Quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister, famed for being the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain, joined the GAC Pindar team in Cardiff for the UK leg of the Extreme Sailing Series last week and showed everyone a thing or two about sailing!
Act 5 of the international series was a hub of activity from start to finish, making it one of the most successful events of the 2012 season so far. The GAC Pindar team were kept very busy throughout the event with a full corporate hospitality programme, a morning devoted to sailing with the Llamau charity for homeless children and the exclusive opportunity to go sailing with disabled sailor extraordinaire Hilary Lister.
The British born sailor who has been a Pindar Ambassador for nearly a decade, cruised into the record books in 2005 when she sailed across the English Channel. In 2009, Lister sailed solo around Britain in her adapted Artemis 20, a high performance racing keelboat, specially designed to be sailed by both able and disabled sailors alike.
At the Cardiff Extreme Sailing Series, a select group of VIP guests and some of the GAC Pindar team including skipper Andrew Walsh and Shore Manager Olly Smith were given the opportunity to sail with Hilary around the Extreme racecourse. Using the ‘sip puff’ method, guests used their breath to control the boat via three straws connected to sensitive computerized pressure switches that enabled the boat to move. Despite many of them going round in circles, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and some said that the sailing experience was the highlight of the entire event.
Hilary Lister says, “It was just an incredible weekend! I’ve been very lucky to spend a lot of time going on some amazing boats, the Extremes being a part of that group. What was really lovely was that people got the opportunity to sail on my boat. It was great for them to understand the challenges I face when sailing and have a go themselves. When you spend 24 hours a day confined to a wheelchair, or a bed, sailing is the ultimate freedom. It’s important that sailing is not dismissed as a sport or activity for quadriplegics, as it’s so liberating.”
Andrew Pindar, GAC Pindar Team Principal adds, “It is some seven or eight years since I was first introduced to Hilary. Like others who meet her or enjoy an association with her and her campaigns, I am spell bound and more than a little humbled by her. The skill and technical expertise she demonstrates in controlling her boat using breathing techniques is incredible, and very difficult to master, and we are really pleased that she could teach others how it’s done. It was great to see Hilary skillfully sailing her Artemis 20 out in Cardiff Bay on the racecourse that was also used by some of the world’s best able-bodied sailors, demonstrating how inclusive the sport is.”
After a such successful weekend with Hilary Lister, GAC Pindar are now currently working on her 2013 sailing schedule which will encompass a range of events including the Extreme Sailing Series.
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About GAC Pindar
GAC Pindar is your first port of call for integrated specialist services for the marine leisure sector, including yacht transportation, superyacht services, air sea and road freight, yacht spares logistics, sailing event management, ship agency and corporate hospitality. It is the winning combination of the global strength and resources of the GAC Group with the insider understanding of the yachting world represented by the Team Pindar professional sailing team.
Launched in 2011, GAC Pindar is headquartered at the heart of the yachting community – in the UK sailing hub of Southampton.
In addition to providing services to the worldwide yachting community, GAC Pindar is a familiar name on the international race circuit, frequently featuring in the winning line-up at premier sailing events.
GAC Pindar is the official logistics provider for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Quality and trust are touchstones of the GAC promise. The Group’s extensive portfolio of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services provide clients from the shipping, transportation and manufacturing industries with competitive solutions to help keep their business moving efficiently and cost-effectively.
GAC is no stranger to the complex demands of sports logistics. It has a strong track record of providing speedy and efficient solutions for sporting events, including premier sailing events.
Established in 1956, GAC has its headquarters in Dubai, and employs over 9, 000 people in more than 300 offices around the world.
About Team Pindar
Team Pindar is a world-class sailing team competing in international competitions, including the Extreme Sailing Series and the World Match Racing Tour since 1980 when it first competed in the North Sea Race