A corporate body affiliated to Carsington Sailing Club providing the means and initiative to enable people with disabilities to sail.
Carsington Sailability, founded in 2000 is an offshoot of Derbyshire Sailing Endeavour which was formed in 1992/3 to enable people with disabilities to sail. Now firmly based at Carsington Sailing Club some £150,000 having been raised to purchase specially designed or adapted boats over the years. This money has been used to purchase boats such as the simply rigged Access 2.3 to a small cruiser with offshore capabilities. These craft, totalling 17 in all, are designed not to capsize, making sailing, even for the complete beginner, a safe pastime in which to become proficient. Should participants wish to go on to serious sailing then we can accommodate that too with high performance boats and Royal Yachting Association certification through integration with Carsington Sailing club which is recognised by the RYA as a Training Centre. Safety equipment ranges from buoyancy aids to a £3,000 hydraulic hoist which is used to lift sailors out of their wheelchairs into boats tied up alongside a wide, stable concrete pontoon. Maintenance of all this equipment is carried out by a self help group of volunteers and sailors with a wide range of disabilities ranging from Muscular Dystrophy, to Paraplegia. Disability however is not just about wheelchairs and we tend to be aware of 'lack of ability' rather than 'disability'. Our members and volunteers also have a wide range of expertise which enables us to keep up the condition of our 'fleet' to a very high standard. On the social scene we are often referred to as a cross between a maritime version of 'Last of the Summer Wine' and 'Care in the Community'. The sailing can be taken very seriously or as 'Ratty' once said "just messing about in boats". Carsington Sailability organise an annual 'Regatta' for The Duke of Devonshire Trophy which is sponsored by Barratts of Nottingham, this takes place every year about June and is for people who sail the Access Dinghy, a boat of Australian design but which is now used by sailors with disabilities all over the world. This year we had some 22 boats competing from all over the UK making it one of the top events in the country for sailors with disabilities.
Safety is paramount and we even have our own safety boat which has a 'drop down' bow door enabling easier access. This craft is powered by a 50 hp outboard which allows us to respond quickly to any situation. Suitable candidates can take RYA Courses at the club for Dinghy and Powerboat Certificates and there are RYA Offshore Theory Courses during the winter.
Carsington Sailability is an intrinsic part of Carsington Sailing Club and we are extremely grateful to the members and Management Committee for giving us the freedom to run our affairs whilst complying with all the conditions laid down by the Disability Discrimination Act.
New members and volunteers of all ages are always welcome and in the meantime you can learn more about us by logging on to sailingendeavour.com.