sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Paraplegic yachtsman finds freedom through Sailors with disabilities
Paraplegic yachtsman finds freedom through Sailors with disabilities


'Vinny Lauwers - Paraplegic Sydney to Hobart yachtsman'    Polly Job
It takes immense bravery and determination to sail non-stop, unassisted around the world. What if you’re also paraplegic? And what if you decide to build your own boat? Are you staring down the barrel of the impossible?

Seemingly not for one gutsy Australian, Vinny Lauwers. After an abusive childhood and a motorbike accident no-one thought he would survive Vinny found himself confined to a wheelchair. Sailing was Vinny’s escape – heading away from shore with the wind blowing through his hair he discovered the freedom many sailors before him have relished.

The voyage to sailing around the world started over a bottle or two of red wine with a number of the founder members of Australian Charity Sailors with disabilities (SWD).

The chat ended in the decision to enter the 1994 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race with a disabled crew. Lots of people thought they were crazy… and lots of people were proved wrong. The SWD team successfully conquered the might of Bass Strait and found a new sense of pride as they discovered who they were along the way. (And just for the record SWD are still competing in the race)

Over the coming years Vinny sailed regularly with SWD building his knowledge and skill and clocking up the miles he needed to achieve his dream.

In the words of SWD founder David Pescud
'Vinny came on board with some knowledge of boating and yachting. It was an absolute pleasure to help him reach the next level. Vinny was like a sponge - we couldn’t feed him information fast enough. And throughout the steep learning curve and rough seas, Vinny was a wonderful shipmate – a great person to have in your team.

Malcolm turnbull Faceboat -  Polly Job  

I will always remember one Mooloolaba to Airlie beach race, coming on deck with the Adams 15 flying down a wave at 15 knots, and Vinny at the wheel grinning from ear to ear - a natural borne yachtsman totally in his element!'

Vinny was named the World Disabled Sportsperson of the Year 2001 after he became the first paraplegic to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world.

The journey took 233 days. Unbelievably Vinny broke his back again during one incident. It took incredibly strength to dig deep and keep going through that.

In Vinny’s words
'I never thought I couldn’t make it… but I did have to ask when things went wrong is someone going to have to risk their life to come out to get me?
Sailing round the world experience allowed me to come to terms with myself and put life into perspective. The troubles of the world and everyday life in society faded away. I am incredibly grateful to Sailors with disabilities for passing on their knowledge and inspiring me to believe I could do it'

Vinny Lauwers is now a successful motivational speaker who encourages people not to be defined by what they can’t do but what they can.

Sailors with disabilities have launched an innovative fundraiser for this year’s Sydney to Hobart yacht race. The Faceboat website (http://www.faceboat.org.au/) allows members of the public to upload a photo of themselves or a loved one to the site which will then be printed on the side of their Sydney to Hobart racing yacht.

Face Boat -  Polly Job   Click Here to view large photo

For more information please See the Sailors with disability website
And for more information on Faceboat please see - Faceboat Website


by Polly Taylor

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=116363

10:47 AM Thu 31 Oct 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World















Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay
















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video   
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead   
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video   
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2   
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT