Welcoming Natasha Lambert to Portland!
Today we had the privilege of welcoming sip-puff sailor Natasha Lambert into Portland, on her incredible Sea and Summit Challenge. She is sailing a Mini Trasat from Cowes to Wales then climbing a mountain - a very inspiring young lady! The 17-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and controls her boat by breathing through a straw in a specially-engineered bicycle helmet, arrived at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on schedule almost six hours after departing the RNLI College in Poole, and was cheered in by a crowd of well-wishers including several members of Chesil Sailability and some of the British Sailing Team Paralympic squad. After having to contend with the hottest sail of her life on the opening leg from her hometown of Cowes yesterday, Natasha enjoyed slightly cooler temperatures and more breeze as she completed the 27 mile journey along Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast. But the Isle of Wight teenager was very clear what she wants on the next leg to Exmouth this weekend. “More wind!” she insisted as dad Gary laughed.“We’re not going fast enough for Tash,” he said. “She wants to go faster! We had about eight knots at times today, which compared to yesterday was quite good, so we had a steady pace. "We might not be breaking any World Records with speed but what a stunning place to sail. We’ve never sailed around this part of the coastline and it was such a beautiful day the coastline looked breathtaking. It was so interesting seeing the geology change along the way. Tash has got to enjoy doing this challenge and it’s days like this that are great for her and the little’un (Tash’s younger sister Rachel) to see such fantastic scenery. It’s an education." With the final part of the Sea and Summit Challenge to climb Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, Natasha is also keeping up her physical fitness by walking in her special walking frame, called a Hart Walker, at the end of each day’s sail. Gary admits striking a balance between fitness and rest and relaxation is an important routine for the family to get into as the challenge progresses. He added: “Tash is in really good spirits. Straight after sailing she needs to get out of her wheelchair and into her walker just to stretch off and move about, then it’s a case of having some food and bed by about 9pm. The routine is already becoming a bit more familiar, this is the way we need to work it and certainly by the end of the trip we’re going to be running on rails." Through the Sea and Summit challenge Natasha will sail 430 miles and climb 2,907ft to raise money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the RYA Foundation, as well as the profile of sailing for people with disabilities. Hugh de Iongh, Chair of Chesil Sailability, said: "Chesil Sailability are delighted and proud to welcome Natasha to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Natasha is an inspiration to us all with her drive and enthusiasm, pushing boundaries and her focus on what she is able to do, not on her disability. Good luck with your trip, Natasha we will be following your progress!” Sea and Summit is Natasha’s biggest challenge yet - a month-long project sailing her specially-designed 21ft yacht, Miss Isle Too, single-handed around the South West coast of England to Wales. She will then swap her boat for her Hart Walker to climb Pen y Fan, the highest peak in Southern Britain. Last year she sailed across the English Channel, and in 2012, the 50-miles around the Isle of Wight. Sailing has been Natasha’s big love since she first went on holiday with the Calvert Trust aged nine. She then started sailing at home and spent two years sailing with the Even Keel Project and her local RYA Sailability. To support Natasha's challenge visit www.missisle.com
Chesil Sailability: 26th Jul 2014 21:37:31