Belfast Lough Sailability has six of these great little two-person keelboats, named: Freedom (blue), Freemew (green), Free Spirit (red), Pinky (pink), Purply (purple) and Sunny (yellow). They are good introductory sailing boats, irrespective of disability, that were specifically developed with disabled sailors in mind. They are easily manoeuvred and virtually uncapsizable. Servo-assisted mainsheet and steering can be fitted, allowing sailors with limited mobility to have the opportunity to be able to sail single-handed. They are ideal where one-to-one tuition is required, and also a great favourite with younger sailors who can achieve a level of freedom and independence not normally possible on land. They are perfectly balanced when sailed single-handed, or by two full sized adults. A very relaxing and comfortable boat to sail.
In August 2015 BLS hosted the 3rd Hansa 303 Irish Championship, and will host the 5th edition in July 2017.
As part of World Sailings drive to get sailing back into the Paralympics for 2024, a November 2016 World Sailing re-jig of proposed Paralympic classes (in which the Skud 18 and Sonar classes dropped out) saw the Hansa 303 included as a Para World Sailing events class with a chance of being selected for the Paralympics. So BLS remains well placed to continue to offer a sailing pathway for people living with disabilities that runs from simply having fun messing about in boats all the way to going for gold.
Last updated 02:18 on 3 November 2020