the success of the event he was keen to help as much as possible with the planning of future events. 

Based on the success of this year’s event and the sheer joy experienced by the sailors Thanos is keen to organise a similar event next year, this time for a week.  There was also talk with the Greek Sailing Federation about making next year’s event open to other sailability associations around the world.  If you know of another Sailability association that might be interested in getting involved in a sailing camp tell them to get in touch via Wildwind Holidays for more information.

The Wildwind season ended on a great note with Thanos Vakalopoulos our resident sailmaker running some special sailing sessions for Greek Sailability.  In the past Thanos had taken out blind and other physically disabled people on the Tornado Catamaran and he noticed at the time that they made an ideal stable platform for teaching disabled sailors.  This experience planted the idea in his head about running a camp for disabled sailors at Vassilki.  He contacted the Greek Sailing Federation and Sailability and planned a 2 day camp at the end of the season in Wildwind.

The sailors from Greek Sailability had only ever sailed in Dinghies called Hansas before - Hansas are a range of dinghies that are specially designed to be accessible boats for disabled sailors. When Thanos invited them to Vassiliki they were thrilled to be given the chance to sail some faster, more exciting boats.  When they first arrived, they were a little nervous about sailing the cats, but it wasn’t long before they were sailing happily around the bay enjoying the extra speed that the cats offered.  The presence of an able-bodied instructor on each of the boats and the high-level of rescue cover offered by the Wildwind team boosted their confidence and by the end of the first session some of the sailors were already asking about the possibility of trapezing!  The president of the Greek Sailing Federation came along to see how the sailors were getting on and seeing the success of the event he was keen to help as much as possible with the planning of future events. 

Based on the success of this year’s event and the sheer joy experienced by the sailors Thanos is keen to organise a similar event next year, this time for a week.  There was also talk with the Greek Sailing Federation about making next year’s event open to other sailability associations around the world.  If you know of another Sailability association that might be interested in getting involved in a sailing camp tell them to get in touch via Wildwind Holidays for more information.  Wildwind and Thanos were proud to be honoured by the National Sailing Club of Greece on December 7th for their part in organising the event.

 

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