The Woolverstone Project are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and held a regatta event that saw all Sailability groups in the Eastern area invited to help them celebrate on Monday June 19th at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Woolverstone near Ipswich.
The RHYC founded the Woolverstone Project in 1993, the year of the Club's 150th Anniversary. The Project was the brainchild of the then Commodore Mrs. Margaret Howard.
"There should be", she said, "an organisation within the Club which would provide facilities for sailing for any person with any disability whatsoever, be it physical or sensory. Its creation will also be a memorable way to mark the Anniversary." The Woolverstone Project has subsequently gone from strength to strength, providing sailing for the disabled from the RHYC and at Alton Water so it was with great pleasure that EAST accepted the invitation to join the event to help them celebrate their anniversary while providing an opportunity for other Sailability groups across the region to sail our Sonars.
EAST volunteers arrived early at Levington to prepare four Sonars and two supporting Ribs for the day's activities before before taking a leisurely sail up river to the RHYC in glorious sunshine to moor at the MDL Woolverstone Marina. The programme of events got underway in the morning with EAST boats and crews taking out sailors from other groups who may have never previously sailed in a Sonar, while the Woolverstone Project operated their own Sonar along with their Wheelie boat which accessible by wheelchair users. For some extra flavour RHYC provided several Ajax racing boats for some fun, again managed by their owners.
After stopping for a welcome lunch provided by the RHYC, the activities continued into the afternoon before it was time to return to Levington with the tide helping push the boats home.
EAST would like to thank the Woolverstone Project and the RHYC for their hospitality and we hope that we can make this an annual event.
Photos: Justyn Keeble