by Tim Dempsey
Tim Dempsey and Gemma Fletcher are an aspiring sailing duo on the path to competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in the SKUD 18.
Tim Dempsey and Gemma Fletcher at Z Pier Westhaven Marina
They sail one of four SKUD18's provided by Sailability Auckland.
Dempsey is a former Paralympic sailor who knows the dedication required to sail at the elite level demanded by the games. He has Muscular Dystrophy a progressive muscle wasting condition and he knows this is his last chance to represent his country at the Paralympics.
Fletcher, an upcoming young sailor, is already a sit ski gold-medalist, and is determined to have equal success in sailing too. Gemma was in a severe car accident at the age of 4. As a result she received a spinal injury and has been a wheel chair user since. Both have not let their lives be ruled by adversity and live life to the fullest, both have young children that they will be leaving at home while away at the Worlds. 'When we are sailing disability does not come into it, we are out to win'
Starting on 19 August the duo will be battling it out for six days with the world’s top disabled SKUD sailors including the 2012 Paralympic Gold and Bronze medalists at the International Association for Disabled Sailors (IFDS) Worlds being held in Halifax, Canada. The competition will be intense as 10 nations go head to head to try and secure the first 5 of only 11 places for their countries in the Rio 2016 Games. They leave NZ on 5 August with their Coach Rob Hielkema and will also be competing in the North American SKUD 18 Championships in preparation for the Worlds.
Tim gets into the SKUD
Dempsey and Fletcher are going all out to achieve their first milestone of securing a place for NZ in the Rio 2016 Games. They are training hard despite the wet, cold, windy weather. Not only have they had to train hard they have raised over $18,500 to date and have received no national sports funding. They are still around $6,000 short of what they need to get to the Worlds. Can you support this inspiring duo? The team are currently running two auctions on trade me to raise funds and have a Kiwi 180 Campaign running, more details below.
Trademe Charity Auction 1 - A limited edition All Blacks Book click here to view ‘TRIBUTE – Ranking the greatest All Blacks of all time’ the book is 1 of only 500 in existence. The book is one of a kind and can never be repeated in this form because of the ‘mortality of men. It contains the original signatures of 59 of the All Black greats who were ranked in the top 100 of the more than 1,000 all Blacks through history. More than thirty-eight of the 100 are now dead.
Trademe Charity Auction 2 - 2000 Team NZ Signed shirt click here to view This T-shirt has been signed by 18 of the 2000 America’s Cup winners including Sir Peter Blake, Sir Russell Coutts, Tom Schnackenberg to name a few. This is your your chance to own a piece of NZ sailing history…
Kiwi 180 Club – Join the team at the worlds for only $180 click here to donate You can be there with the team at the Worlds, for only $180 you get your name on our boat at the Worlds, but hurry we only have space for 29 names.
Can’t stretch to $180?
Any donation you can manage will be greatly received, just visit our
Fundraising Page click here to donate
Stay up to date Join the Team on Facebook (link: https://www.facebook.com/kiwiskudsailing )
A winters day training in auckland