17 brightly colored, distinctive boats flooded the 'Friendly Confines' of McCovey Cove over the weekend for the third annual Herb Meyer Regatta named for the longtime B.A.A.D.S Commodore and leader from Marin County. Herb was injured nearly 20 years ago and the resulting injury left him a quadriplegic, but he refused to give up his love for sailing and was instrumental in forming B.A.A.D.S and the acquisition of the user friendly Access Dinghies.
Access Sailing has developed a complete system of sailcraft and related equipment which removes all barriers to going sailing. This includes five models of boats and a full range of ancillary equipment.
Access sailcraft are unique due to several original design features:
1. Roller reefing system, enabling the sailor to adjust the size of the sail to suit various conditions while under way.
2. Ballasted centerboard, ensuring the dinghy is almost impossible to capsize.
3. Hull design – the innovative concave hull shape of the 2.3, 303 and Liberty promotes additional stability.
4. Seating low down in the boat lowers the center of gravity and adds more stability.
5. The servo assist option opens up sailing to all people as this joystick can be controlled by hand, foot, chin, or any moving body part. This is a revolution, allowing even people with very profound disabilities to participate alongside their able-bodied counterparts.
The B.A.A.D.S program located at Pier 40, primarily utilizes two of the Access Designs:
The Liberty, a single person, double canted rudder is designed for a single sailor and can be operated manually, or via a servo and the slightly wider Access 303 W can accommodate two adults side by side.
B.A.A.D.S offers a cheaper than dirt program for the disabled and has weekend sailing in the Cove, and boasts the largest fleet of Access dinghies on the West Coast. The Annual Herb Meyer event is the largest regatta for the disabled sailors in the Bay Area. It presents a unique one on one challenge for even the most physically challenged to experience the freedom and mobility that sailing offers in a safe setting, with their peers, and a devoted group of selfless volunteers. It’s a massive undertaking, with some 30-odd golden hearted souls lending a hand to pull it off. Michelle Slade pens a well crafted piece on the Marin IJ, and last week submitted a unique perspective on one of the groups members, Henrik Hartz in this article Disabled But Determined
. Herb Meyer Cup Race Final Results
(Sat, Oct 15th, 2011)
Access Liberty (Manual)
1) Henrik Hartz (1159/yellow/blue)
2) Carwile LeRoy (1088/orange/orange)
3) John Wallace (1061/teal/teal)
4) Dylan Young (1060/blue/blue)
5) Cole Roland (1201/white&blue/blue)
6) Brian Pease (120/blue/blue)
7) John Greener (982/yellow/lime)
8) Lin Chorng (900/yellow/yellow)
9) George Arthur (201/blue/white)
Access Liberty (Servo)
1)Kathi Pugh (1199/blue/blue)
2)Cristina Rubke (1062/yellow/lime)
1) Brandon Arthur/Michael Levy (3/white&yellow/yellow)
2) Margreta Von Pein/Jeff Breen (4/white&red/white)
3) Kevin Siemens/Julia Rumpf (976/green/green)
4) David Doherty/Rachel Hofmann (2/light blue/blue)
5) Chris Bailey/Wilson Fletcher (1/teal/teal)
6) Eli/Eric Mikiten (499/orange/orange)
To find out more check out the B.A.A.D.S website