Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mobility Cup 2008, August 25 – 29

Canada’s international regatta for sailors with disabilities will be hosted this year by AQVA (l’Association québécoise de voile adaptée) and Pointe Claire Yacht Club.

Similar to AQVA/PCYC’s annual Martin 16 regatta the Coupe du Quebec, Mobility Cup features a two-fleet format, with sailors divided into either Silver or Gold according to ability. Registration is strong so far, and 20-25 boats are expected on the start line for each fleet, for a possible total of 50 competitors from across North America, Europe and even New Zealand. Every year sailors and volunteers from disabled sailing associations across Canada get together for this event which is held in a different city each summer. According to regatta chair Paula Stone “ The camaraderie and spirit of Mobility Cup are unparalleled at any other regatta.”

AQVA will be well represented with 12 sailors including Marc Landry who is a strong contender in the Gold fleet. AQVA founder René Dallaire will be racing in his Martin 16 which he controls by sipping and puffing on two straws, as well as two sailors from British Columbia who will also be using this amazing technology which allows a person who is paralyzed in all four limbs to sail independently.

A final fundraising drive for Mobility Cup is still in full swing. Funds have been raised to cover AQVA’s share of the costs of the newly renovated, fully accessible PCYC washrooms as well as the main regatta costs. However, AQVA is hoping to raise additional funds in order to refresh its aging Martin 16 fleet, obtain a coach boat, as well as to assist the Quebec City branch of AQVA in revitalizing their adapted sailing program. Donations can be made on-line at or by mailing a cheque payable to AQVA to 35-2025 Quesnel, Montreal, QC H3J 2K9. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations over $20.

Editor’s note – A big thanks to Paula Stone who sent the above report on this big event. She, all the volunteers, and the AQVA have an impressive organization. I have sailed the Martin 16, both helming and riding shotgun for other sailors. These are graceful, stiff boats, real beauties that can also handle tough conditions. Lin has assisted with the hoists for launching sailors. The Mobility Cup is one of the largest, most important events on the Montreal Sailing Calendar. The AQVA and PCYC deserve real kudos for making it all happen! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing