Shirley Robertson: «They really enjoyed sailing»
Shirley Robertson, double British Olympic sailing champion, gave two of the young participants in our “Skipper Without Limits” programme, Maëva and Antoine, the great pleasure of giving them some tips. This was during an excursion on board of our catamaran in the company of the women’s crew of the Sailing Squad coached by the experienced skipper for the Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2022. An unforgettable encounter, as she tells us*.
“I was immediately impressed by Maëva and Antoine’s ability to sail and collaborate, but above all by the fact that they both really enjoyed sailing.
I have sailed on many different boats, with disabled people of all ages and abilities. With a little ingenuity, boats can often be adapted. I liked the fact that the Just for Smiles catamaran was adapted ‘just enough’ to keep it exciting and challenging.
We felt like a crew
Just as I was impressed by the teamwork on board: Corentin, the skipper, did a great job of encouraging a culture where young people ‘run the ship’. His approach was right – he made sure it was safe, but didn’t take control, the young people worked for each other – it felt like a crew.
Sailing can really offer a lot, it’s a very versatile activity. The sense of freedom and independence that we all get from being on the water can really make a big difference. Yet I often forget how much this sport has to offer. My time with Just for Smiles has been a great reminder of how special it is, regardless of our abilities.
*Testimonial published in our 2022 Activity Report