Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

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.
Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

PA Consulting Allen RS Feva Worlds Santander – Day 4
Final days ‘winners’ were Charles Elliott/Ethan Miles who racked up a healthy 20pts, so imagine how it fared for others! The fat lady arrived a little late but then sang lustily. A champion was born. William Pank and … from Norwich School sailed smart and fast all week and were crowned fully deserving champions.
Posted today at 4:34 pm
Jim Hunt seals second OK Dinghy world title after difficult final day
Jim Hunt sealed his second OK Dinghy World Championship title in Quiberon, France, after a very difficult final day 2016 OK Dinghy World Championship - Jim Hunt (GBR) sealed his second OK Dinghy World Championship title in Quiberon, France, after a very difficult final day for both organisers and competitors.
Posted today at 3:49 am
29er Worlds - Damage control on first day of Finals in Medemblik
It was about damage control on the first day of the final series of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik It was about damage control on the first day of the final series of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik, Netherlands. Gwendal Nael and Lilian Mercier from France won this game and have taken over the lead, followed by their fellow countrymen Benjamin Jaffrezic and Chauvel.
Posted on 29 Jul
RS Feva Worlds – Brits dominate top 10 after Day 4
The sun and thermal breeze arrived late but turned out for a glorious day on the water. It was a guilt edged day after a ‘not so promising’ start at the 2016 PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds in Santander. The sun and thermal breeze arrived late but turned out for a glorious day on the water. Race 2 of the final series (i.e. first race of Thursday) was set off in a very gently building seven – nine knots
Posted on 29 Jul
Tight battle for top spots on penultimate day of the OK Dinghy Worlds
Race seven got away under black flag with a pin end bias allowing those that end to tack and cross the fleet. Race seven got away under black flag with a pin end bias allowing those that end to tack and cross the fleet. First out was Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Mats Caap (SWE). Caap led around the top mark, but Hansson-Mild took the lead offwind and led to the finish to find his sail number on the black board for a black flag starting penalty, along with five others.
Posted on 28 Jul
Smith and Needham take title by a squeak at 505 UK Nationals Regatta
Like a cat playing with a mouse, the wind knocked the fleet from side to side before showing a bit of tooth and claw With three races scheduled, the slightly earlier start time of 11am seemed to surprise a few competitors and many would have missed the start of the first race of the day and the third in the series had it not been for a short postponement due to a wind shift in the original starting sequence.
Posted on 28 Jul
Jake Lilley bridges the experience gap as he prepares for Rio Olympics
Lilley is one of the tallest and heaviest Finn sailors in Rio, but also, at just 23 years old, one of the youngest. An intensely physical sailor Lilley stands head and shoulders over most of the fleet and is beginning to show some of his huge potential on the racecourse, with several top results in the past year.
Posted on 28 Jul
RS Feva Worlds - Gold fleet closely bunched after Day 3
Beautiful day in Santander – perfect for sitting on the beach but wind was a premium commodity. Beautiful day in Santander for the 2016 PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds - perfect for sitting on the beach but wind was a premium commodity. Teams were focused, keen and eager but had to deal with the tough waiting for sufficient stable breeze to go racing.
Posted on 28 Jul
SAP 505 Nationals and Pre Worlds - Smith and Needham make early charge
Andy Smith and Tim Needham, carried form shown in winning Keil Week last month into first two races of 505 UK Nationals The UK duo, Andy Smith and Tim Needham, carried the form shown in winning Keil Week last month into the first two races of the 505 UK National Championships.
Posted on 28 Jul
Over 600 sailors from 43 nations to participate in Laser Youth Worlds
To support the top-class sailing events, the government of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed to provide financial means To support the top-class sailing events, the government of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed to provide financial means in 2016 and 2017. This aid money can help to bring top events to Schleswig-Holstein.
Posted on 27 Jul