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Your TruDesign Specialists Discusses the Great Potential in Handicapped Racing

Raritan Engineering your TruDesign analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how disabilities don’t stop sailing lovers.

Your TruDesign experts know that the greatest area of growth potential in the sport is handicap racing. Unlike one design classes, which are limited to only the boats made of each type, handicap racing can include all keel boat types. Better yet, since boats became made of fiberglass, they seemingly last forever.

So if there is an interest to get boats on the race course, the mission then is to have events that encourage participation. Your marine parts for sale professionals feel that people need to feel like the racing is fair, and the level of competition meets their level of investment. And of course, it should be fun too.

One of the battles that handicap events face is how to fairly group boats for competition. While certain events may attract the hardcore teams that have made a high investment, all events need to address how to create fleet splits to group boats that can fairly race together.

This issue has gotten increasingly difficult with lighter sport boats mixing with cruiser displacement boats. Your marine parts Canada analysts heard that in a recent Scuttlebutt survey, 74% of the respondents indicated that you must separate these two boat divisions to provide fair racing.

Here were a few comments:

“Sport boats are simply far too different from displacement boats to be in the same fleet. They need their own rating band.”

“I would think that the sport boat sailors would generally be a keener racing crew and would rather race more of the same competition.”

Sailing allows participants to enjoy the freedom of movement and independence – whether it’s a lazy afternoon on an inland lake, mastering the wind in recreational races, or challenging yourself with elite-level competition, sailing offers something for everyone.

Sue Beatty is the Executive Director of Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) in Annapolis, Md., a DSUSA Chapter. “We recommend starting with a short classroom session, especially for those who are completely new to sailing,” she said. “We cover a basic set of terms for parts of the boat such as main, jib, rudder, keel, etc. 

“Paraplegics are routinely able to sail the boats once they’ve been assisted aboard,” said Beatty. “Our staff and volunteers assist guests on and off of the boat. That’s where those open and broad decks come in handy. Additionally we use floating docks and tie the boats up very tight when boarding or disembarking so the height of the boat’s sides don’t vary and the boat doesn’t move very much.”

Your TruDesign Professionals Know That Adaptability Is the Key to Not Giving Up

We are proud to be your TruDesign supplier. You can find out more information as well as get assistance on all of your marine supply needs at Raritan Engineering. Your TruDesign specialists know that the boats have two fiberglass seats. Each seat is a single moulded seat and back with two seat belts to safely secure sailors in them. Each seat is mounted on an aluminum bar that allows it to pivot from one side of the boat to the other if desired. Normally they are locked in on one side or the other. There is a small footrest on the support bar as well. Someone who is strapped into one of these seats is both comfortable and very secure.

“Adaptations for disabilities include things like special seating, electric power winches, electric starter motors, talking GPS, roller furling, davit transfer systems (similar to Hoyer), joy stick controls and other innovations sometimes specific to a certain situation,” Ewing said. 

“Others decide that they want to learn everything about sailing and pursue that. The best example is a high quad in Chicago who races in the Chicago to Mackinac race on Lake Michigan, sits in a special seat in the stern of his boat and calls the tactics, sail set and all the decisions for racing his boat. You need the mind, the knowledge and the ability to communicate to be a skipper,” he said.

Competitive & Paralympic Sailing

Paralympic Level Sailing

There are three medal events at the Games. Your marine parts corp experts understand that these are the 2.4mR, SKUD 18 and Sonar classes, featuring one, two and three sailors per boat respectively. Each event consists of a series of up to 11 races – weather permitting.  

“For example, the week before a world championship, we would do training on site at the World Championship site and focus on fine-tuning starting strategies and set up. Whereas six months prior, we would do a camp working on speed, speed set up through sail trim, sail shape and sail trim,” she said. 

Paralympic Classification

The Paralympic sailing classification system is based on three factors – stability, hand function, and mobility. Vision impairments have a separate classification procedure. 

Athletes with vision impairment are placed into one of three competition rating classes, based on their visual acuity and field of vision.

Depending on their visual ability, they compete in sport class 3, 5 or 7, with 7 indicating the highest eligible visual ability.

“We have a lot of quads driving boats, so there is quite a range of disabilities,” Alison said. “In contrast to many of the sports, the amputees don’t just play with the amputees, the blind don’t just play with the blind, the quads don’t play with the quads.”

Equipment and Expenses

“Sailing is not the most inexpensive sport once you own equipment and take into consideration travel and training. However, on a national team, although we don’t have monthly stipends, sailors do get some grant funding and we provide a lot in terms of resources and support for logistics, coaching, shipping and transportation. 

Don’t forget to order your marine parts here at Raritan Engineering. We always have more information on TruDesign, seacocks and on marine toilet systems.

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