North Sails LOFT NEWS

May 8, 2019


North Sails Supports Sailors Of All Abilities

AbleSail Kingston has been operating an adapted sailing program for people with disabilities out of Kingston Yacht Club since 2002. The Able Sail Program can offer the freedom of sailing to those with even extremely limited mobility using their specially designed and adapted boats, the Martin 16 and the 2.4 Metre for single-handed sailing, and the Sonar for crews of up to six people. The boats are rigged for incredible safety and for those with limited mobility in mind, ensuring maximum stability in all weather or wind conditions. The adapted steering and sail handling controls are welcome modifications to otherwise complicated procedures for those who are unable to scramble about as they would need to in traditionally rigged sailboats.

“The only time I forget I can’t walk is when I’m dreaming or sailing.”

The AbleSail program has recently expanded to welcome those with mental disabilities as well, thanks in large part to the incredible coaches hired to run the program and the many volunteers that offer their time and assistance as well.

Every year shortly after March Break, the Kingston sailing community comes together to both raise money for and renew awareness of, AbleSails’ mission and programming. The event includes a highly successful silent auction, a baked goods table and more recently, has featured a sailing presentation given by special guest speakers from many different parts of the globe. Last year it was a member of winning America’s Cup team from New Zealand. This year’s talk was via a skype telecall with Jack Boutell, a team member of the Volvo Ocean Race winner, Dongfeng Racing. Additionally, Jack recently purchased O Canada, the well known Open 60 built by the late Derek Hatfield.

Jack intends to sail in the 2020 edition of the Vendee Globe round the world single handed race. Jack regaled the crowd with vivid stories of determination, hardship, leadership and triumph in a very hard fought win. A fitting parallel for so many in the program with day to day challenges getting around on land. North Sail’s motto of Going Beyond seems to be so pertinent for those who have participated in the AbleSail program as they need to go above and beyond daily. Beyond their comfort zone. Beyond their usual horizons. Beyond their reality. North Sails is proud to have been able to support AbleSail’s mission through auction items.

  • #GoBeyond