This film is part of Free

Able Yachtsman

Para sailor Mike enjoys the thrill of the wind in his sails.

News 1983 3 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


TV reporter Rene Wyndham interviews Mike, a disabled yachtsman who explains how he manages to go sailing solo. Filmed in Plymouth Sound, Mike's risk assessments seem informal but planning for the worst is part of sailing. Nowadays disability sailing offers recreational sailing with specially adapted yachts designed and developed for use by wheelchair users and for people with reduced mobility.

Advances in technology and programmes to encourage disabled people into sailing have also yielded positive results. Rules regarding safety at sea and disability awareness courses for coaches have increased take-up of the sport for recreation and competition. Para World Sailing is one of the few sports where disabled and able sailors may compete on equal terms and in mixed gender teams. Team GB regularly medals at the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Worlds in the competitive sailing categories. According to the European Disability Forum, one in two disabled people have never participated in leisure, cultural or sporting activities of any kind.