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

































America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


































ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1   
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams   
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top   
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base   
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!   
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT