Inspirational

18 Jun

This weekend Arklow Sailing Club & Arklow Lions welcomed a visitor in a small boat. (I was alerted to the arrival by the skirl of bagpipes alongside the boat – I think I may have made an involuntary appearance on the RTE news in my pyjamas at this stage!)

Hilary Lister is sailing round Britain single-handed. She started in Dover and has been heading clockwise along the South Coast, round Land’s End and to South Wales. She arrived in Arklow from Fishguard, having been at sea for over 16 hours.

The remarkable thing is that Hilary is quadriplegic. She steers the boat and trims the sails using only the power of her breath via three tubes, using a ‘sip and puff’ system.

Hilary Lister's craft - Me Too (an Artemis 20)

Hilary Lister's craft - Me Too (an Artemis 20)

The sailing club organised a barbecue on Sunday night in Hilary’s honour. Unfortunately, but not surprising after such a long time at sea, Hilary gave her apologies and caught up on sleep. Her support crew attended and seemed to enjoy the Irish hospitality. The next day there was another reception at the sailing club that began with a fanfare and musical entertainment by the Arklow Shipping Silver Band. This was followed by several speeches – none boring! and presentations to Hilary. She took it all in her stride and chatted to everyone all evening. She’s remarkable, given that her lungs are also affected by her condition and over exertion – even having to talk for too long – can land her in hospital.

Her route will take her to the North East of Scotland, she thinks that Banff is on the agenda as a stopover. The whole project is supported and co-ordinated by the Lions Club, who source accommodation for Hilary so she wasn’t sure if Lossiemouth would also be a port of call but I encouraged her to try to get in there as I’m sure she’ll get as warm a welcome as she did in Arklow.

Read more about Hilary at http://www.hilarylister.com – and if you’re inspired, bung some cash in her direction to help promote sailing for people with disabilities.

Part of the Arklow Shipping Silver Band in fine fettle

Part of the Arklow Shipping Silver Band in fine fettle

Arklow Sailing Club present Hilary with flowers & a courtesy flag.

Arklow Sailing Club present Hilary with flowers & a courtesy flag.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: