Quadriplegic girl realises sailing dream


Earlier this month a group of like-minded people generously gave up their time to offer Nantini Dhoowa the chance to realize a nautical dream.  Nantini ‘Nina’ is severely disabled (quadriplegic) but nevertheless was fully committed to going sailing.  However this was not a jaunt on a 42-foot cruising yacht with all the amenities, instead she chose to experience life on a Platu, a 25 foot racing yacht with no luxurious fittings, just a lot of ropes.

Nina and volunteers from Disabled Sailing Thailand go cruising on a Platu 25-foot racing yacht.
Nina and volunteers from Disabled Sailing Thailand go cruising on a Platu 25-foot racing yacht.

This outing was the perfect way to experience sailing after she followed an intense theoretical course with sail Instructor James Mutter.  The Disabled Sailing Thailand volunteers are now in the process of building an SV14 accessible sailing boat, which Nina and other sailors with disabilities will be able to sail through joystick controls.

Thanks go out to Scott Finsten, marina manager of Ocean Marina Yacht Club, for arranging to provide the marina facilities free of charge, to Peter Jacops (Blue Peter Marine) and James Mutter (Sailquest) for arranging the complicated on and off-water arrangements, K Wikki Nualkahair for generously providing the Platu 25 yacht and Doug Smith and Kev Scott for modifying the boat to accept Nina’s wheelchair, Grant Atkinson, at the North sails repair loft, for modifying sails to suit the trip free of charge, and lastly and especially to Nina, for being brave and adventurous.

As an aside, Frank Bruno the world famous boxer will be hosting a charity evening at the Amari hotel on the 3rd of November, with the profits from the event going to 3 designated charities of which Disabled Sailing Thailand is one, so please come support them.

More information about Disabled Sailing Thailand can be found at website: www.disabledsailingthailand .com or by calling Peter Jacops (Eng) 086 826 1669 or Pat Tippawan (Thai) on 094 821 4363.