Originally Posted by tim griffin
I love those Sonar Keel boats couple of my mates won a Gold Medal sailing in one of those at the last US Disabled Olympics . I used to race on them on a regular basis sailed round the Island once with a blind mate and a paraplegic force 7 went like a rocket did it 8 hours 55 mins well chuffed with that result 5th in our class .
My wife is the first woman on the US Disabled Sailing Team. Her team was trying to be the US Paralympic Sonar team in Athens last year. We were in Cowes in 2003 racing against Andy Cassell, who I suspect may be the mate you mentioned. As I recall, he was the 2000 Paralympic Sonar gold medalist. Maureen's team finished a very
close second to Andy in the UK 2 Sail National Championships when the wind went calm in the last race, and Andy's experience in the local currents won the race.
By any chance was the paraplegic Andrew Millband? He's another disabled IOW sailor who was unbelievably kind to us on that trip. He opened his home to us when our carefully arranged lodging proved unmanageable for the wheelchair users.
That was the trip that really opened my eyes to the world of ribbing. The sheer quantity and variety of ribs on the Solent was amazing to me. Nothing like it in the USA.
We'd love to go back a race on the Solent again. We had a wonderful time, and nearly everyone we came in contact with was incredibly kind and helpful. It was a tremendous experience. There are/were (?) a number of Sonar events in Cowes this summer. Fortunately we're expecting a child, which unfortunately meant no big travel regattas for Maureen this year.
Our journals from that trip are here: http://teamodyssey.org/2003_uk_2sail.htm