[salisbury guide dogs] Fwd: BLIND WEEK 2022 - INVITATION

  • From: Justin Wright <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: salisburygd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2022 20:03:29 +0000

Hi all
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good Christmas and a fab start to 2022.
As there is a growing number of visually impaired folks on the list I thought I would forward the below - its the sailing thing I’ve done in previous years and am keen to resume this year.  If any of you visually impaired peeps are interested please reply directly to the sender and not to me.
All the best
Just

Begin forwarded message:
From: <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: BLIND WEEK 2022 - INVITATION
Date: 31 December 2021 at 11:52:07 GMT
To: <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

 Please read the guide at the top of the Applicant’s Form on how to reply to this invitation. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Dear VI Sailor or Would-be Sailor Visually Impaired Sailors’ Week – Blind Week 202202 - 09 July - Lymington Happy New Year! With fingers crossed, that when the current Omicron wave finally passes, so will the worst effects of the pandemic, we are writing with a warm invitation for you to participate in the coming year’s restarted event.  Our 2022 sailing week will be Solent-based and hosted once again by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.  Of course, Blind Week will be subject to any Covid regulations, laws and conditions that are current at the time of the event, but with the high vaccine and testing levels now achieved, and seven months to go, we are optimistic that the event will happen – keeping everything crossed naturally!   Participants will gather during the afternoon of Saturday 02 July and we start the week with an opening dinner at the lovely Royal Lymington clubhouse that evening. Having sailed to a variety of locations around the Solent and beyond during the week, the yachts and their crews will re-convene at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club for the closing dinner on the evening of Friday 08 July.  The event will then end on the morning of Saturday 09 July when crews will disembark their yachts and return home. The event will again be facilitated through the Sporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust. If you are visually impaired and would like to apply for a place to crew on a yacht for the week please fill in your responses to the questions below and reply to this email as soon as possible – at the latest by Friday 08 April 2022.   To avoid crossed wires, please be sure to reply to this email, even if you have previously indicated to us that you would like to participate in Blind Week 2022. Whilst we are very aware of the need to keep costs under tight control we are, nevertheless, conscious of the fact that prices have risen significantly since our last event three years ago. Despite this we are keeping the VI participant’s fee for the 2022 event to £260.  However, applicants will be pleased to learn that should Blind Week be cancelled then the VI fee for a place on Blind Week will be fully refundable. If you haven’t participated in Blind Week before, please read the document ‘What’s it all About?’ – a description by regular VI participants which actually follows on from this letter (as we’ve been told that email attachments can sometimes be a headache!) We should emphasise that you really do not need any prior sailing experience to participate in and really enjoy Blind Week!  Complete beginners and newcomers are just as warmly welcomed as experienced VI sailors whose skills have been developed over many sea miles.  If you know of any visually impaired person who may not be aware of the event, but might also like to come along, or any friend who doesn’t appear to have received this email, please do ask them to contact us - or you can simply copy this email onto them.  The RYA’s video of the event is a useful introduction at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRcuegEsGdw&app=desktop Please note that Blind Week only caters for applicants over 18 years old.  In addition, the sailing yachts used are not specially equipped or adapted to cater for physical disabilities, and therefore the event requires moderate agility by all the crew, including all VI participants.  This agility requirement is set out in the ‘What’s It All About’ document, Section 4, and we ask all applicants to confirm that they meet it. At this early planning stage it is impossible to offer firm places until we know the availability of boats.  So, while we will quickly acknowledge receipt of your application, we will only be able to confirm your place and your provisional yacht allocation at the end of April. We very much look forward to hearing from you!  If you would like to take part in the event please respond directly to this email by completing the VI Applicant’s Form below and then send this whole email back, with your entries on it, as a reply to: mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx(the address which it was sent from). Once again - our best wishes for 2022… a year in which we hope you’ll spend some of your time on the water, sailing with us! 
Will Bridge   Rosie Shorman
Will BridgeRosie Shorman
Blind Week Co-ordinatorBlind Week Administrator
 
Documents which follow on from this letter:VI Applicant’s Form
 ‘What’s It All About?’ document
  
 Visually Impaired Sailors’ Week - Blind WeekSporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust:  Charity no. 104489331 Pacific CloseSouthampton SO14 3TXmail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx To respond to this email, please start by pressing reply (but not press send), then scroll down to the VI Applicant’s Form, then type your answers in the gaps (the gaps are indicated by three dots – type after the dots).  After completing the VI Applicant’s Form please reply by pressing send! Applications need to be received by Friday 08 April 2022 We will quickly acknowledge receipt of your application, but please note that the firm offer of a place and allocations to yachts will not be made until the end of April.   VI APPLICANT’S FORM I, (insert full name)   …                                     would like to apply for a place on Blind Week 2022My email address is …and my phone number (preferably mobile) is …I am aged 18 or older (yes/no) …I confirm I have read the document ‘What’s it all about’ and I can confirm that I have understood and meet the moderate agility needs as set out in section 4 (answer yes/no) … (You will be asked for details of any relevant health conditions, dietary requirements, etc, at a later date, if offered a place on the event)   Visually Impaired Sailors’ Week – ‘Blind Week’ What’s It All About? Guidance Notes for and by Visually Impaired Sailors and Would-be Sailors Blind Week is an enjoyable and sociable week of cruising around the coastline in sailing yachts.  As VI crew you are welcome, whether you have sailed before or are a complete beginner.  1.             What is Blind Week? Over 20 yachts take part in the week and they are divided into 4 smaller groups or ‘fleets’ each of which sail to different destinations each day.  Blind Week starts on a Saturday, when you are greeted by your skipper and fellow crew followed by dinner at the host yacht club.  Sailing starts on the Sunday and continues until Friday.  Blind Week ends with another dinner back at the host yacht club on the Friday evening, before travelling home on Saturday morning.  Sailing is reliant on the weather and the coastline you are sailing.  Depending on the plan for your fleet and weather conditions, sailing days can be long or short.  Your skipper will talk through the plan for each day and your first day will be a careful introduction to sailing safely and the feel of the boat and will usually involve only a short sail.  2.             Who Will I Be Sailing With? Blind Week is run by volunteers.  Yachts are offered or chartered for the week and the skippers and sighted crew are all volunteers who give their time to sail with us.  The money that you pay is not to cover the cost of hiring a boat or for the time of the skipper – both are freely given for the event.  Rather it is a contribution to help cover the cost of your share of the food and mooring fees, etc for the week.  Sighted volunteers are all from different sailing backgrounds, from local club sailors to those that race and those that cruise around the world.  Many of the skippers and other crew have volunteered for over 20 years, so have a great deal of sailing experience and experience of sailing with visually impaired people.  On each boat there is a skipper, who is in charge of the boat and the safety of the crew on board.  The number of sighted crew on board is at least the same as the number of VI crew.  A couple of weeks before the event your skipper will be in direct contact with you to provide any information that you may need and to find out about any special needs or concerns you may have.    3.             What Is The Accommodation Like On Board? No two yachts have identical layouts.  The yachts participating range in length from around 30ft to 50ft and vary in design, from motor sailors to racing yachts.   Being a yacht, your accommodation will be compact to say the least.  You may be asked to share a cabin with someone of the same gender and the accommodation may be either in bunk beds or next to someone in a cabin designed for two people.  Whether you feel this is ‘nice and cosy’ or ‘cooped up in a wardrobe’, it is not an environment for anyone with serious claustrophobia! There will not be much space to spread your belongings around so you will have to live out of your bag for the week.  So a soft bag is key to stowing your kit.  All yachts have a toilet and sink in a small compartment for use during the night and day.   In the evenings you will be tied up on a pontoon, mooring buoy or maybe at anchor.  Where possible you will be able to go ashore to use toilet and shower facilities.  However, for nights where this is not possible you will be able to use the toilet and have a wash (but not shower) on board.  Most evenings you will have the opportunity to socialise with crew from other yachts in your fleet.  4.             Do I Need To Be Very Fit And Active To Come On Blind Week? You don't need to be extra fit and active to come on Blind Week and you can do as much as you feel comfortable with.  However, you do need to be able to get up and down a short, steep set of steps from the deck to the accommodation inside the yacht, to be able to manage in a fairly confined living space, and to be able to climb over the guard rails on the side of the yacht.  In some locations it may not be possible to tie up to a pontoon and you may also need to climb into and out of an inflatable dinghy to go ashore.  A reasonable yardstick would be if you feel you could climb over a stile or a 5-bar gate OK, and this is the amount of agility applicants are asked to confirm they have when they apply to take part.     5.             What Is Sailing On A Yacht Like? All of the yachts are different; hence they sail, handle and feel differently, but all are safe.  You can do as much or as little on the boat as you want.  This will always be under the supervision and subject to the consent of the skipper with safety considerations in mind.  If you want to learn more about sailing or particular skills during the week, you are encouraged to discuss this with your skipper, who will try to facilitate this.  As part of the yacht's crew, you can help with the sail trim, hoisting and winching, helming/steering and any other aspect of handling the yacht - your skipper and sighted crew will support you where needed.  There are audio compasses (in standalone and smartphone App form) and 3D talking charts to help you participate to the maximum! The weather conditions and sailing area can be different each day and they can change quickly.  All boats will heel (lean) to a certain point whilst sailing.  This can feel strange at first but it is perfectly normal and should not be a cause for concern.  By the end of the week you will have tried something new, been challenged in a supportive way and experienced the camaraderie of sailing with the rest of your crew and with people on other yachts.  6.             What Should I Bring With Me? Your luggage should be packed in a soft bag, not a suitcase or trunk, to make it easy to stow on board.  Note that it is usually cooler sailing out on the water than on land, so it is a good idea to bring plenty of layers of clothing and to be prepared for all weather and a range of temperatures – we're sailing in England rather than the Mediterranean after all! Here are some suggestions of items that you should think about bringing in addition to the items that you would pack for any other trip: sleeping bag and small pillow or soft clothing that you can use as a pillowwaterproof jacket and trousers (let your skipper and the Blind Week Co-ordinator know in advance if you don't have waterproofs as we can arrange for you to borrow a set)boots or non-slip footwear (many people prefer to wear footwear that protects your toes to avoid stubbing them or hurting your feet; footwear with a good grip helps to avoid slipping on a wet deck surface).  Open toed sandals and flip flops are not suitable when sailinglayers of clothing to keep you warm (synthetic fleeces, etc are best for keeping dry and warm)swimwear (in case of an opportunity to go swimming!)a small or quick-dry towelsun cream, sunglasses and a hat (as you are more likely to get burnt when sailing)if you want to start recording your sailing miles you can get hold of and bring a logbook produced by the Royal Yachting Associationsome spending money – the fee you pay for the week covers all your food and drink whilst on board and you will not be expected to pay any more for this – however, any drinks ashore (eg at a bar or pub when socialising) will be extra and this is something that is discussed and agreed with your skipper early on in the weekobviously guide dogs have to be left behind, but do bring walking canes, other aids and any medication you normally use

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