Third time lucky? It is rather a case of lucky to the power of three – on the very first try. The team of “Meer bewegen” were on cloud nine when they received the news that they had been granted a donation of three new Optimists. They are an extension to their fleet of barrier-free sailing boats.
The IMMAC Sailing Academy regularly sponsors training and development of young sailors. One way they are doing this is by giving away Optimists to sailing clubs and schools.
“Meer bewegen” had sent in their application for a sponsorship. They knew how unlikely it might be that they get assigned a boat by the independent committee. I would have loved to see the team when they heard the news that they will in future have not one, not two, but rather three brand new Optimists. With those they can enable their youngest to go sailing on the Wittensee.
Christening of three Optimists
The ships’ christening ceremony provided the perfect setting for the handover of the three Optimists. Other clubs, lots of Opti-kids, IMMAC representatives as well as Schleswig-Holstein’s State Secretary for Economic Affairs attended this day’s events.
Right after all the official talking the “christening regatta” showed that all those Optimists will certainly be of great use for their clubs. The kids loved it and did not really want to stop sailing.
Optimists built at Schleswiger Werkstätten
The Optimists sponsored by IMMAC are built at the Schleswiger Werkstätten. And that in very detailed and careful manual work. The Schleswiger Werkstätten are a great place with lots of opportunities for people with all sorts of disability. It allows them to work on a variety of topics – including building Optimists.
People with disability build boats for “Meer bewegen”, the team that wants to get disabled folks out onto the water sailing. This is an additional extra bonus on top. May it all be a major coincidence, never mind, the story behind the three Optimists during built- and now sailing-time is more than fantastic.
Sailing on local lake
Three days after the christening regatta the Optimists named “Sonne”, “Mond” and “Sterne” (sun, moon, stars) brought first smiles to local kids. The sailing session with the Hochfeld-Schule Rendburg was not like most other weekly trainings. First of all three more boats were on the water. And secondly there was no wind around. A bit of paddling was the choice of activity, however, lack of wind did not do the fun and joyful atmosphere any harm.
Optimists are not barrier-free, obviously. So why have “Meer bewegen” decided to extend their fleet with Optimists in addition to the already tested and proven RS Venture with Sailability Kit? They are for kids, and they were for free. But those were not the only reasons. If you see a young chap get from his wheelchair into an Optimist nearly as quickly as any other boy the message is clear. Barrier-free does not only mean adjusting the surroundings, it also means using your own will and ideas. And hence they are more than happy to have the Optimists in their fleet and use them just as they are. For ALL of their sailors, with or without disability, just as it is part of their motto.