Local residents share their story on sailing with a disability
Published on 25 October 2021
East Ryde residents Lindsay and Maria Dalmon are not your average sailing fanatics.
Both Lindsay and Maria were born with cerebral palsy and rely on electric wheelchairs for their mobility.
They also love going sailing!
In 1996, they both attended a Sailability ‘Come & Try’ day to encourage people of all abilities to take up sailing as a fun pastime.
Sailability is a worldwide volunteered based organisation that promotes sailing for people with disabilities.
After their introduction, Lindsay and Maria were immediately hooked and joined Sailability Pittwater.
“Sailability’s philosophy is sailing for all, no matter the severity of a person’s disability,” Maria explains.
“All our boats are specially designed. They have a heavy centre board making them safe and impossible to capsize.
“For many people, Lindsay and myself included, do not have the strength or the capability to pull ropes or are unable use our hands to steer. Two small battery-operated winches are fitted to the steering and sails and are operated by a joystick. This gives us the freedom to sail solo with full control of our boat.”
Lindsay and Maria’s love of sailing has taken them across Australia and the world, including France and Italy, and they have also competed in several intra-club, state and national competitions.
While they no longer compete, Maria maintains her and her husband have plenty of sailing left in them
“Our competition days are over now but we continue to enjoy sailing with Sailability Pittwater just for fun,” Maria says.
By working with community organisations like Sailability, City of Ryde aims to make our local government area a more accessible and inclusive place so that everyone in our community can participate.
Council would like your help in updating the Disability Action Inclusion Plan (DIAP), which identifies actions we can undertake to assist people with disability to participate more fully in community life.
Share your thoughts with us by completing an online community survey by 15 November 2021.
People with disability, their carers and their families can attend online focus groups in October and November, or a face-to-face consultation on Wednesday 3 November at West Ryde Community Hall. Focus groups will also be held for disability service providers.
To find out more, visit our Have Your Say webpage.