Monday, July 6, 2009
Hilary Lister Sails the Irish Sea to Scotland.
Hilary Lister, the inspirational Quadriplegic sailor will leave Ardglass in Northern Ireland today 2nd July 2009 bound for Portpatrick on the West coast of Scotland, becoming the first Female Quadriplegic to sail the Irish Sea both ways solo. Her expected journey time will be between 14 and 16 hours. Hilary has so far managed to sail from Plymouth to Ardglass on
her solo sail around Britain, in a series of day sails that have lasted up to 14 hours each.
Hilary said about today’s sail “Today’s sail is not the longest of the Round Britain Dream but it is technically difficult and will present a considerable challenge. I am looking forward to reaching Scotland which will set yet another landmark on my journey“
Hilary has had to overcome the financial challenges of this year to be able to finance the Round Britain Dream and the project is still searching for a major sponsor, remembering that the aim of the Round Britain Dream is not only to inspire and raise awareness of disabled sailing but to raise funds for Hilary’s charity ‘Hilary’s Dream trust’ which exists to
provide assistance to disabled and disadvantaged adults with sailing dreams.
Hilary’s dream of sailing around Britain began on 16 June 2008, when she set off from Dover, supported by her team of 4 support boat crew and 3 land crew. The Lions clubs of The British Isles and Ireland also lent their considerable support. In a series of “day sails”, some in excess of 50 nautical miles, Hilary sailed the entire length of the South Coast. In
Newlyn, on 13 August, due to hold ups caused mainly by the worst weather on record, Hilary and the team reluctantly decided to postpone the rest of the journey. To date this is the furthest that any female disabled sailor has sailed and is an amazing achievement in itself. This is the first time that the ‘Sip and puff’ system had been tested in such challenging conditions. Despite the setback of having to halt the attempt Hilary demonstrated her amazing strength of character by resolving to complete the sail starting in spring 2009, beginning at Newlyn.
Hilary’s Boat “Me Too” is an Artemis 20; a 6m carbon fibre keelboat, designed by Rogers Yacht Design under commission by Chichester based Vizual Marine. Hilary controls the boat using a ‘Sip and Puff’ system, developed by Steve Alvey of Calgary, Canada. The system uses three straws which are connected to sensitive pressure switches. The computer is mounted in front of Hilary. A gentle"sip" on one straw will cause the boat to go to starboard, whilst a "puff" will take the boat to port.The second straw controls the winch motor for both sails in a similar fashion. The third straw allows Hilary to control her Raymarine autopilot, to trim one sail relative to the other and raise or lower the height of the boom.
Press Release, 2nd June 2009