Open Day for People with Disabilities : 30th June 2018
Published 09:52 on 3 Jul 2018
With flags fluttering on a sunny day, the Royal Victoria Yacht club in Fishbourne opened its doors on Saturday 30 June 2018 for its annual Open Day for People with Disabilities. We have a long-standing tradition of inviting people with disabilities to enjoy a day at the RVYC, dating back to 1981 when the late Betty Matthews organised the first event to mark the International Year of Disabled Persons.
This year, over 190 guests ranging in age from four to 90 enjoyed the day and managed over 450 people trips out on The Solent . Twelve boats were used - for the thrill- seekers on fast RIBs that went to Osborne Bay, to Victoria pottering up and down Wootton Creek. The longest waiting list was for 'Spirit of Scott Bader' – the Disabled Sailing Association's specialist wheelchair-carrying yacht which supports the event every year. It was a magnificent sight to see this catamaran in full sail with so many smiling faces on board.
Shore-side, guests were treated to a BBQ, Minghella's ice cream, tea and cakes while Bob's Basement Band provided music. Munch Bunch and their team in the Club Galley were also supplying endless food, and the burger station was a cool place to be. The tombola was as popular as always, and the table was practically cleared of wine, cakes, ornaments and toys by the end of the day
The Commodore, Steve Sheridan commented: 'It was wonderful to be able to welcome so many islanders to our club on Saturday who are not usually able to get out on the water. Our members turned out en masse to enable people of all ages and with a range of disabilities to use our facilities and enjoy sailing and motor boating on a glorious summer day. A huge amount of effort went into organising the day and we were delighted to welcome the Lord Lieutenant and Lady White as well as the High Sheriff, Gioia Minghella-Giddens and her husband Richard.
The organising committee of Ann Capps, Rosemary Montero and Nigel Talbot were supported by over 90 volunteers onshore and the owners, skippers and crew of boats lent by members and community organisations on the water. The RVYC is indebted to event donors including The Daisy Rich Trust, Fishbourne Council, BAE Systems Cowes Employee's Charity Fund and Wightlink.
Special thanks go to the shore-side crew: members of the parking/meet and greet team, the registration team, the lifejacket team, the shore crew team, the catering team, the embarkation crew, the pontoon team and a first aider.
We are also indebted on the water to:
Mike Waddleton and Mark Ross in Nemo
Tim and Beth Blake in Whitewash
Giles and Catharine Whitby-Smith in Stinger
Ivan Macaulay and Tom White in Victoria
Keith Harris and Meryel Boyd in Al-Batross
John McDonnell in the Club Wayfarer
Mike Duke and Harry White in Drascombe Duchess
John Douglas and the Disabled Sailing Association in Spirit of Scott Bader.
Dave Wise and Mark Weeks in Gemstone
Alan Colville and the Stones in Con Brio
Dave and Margaret Moore in Fritha
Richard Rae and Charlie White in Ray Gun
Kev Gibson and Phil Russell in patrol boat
Chris Thomas on base radio and Jon Anderson as Photographer
Invited guests were from Newport Physically Handicapped Society, Cowes Physically Handicapped Society, Ventnor Physically Handicapped Society, Ryde House, Osteoporosis Support, Esplanade House, Royal Engineers, Parkinson's UK (IW branch), Hazelwood House, Isle of Wight Society for the Blind, Kingston Farmhouse, PHAB, Cowes Sailability, Overbrook, Saxonbury House, Causeway Group, Mountbatten Hospice, Southern Housing and 21 individual families with disabled members.
We look forward to welcoming everyone next year on July 6th2019!
Last updated 15:45 on 5 March 2019