If you have sturdy stomach and a sense of adventure, adaptive sailing is one of the most thrilling sports to explore after an injury. Peaceful, beautiful, and incredibly challenging, the para and quad sailors of the world can’t get enough of it. And it’s no wonder, there’s magic in them there waters.
And let’s not forget, adaptive sailing is also an official Paralympic sport. You will find dedicated disabled yachtsmen and sailors all over the globe. The sport truly has become an awesome fusion of ancient knowledge and modern technology. Check out our three videos showing some of the bravest sailors with spinal cord injuries we could find.
Now if you’ve ever dreamed of running off by yourself into the Great Outdoors, this video is for you. Meet Jordan, a 20 something paraplegic, who was injured back in 2000 snowboarding. Since last August, he left his home Oregon for an epic road trip, and has been on the road since.
He sleeps in his Jeep Wagoneer and has been all over the country and made hundreds of videos documenting his adventure. Visit his site
Jordan’s ultimate goal however is to use his road trip to get him sponsorship to purchase a sailboat one day, where he wants to take off from Hawaii for more epic adventures. He totally reminds me of Gizzly Adams or Jon Krakauer and his book “Into the Wild.” In this particularly cool video he’s made, watch him sail Lake Tahoe with his dog, and make a pit-stop to make coffee on his boat
Another jaw-droppingly talented sailor with a spinal cord injury is famous yachtsman and Member of the Order of the British Empire (award to him in 2010) Geoff Holt. He’s also a member of SPINALpedia – wetwheels – and has been a C6 quadriplegic since breaking his neck in 1984
in a swimming accident in Tortuga (an island in the Caribbean) when he was 18.
He spent several years on land, but eventually got back into sailing, operating a sailboat by himself with the help of electronic controls, and sometimes his wife who comes along on some of his voyages. In 2007, he become the first quadriplegic yachtsman to sail solo around Great Britain, and in 2010 he set an even more impressive record – and became the first quad to sail across the Atlantic. How does he do it? Watch this awesome video showing him and his wife on day 8 of their Atlantic crossing
And the last video – a custom accessible yacht. That’s right, a gorgeous yacht made to work perfectly for a captain who can’t walk, and the lengths at how accessible this boat is quite impressive. In this video of the Verity K, a ship docked in the UK, watch Mike Wood, a C6 quad, give a tour of his accessible yacht
The boat has a side cut-out, enabling him to wheel right on, and there’s also a lift to bring him below deck. The kitchen, the bedrooms, he can reach it all (disabled sailors all over the world are salivating for this thing). Take a tour of the Verity K
Adaptive sailing, despite the expense and difficulty, is without question worth every cent and bead of sweat. It’s definitely for the hardcore quads and paras of the world, those who choose adrenaline over comfort, and we love them for it. Watching these men sail completely unlimited definitely lifts the spirit.
Have you went to an adaptive sailing program? Where have you tried adaptive sailing?
Watch the videos!