Quads Get NOOD: Blind Lady Sailor Wins
San Diego, California -- The San
Diego NOOD (National Offshore One Design) Regatta,
Saturday and Sunday, March 19 & 20, 2005,
held some surprises and excitement for the Martin
16 one-design fleet of sailors. This two-person,
sixteen foot, high-performance sailboat, originally
designed to universally accommodate both sailors
with and without disabilities in racing, met the
challenge at the San Diego NOOD. Sailors with
quadriplegia, paraplegia, total blindness, amputation,
juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and cancer
survivors, and those without disabilities, coming
from the San Diego-based "Challenged America"
program, Northern California, Seattle, Washington,
and Calgary, Canada, teamed up to race at the
NOOD Regatta on San Diego bay. Two fantastic days
of Southern California Springtime sailing weather
in San Diego -- winds on Saturday from the south
at 10 - 12 knots, gusting to 15 with each passing
cold front, and westerly at 12 - 15 knots on Sunday,
under mostly sunny skies.
Standish, skipper, and crew member Jeff
Reinhold, both quadriplegics from Seattle,
Washington, head to the next racing mark
at the NOOD Regatta, with the San Diego
skyline in the background. Photo by Kevin
probably won't see it anywhere else. Two quadriplegics
racing in a two-person sailboat against others
with and without disabilities, or a total blind
female skipper, new to the sport of sailing, teamed
up with an able-bodied sailor, winning their division
in a regatta like the NOOD," said Urban Miyares,
co-founder of the San Diego-based "Challenged
America" recreational rehabilitation program.
"This is what sailing is meant to be like,
sailors from around the country, some having disabilities,
enjoying a great weekend on the water of competition
America" Sail Team member Linda Woodbury,
skipper, with Steve Alvey of Calgary, Canada,
as (able-bodied) crew, were winners of the Martin
16 one-design class at the San Diego NOOD Regatta.
Linda Woodbury, City of San Diego Coordinator
of Disability Services, is total blind and learned
how to sail at "Challenged America"
within the last year. Linda is also a backup crew
member of the 2005 "Challenged America"
For additional information on the "Challenged
America" programs, donating your vessel,
sponsorship or volunteering, contact Josh Ross
at "Challenged America", 2240 Shelter
Island Drive, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92106,
(619) 523-0368, email Ahoy@ChallengedAmerica.org,
or visit www.ChallengedAmerica.org.
In the late 1970's two disable veterans in wheelchairs,
having a love for the sea and wanting to further
their own rehabilitation, were unable to find
a sailing programs able to meet their unique needs,
challenges and goals. They then purchased a sailboat
(a Cal 20) and invited others to sail with them,
developing adaptations to their sailboat as they
honed skills and sailing abilities. By the late
1980's the two disabled veterans were joined by
others )disabled veterans and non-veterans, as
well as the able-bodied) as crew to regularly
race in coastal and offshore events. Their boat
was now a larger,34 foot racer -- a Beneteau First
1990 San Diego to Ensenada International Yacht
Race found this crew of sailors with and without
disabilities competing. "Challenged America"
was formally launched with this race.
1992 the documentary video "Local Heroes:
Challenged America" highlighted the Challenged
America program as sailors with disabilities raced
in an America's Cup sailboat (America II) alongside
other America's Cup crew. The video was winner
of the national Arts & Entertainment (A&E)
CityVideos Award, and was nominated for an Emmy.
America soon became a rehabilitation program under
the Disabled Businesspersons Association, a charitable
501(c)(3) volunteer-based organization, based
at San Diego State University - Interwork Institute.
Disabled Businesspersons Association is spotlighted
in the "Guide To Effective Compassion"
(a publication of The Acton Institute, Grand Rapids,
MI) as "...one of the 150 most effective
and compassionate charities in the nation."
Challenged America (based on Shelter Island, San
Diego, California) is a year-round, therapeutic,
recreational rehabilitation sailing program providing
free learn-to-sail and advanced sailing instruction
and educational opportunities. Hundreds of people
with and without disabilities, from around the
world, participate in the Challenged America program
yearly. (See "2003 Sea Report.")
for the Challenged America charitable program
is from public bequests, boat and real estate
donations, corporate sponsorship and foundations.