2018 Clearwater Mobility Cup - Canada's Premiere Yachting Event for Disabled Sailors

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The 2018 Clearwater Mobility Cup, the premier yachting event for disabled sailors in Canada, will be held this year at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, August 27-31. This year’s regatta is hosted by Sail Able Nova Scotia, with Paralympic gold medal-winning sailor (Beijing 2008) Paul Tingley at the helm as Chair.

Each year, the Mobility Cup provides disabled sailors at all levels of experience with a chance to compete with the best in the country.

“The regatta is the highlight of the summer for all disabled sailing racers from across Canada”, says Tingley. “Silver Fleet competitors will be learning how to race with each other, and the Gold Fleet racers will be competitive and showing no mercy for the win.”

The Silver Fleet is designed for those who have never sailed competitively or consider themselves relatively inexperienced. Silver Fleet sailors have a companion sailor onboard with them at all times, to provide coaching and advice.

Gold Fleet sailors consist of more experienced, competitive sailors who usually sail single-handed.

Competitive disabled sailing in Canada had its genesis at Expo 86 in Vancouver when British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gifted a British built Sunbird sailboat to Rick Hanson in honour of his “Man in Motion World Tour”. In 1988, Hansen donated his boat to Sam Sullivan (current MLA of British Columbia for the riding of Vancouver False Creek, former Mayor of Vancouver and founder of the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation).

Sullivan went on to organize the first Mobility Cup in Vancouver and in 1995 approached yacht designer Don Martin of Richmond, BC, to create a sailboat that could be handled by disabled sailors of all capabilities. Martin created the Martin 16, a fast and stable boat which can be handled by both experienced and new sailors. A 300-pound keel makes the boat impossible to capsize and foam flotation makes it unsinkable if flooded. Sailors with minimal arm strength can sail independently using power assist technology. Quadriplegic sailors can sail using a “sip ’n’ puff” system, allowing them to sail the boat using their breath.

There are now more than 150 Martin 16’s in use around the world. It is also a lively performance boat for able-bodied sailors, which fulfils Sullivan’s goal of integrated sailing for recreation and competition.

“What I’m really excited about,” says Tingley, “besides having a top-notch fun regatta for all, is showcasing the RNSYS’s inclusive infrastructure. The RNSYS has removed physical barriers to participation with new docks and a new office, which makes them a leader in the area for Parasports.”

This year’s regatta begins on August 27 with Opening Ceremonies and a day of orientation and practice racing. Full-on racing begins Tuesday with two races each day, one for the Silver Fleet and one for the Gold Fleet, with all races wrapping up on Friday afternoon.

Race times are approximately two to two and a half hours and there will be spectator boats available at various times throughout the event.

Social events kick off on Tuesday evening with a corn boil and a lobster banquet is scheduled for Thursday night. Closing ceremonies take place on Friday evening.

Sail Able Nova Scotia, competitors, supporters and sponsors look forward to seeing all friends, participants and interested sailing buffs coming out to cheer on this very special annual event.

*The Mobility Cup is impossible to host without the time and help of many volunteers from Nova Scotia and across Canada. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer during the Mobility Cup please log on to https://mobilitycup.com/volunteers/volunteer-roles and contact volunteer coordinator Anne Calder at calderanne@gmail.com or Paul Tingley at info@mobilitycup.com.

19°
°F | °C
Halifax, NS
Showers
Humidity: 100%
17 kph
Wed
Scattered Showers
19 | 23
Thu
Thunderstorms
18 | 24