Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Hilary Lister Sails the Irish Sea
Hilary Lister, the inspirational Quadriplegic sailor left Fishguard at 18:35 today 13th June
bound for Arklow on the East coast of Ireland. Becoming the first Female Quadriplegic to sail
the Irish Sea solo. Hilary has so far managed to sail from Plymouth to Fishguard in 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 “I’m extremely excited about this next stage of my round
Britain dream, I expect the sail across the Irish Sea will be both challenging and enjoyable. “
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 VizualMarine. 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.
Hilary and the RBD would like to thank Launch partners Pindar and Artemis investment
management, KCC Sports development unit and also the following sponsors; Raymarine, Musto,
Marathon leisure, Alphagraphics, Port of Dover and The Lions clubs of the British Isles and Ireland.
For further information please contact:
Paul Taroni (Public Relations Director)
Telephone: 07595 082525 Email: email@example.com
Press Release, 16th June 2009