Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Cerebral Palsy teen to take on The French Connection

by Karenza Morton / RYA on 26 Jun 2013
Natasha Lambert RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
Sixteen year old Natasha Lambert was born with atheroid cerebral palsy, which affects her limbs as well as her speech and confines her to a wheelchair. On Monday 1 July, she is leaving her wheelchair behind to embark on an incredible challenge entitled The French Connection which will see her sail her 21ft Mini Transat, Miss Isle Too, across the English Channel completely by herself using just her mouth to control the boat. She is raising money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Wetwheels Solent.

Natasha, who lives on the Isle of Wight with her family, is predicting the 25 mile voyage, which starts in Bologne, France (9am TBC) and finishes in Dover, will take her around seven hours. Without the use of her hands, she sails the yacht with her mouth using a ‘sip and puff’ system - operated by a straw inside a mountain bike helmet - which has been engineered by her father.

'Natasha can’t walk across the room unaided and yet on Monday she will be sailing from one country to another', explains her mum Amanda.

'When she is sailing Natasha is able to experience freedom and excitement and most importantly make decisions which she is unable to do in her everyday life. She’s also grown in confidence and has made loads of friends. For her it’s all about leaving her wheelchair on the pontoon and feeling free, she says it’s wicked!'

Last year Natasha’s sense for adventure inspired her to sail solo around the Isle of Wight raising over £17,000 for charity. This latest challenge sees her sailing across the Channel for the very first time and she has been out on the water training hard for the past few months, with her coach Phil who will be joining her onboard for the voyage.

Gary Lambert, Natasha’s farther will also be playing his part as the driver of her safety boat.

Gary said: 'From the moment she first experienced sailing as a passenger in a dinghy, Natasha fell in love with being out on the water. Since then she was determined to find a way to be able to sail herself and as a family it has become a huge part of our lives. I am immensely proud of Tasha. Every time she goes out on the water I’m proud of her. She surprises me every time she gets to another mile stone. I’m proud of her determination, her skill and her courage'.

Natasha started sailing through RYA Sailability which supports opportunities for people with a disability to experience sailing and to sail more regularly. For more information visit www.rya.org.uk/sailability.

To find out more information about Natasha Lambert and to sponsor her challenge visit Miss Isle.
Harken AUS Reflex 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearEnsign 660

Related Articles

'Hands Across the Blue' for Prostate Cancer
A significant activity at the 2016 SICYC Rendezvous is 'Hands Across the Blue' for Prostate Cancer. This weekend the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club will host their annual rendezvous in Gloucester Passage, Whitsundays, Queensland. A significant activity at the 2016 SICYC Rendezvous is 'Hands Across the Blue' for Prostate Cancer.
Posted on 25 Aug
Park's pride as Brits leave Rio Olympic Sailing as top nation
With 17 countries claiming the 30 medals from 10 events between them, Park thinks Rio lived up to its reputation With 17 countries claiming the 30 medals from 10 events between them, Park thinks Rio lived up to its reputation as one of the most difficult places in the world to sail. At London 2012 the same numbers of medals was spread between 15 countries.
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Epic 470 medal races bring six days of racing to a climax
Racing got underway in a frisky 17-21 knot breeze featuring plenty of leaderboard moves as different teams took the edge Pao de Acucar, the medal race course, positioned close to Flamengo Beach and the 396-metre tall Sugarloaf Mountain is surrounded by a landscape which plays tricks on the wind. No lead is safe, no amount of leverage without risk. The unpredictability of the race track was evident in both 470 Women and Men races, with rollercoaster position changes for some.
Posted on 19 Aug
Patience and Grube leave Rio Olympic Sailing on high
Luke Patience and Chris Grube believe they showed their “true qualities” after ending their Rio 2016 in fifth overall After vowing to end the regatta on a high, the Brits were true to their word finishing third in today’s double points Medal Race, as Croatia’s two-time World Champions, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic wrapped up gold.
Posted on 19 Aug
Great Britain is the top performing nation at Rio Olympic Sailing
After yesterday’s postponement for lack of breeze, an eighth in double points Medal Race ensured they were the champions Two golds for Giles Scott (Finn) and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (470 Women) plus Nick Dempsey’s RS:X windsurfing silver ensured Britain has topped the best sailing nation table for four of the last five Olympics.
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio Olympic Sailing – Mills and Clark joy after gold finally won
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark admitted their relief after finally sealing their 470 Women’s gold in Rio today. An eighth in today’s double points Medal Race confirmed what had been delayed for 24 hours after yesterday’s postponement for lack of breeze – that the British 470 Girls’ had upgraded their London 2012 silver to Rio 2016 gold.
Posted on 18 Aug
Rio Olympic Sailing – New Zealand wins 49er Gold, Australia silver
For Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), the Medal Race was a victory lap, the Kiwis having won the 49er Men's gold medal For Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), the Medal Race was a victory lap, the Kiwis having won the 49er Men's gold medal with two races to spare after dominating the 20-boat fleet at Rio 2016 over the past week.
Posted on 18 Aug
Rio Olympic Sailing – Croatia wins first ever gold in Men's 470
Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have won Croatia's first ever gold medal in Olympic sailing. Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have won Croatia's first ever gold medal in Olympic sailing. The Croatians sailed a controlled race, making sure they stayed ahead of their rivals Australia and Greece.
Posted on 18 Aug
Rio Olympic Sailing – GBR wins 470 Women's gold, New Zealand silver
The battle for silver and bronze came down to a six-way fight between NZ, USA, France, Japan, Netherlands and Slovenia. With Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) having already won the Women's 470 gold medal, the battle for silver and bronze came down to a six-way fight between New Zealand, USA, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Slovenia.
Posted on 18 Aug
Mills and Clark win Rio Olympic Sailing gold
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark have won 470 Women’s gold - Britain’s third sailing medal of Rio 2016 today With a 20-point advantage over their nearest challengers, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, (NZL), the Brits just had to successfully complete today’s double points Medal Race without disqualification or retiring.
Posted on 18 Aug