Adaptive sailing is the art of controlling a boat with large (usually fabric) foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to change the direction and speed of a boat. Mastery of the skill requires experience in varying wind and sea conditions, as well as knowledge concerning sailboats themselves.
The benefits of sailing for physically or developmentally disabled people are the same as for everyone else - fresh air, exercise, relaxation, appreciation of the flora, fauna, and the therapeutic feel of sailing.
Sailing is a rare sport that can accomodate a wide range of disablilities all the way up to high quads, with no use of arms and legs. Sailboats can be controlled and navigated by mouth using a system called "sip and puff", where the sailor will use the air from their mouth to control the boat.
Needs may vary depending on the athlete's requirements, there is specialized equipment to increase the accessibility of the sport. Specialized sailboats, lift systems, sip and puff systems for high quads, and staff and volunteers trained in approved transfer techniques.
Find a Sailing Adaptive Organization
Sailing Adaptive Organizations
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