Boot 2019 | Sailing with handicap

24. January 2019

At German boat and water sports fair “boot” in Dusseldorf, novelties and trends will be exhibited from 19th to 27th January 2019. From equipment to trend sports such as surfing and paddling up to motor boats, super yachts and sailing boats, ambitious yachtsmen and water sports enthusiasts will find all the heart could desire – including people with disabilities.

Sailing for wheelchair users and handicapped people

The two renowned yacht designers and owners of the Dutch company Simonis Voogd Design B. V., Alexander Simonis and Maarten Voogd, have made it a matter that is near to their hearts to develop a sailing boat for wheelchair users and handicapped people. After more than 3 years of development and many “sailing experiments”, the dream became reality. For many people with disabilities this vision of the two designers will create a new world on the water.

The special feature of the sailboat S/V14, unlike other sailing boats, is that the handicapped have the control over the boat themselves and that they are able to keep it on course independently. Thanks to a specially developed keel the sailboat is safe against capsizing.

The second specialty is that the boat, in contrast to conventional 2,4 mR single keel boats, has two seats which allows the handicapped to take their friends and family to a sailing trip.

Thanks to S/V14, people with disabilities can move freely outside their wheelchair within the element water. The innovative, unique ship design was successfully implemented by the renowned boat builders FAREAST YACHTS. FAREAST YACHTS, under the lead of chairman Demolar Du, has been a reliable partner to the project for 10 years.

Present at the booth in Dusseldorf was Russel Vollmer (formerly commodore of the Royal Cape Yacht Club) from Cape Town; he was and is significantly involved in the design of the SV/14 and is himself a genuine ambassador and inspirer for many athletes – with and without handicap. He accompanies the project and has meanwhile been able to inspire many disabled people for the first S/V14 model.

In Russel’s words: “Many of my sailing friends who have been in this boat for the first time were equally enthusiastic. The special feature of the S/V14 is that you have an upright seating position and thus directly get a high sense of security. For many disabled people such as wheelchair users, blind persons, amputees or other handicapped the feeling of moving the S/V14 independently in the waves is a great feeling of success. At the same time, a sailing trip strengthens self-confidence and increases self-esteem because you can do something that many others, including non-disabled people, cannot do – sailing!”

Together with the team of Simonis Voogd Design B. V. and FAREAST YACHTS, the OPW Ingredients team will push and support the S/V14 project in Europe.

OPW Ingredients and its TEAM support handicapped sailing

What is natural for healthy people is the greatest feeling in the world for a wheelchair user: freedom.

For our colleague Ngombo Ngondo, who has been bound to his wheelchair since 2003 after a tragic accident, soon a great adventure begins.

OPW supports the launch of S/V14 in Europe and is central coordinator for the launch at BOOT 2019 in Dusseldorf and its first sailing base near the headquarter in Niederkruchten.

Several S/V14 boats are positioned here. The aim is to establish home bases for handicapped sailing in many federal states and the neighboring countries. Thanks to many good contacts – locally and internationally – the above-mentioned TEAM will, together with World Sailing and many other clubs, establish this category.

In spring 2019, Ngombo will participate in sailing training and regattas for handicapped people. With the first S/V14, fully sponsored by OPW Ingredients, Ngombo will motivate many people in the region and beyond to try out this great boat.

The TEAM in Dusseldorf:

F.l.t.r.: Russel Vollmer (Paralympic sailor / sucessfull participation in Sydney Paralympics), Peter Harken (Founder of Harken Inc.), Ngombo Ngonda (OPW Ingredients GmbH), Onno Rudolf Jongkind (CEO OPW Ingredients GmbH), Ritske van der Meer (Paralympic sailor / European master), Demolar Du (Chairman FAREAST YACHTS), Alexander Simonis (Owner Simonis Voogd Design B.V.)

Official video of S/V14

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