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June 5, 2006

Sailing In Silence

From: International Sailing Federation, UK - Jun 5, 2006

Disabled Sailing News

Ruth MARRISON (As Amended By ISAF), Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain, 05 June 2006

Ruth MARRISON (GBR), who is deaf, will be competing in Skandia Cowes Week 2006. MARRISON is competing with three crew in the Sonar fleet, with the aim of promoting deaf awareness through sailing.

Her crew members are Katie DAVISON (GBR), who is hard of hearing, Julia BRETT (GBR) and MARRISON’s coach Richard BEARDSLEY (GBR). He has experience of working with deaf people in sailing.

The four of them will be competing after receiving financial help from the National Deaf Children’s Society of Great Britain.

MARRISON said, ‘This is all I have wanted to do is to receive sponsorship that I worked to receive. Thank you for the sponsorship from the National Deaf Children’s Society. Without the sponsorship and support Cowes Week would not of happened for us.'

DAVISON commented, 'My first experience of sailing is back in 1998, I was asked by a friend to go for a weekend trial. When we got back to dry land, I just wanted to carry on. It was then I'd found my passion. Since then I booked numerous sailing trips. It's been my dream to be part of a crew and sail around the world... My only regret is not starting sailing when I was younger.

'Over The Moon'

'I was over the moon and thrilled when Ruth asked me if I would be interested in taking part in Cowes Week. My joy and my dream are coming true for me. To be able to do Cowes week, I shall be building on that experience in the future after Cowes Week 2006.'

BRETT explained how she had first got interested in sailing, ‘I had always been fascinated with the water and had a burning desire to experience the freedom, adventure and challenge of wind and water.'

She continued, 'Taking these longings to sail in hand, I booked myself on a ‘Learn To Sail’ course. Not a particularly romantic setting but my best alternative and the largest local stretch of water, Oxford Sailing Club, Oxford. This was also the course, where I met Ruth MARRISON for the first time. Ruth was a shy young person battling to ensure her disabilities did not interfere with her desire to sail. Quietly determined, Ruth used every spare moment out on the water, impressing other novices, such as myself, with her ‘rudderless sailing’ and seemingly effortless ability to ‘come along side’!'

Great Opportunity

Looking ahead to Cowes Week she said, 'After spending time watching the racing at Cowes last year, I was delighted when Ruth asked me if I would race with her at Cowes 2006. The opportunity of racing at Cowes is an ambition I have often dreamed of fulfilling. It has been exciting understanding the detail and work that goes into the organization to participate and afford to race in an event such as Cowes Week. I am both excited with anticipation and trepidation about my personal ability to support Ruth and challenge my own skills in this race.’

The National Deaf Children’s Society said, 'The National Deaf Children's Society is pleased to sponsor Ruth and her team of deaf sailors during Cowes Week 2006. We are obviously hoping that the crew do really well and are wishing them the best of luck! The NDCS is the only UK charity solely dedicated to the support of deaf children and young people, their families, and professionals working with them and role-models like Ruth really help raise awareness of the issues that deaf children and young people can face. Ruth and the crew really show that deafness need not be a barrier to achieving what you want in life.'

Website Links
Skandia Cowes Week 2006
ISAF Disabled Sailing microsite