Name that boat!

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The partly completed XS 500 Rib that will be finished and delivered during February 2020

Rye Harbour Sailability (RHS), formerly RHSC Sailability, a charity launched in August 2017, runs monthly (and some weekday) sailing sessions during the sailing season from April to October. This this year our sailing season starts on Saturday April 25 and runs until Saturday October 3.

Sailability is the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA’s) national programme to support and encourage people with disabilities to take up sailing on a regular basis. RHS is proud to be one of over 200 recognised RYA Sailability sites in the UK.

Sailing at Rye Harbour, RHS gives people with disabilities the chance to get out on the water in a dinghy with an experienced volunteer skipper and trained crew member, and we are proud to be one of a very few charities or organisations in the local area that provide sport activities solely for people with disabilities.

The Sport 16 dinghy – part of the Sailability programme

During the summer sailing season, if the weather permits, we hold Sailability sailing days with safety equipment, such as helmets and buoyancy aids provided. This is also a social occasion and we make available to buy, sandwiches, cakes, teas and coffees and the sailing is followed by a BBQ or hot meal which creates a welcoming atmosphere in which carers, volunteers and sailors can get to know each other.

During the winter months we run Sailability training days and social events and year by year we have seen an increase in the number of sailors who come to our Sailability events.

By the end of 2019 RHS successfully raised enough funds to go ahead and order a new rescue boat from The Barnet Marine Centre Limited, Hertfordshire. The boat will be delivered during February 2020 and we are still raising funds to fit out the rescue boat and to cover the first year’s insurance.

Grateful thanks go to the following funding bodies: The Rye Fund, The Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm Fund, the William Brake Trust, The Francis and Eric Ford Trust as well as local businesses such as The Co-op Community Fund, Waitrose Community Matters, The George in Rye, The Mermaid Inn and The Hope Anchor.

‘Sailability’ sailors getting a first taste of life afloat

In securing funds for our rescue boat, we have had support from many other local businesses and some others as far away as London, who have donated items to our regular auctions – thank you for your amazing support. A huge thank you is owed to the local community, RHS members and volunteers who have been wonderful in giving so generously. Thank you everyone who has helped to make such a difference to this charity.

Now let’s have some fun! We would like the community to help us once again and come up with a name for the new rescue boat. Something short and snappy is the order of the day!

Please send your chosen name for the boat via email to dejltomkinson@btinternet.com The RHS committee will make the final decision regarding the name of the boat and the winner of our competition will be invited to join our coxswain and crew for a trip on the rescue boat.

We are looking forward to another successful year ahead. If you would like to make a difference and come and spend a little time helping with our sailing days or lend your support to the administration of the charity, please contact carolinewylson@btinternet.com or call 01797 223112.

Image Credits: Courtesy of Rye Harbour Sailing Club , Sailability , Rye Sailability .

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