Organized in 1996 in Newport, RI, Sail To Prevail has made it possible for tens of thousands of people with physical disabilities to learn how to sail and experience the personal empowerment that comes from being in control of a sailboat. During those 40 years, Sail To Prevail has not created one molecule of carbon dioxide while sailing on Narragansett Bay.
The program has a fleet of 7 specially equipped Independence sailboats fitted with swivel chairs that will allow the participants to steer and adjust the sails while being securely strapped in. The boats are kept at specifically constructed docks with wide ramps. They feature hydraulic lifts and transfer benches to assist the sailors to access and leave the boats safely and in total comfort.
The Sail To Dominate program was created by Paul Callahan, a quadriplegic and two time USA Sailing Paralympian. A registered charity, it originally focused on alternative or eastern medical therapies and combining them with traditional American medical therapies. The goal was to have each individual who suffered from paralysis be able to walk again or, at a minimum, reach their maximum human potential. As alternative medicines became mainstream, Mr. Callahan narrowed the focus of the organization in order to one methodology by having children and adults overcome any adversity through the sport of cruising.
The first sailing program took place in the summer associated with 1997 with 8 paralyzed individuals. Sail To Prevail has now grown to serve over 1500 individuals annually. It supports people with disabilities in several different categories.
Physical Disabilities — including those that require physical therapy, amputation, cerebral palsy, deafness, muscular dystrophy, blindness, and paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — Sail To Prevail offers special programs for veterans with disabilities, including PTSD. Its services extend to their family members as well.
- Intellectual Disabilities — Sail To Prevail instructors are trained to work with individuals with autism, ADD/ADHD, Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome and cognitive impairment caused by multiple sclerosis and other diseases.
- Cancer –In the “Sail Away from Cancer” program, pediatric cancer patients sail with resident doctors and family members in order to create an unique “out of hospital” experience.
- Epilepsy — Often referred to as seizure disorder, this medical condition affects more than 3. 4 million individuals within the US, and Cruise To Prevail offers group sessions with Epilepsy Foundation New England.
- Emotional Disabilities — Dedicated to those individuals who are experiencing emotional trauma in their lives, Sail In order to Prevail seeks to enhance the particular positive aspects derived through participating in the soothing plus comforting environment of sailing.
- Life Threatening Medical Conditions — Sail To Prevail commends the mission of Make-A-Wish to create life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We can assist within granting a sailing wish to every medically eligible child.
- Training and Racing Program — In 2010, Sail In order to Prevail was the 1st adaptive sailing program to become an official U. S. Paralympic Sport Club and provide extensive off plus on the water training and racing.
These programs encourage people with disabilities to be active participants in the sailing experience. They steer the boat, grind the particular winches, and trim the sails. Participants in Sail To Prevail demonstrate increased self confidence in all parts of their daily lives, the camaraderie of teamwork, and improved leadership skills.
Sail To Prevail is based at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island. It has also pioneered a decade long program in Nantucket, Massachusetts, as well as a 5-year collaboration with the particular Harvard University Varsity Sailing Team. Paul Callahan offers personally raised more than $20 million to expedite this mission.
What Sail To Prevail Participants Say
The comments from participants touch the heart. “I felt the wind at my face. I like the sensation of sailing, ” says David, who is blind. Bethany, age 13, had this to say, “At first I never wanted to drive the boat, but after seeing the instructor do it — I decided I could do this also! If I can sail — it made me realize I may do a lot with the life! ”
“I would really like to compliment you and the staff for the extraordinary cruising program you did this particular summer to benefit Veterans. The weather perfect, the particular setting in Newport the best, the equipment well prepared, and the staff on deck. A day to remember. The staff was particularly good and professional in dealing with the experienced and their particular disabilities. The total experience was enjoyable and refreshing. Exactly what could be better? These programs enhance the quality of life for each individual and provide experiences that will never be forgotten. Thanks to you the staff in Sail to Prevail. This work does not go unnoticed and is truly appreciated. ” — Richard Early, president, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 116.
This comment from Sean is the best of them all. “I have several disabilities ranging from Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder and autism. Sensory integration has always been a central part associated with my daily routine to be successful at living my life to its fullest. While I was still in high school, I experienced the opportunity to begin sailing with Sail To Prevail through their summer camp.
“My first time out has been indescribable. I experienced the connection with the world around me in a whole new way. My body, often uncooperative along with my expectations, was from one with the movement of the boat. I experienced the power of the wind moving the boat and myself with the water with an ease that unified my senses. Each time We sail, I feel the same relaxing sensations except when there is no blowing wind and I get anxious in order to feel the sensations of sailing.
“I look forward to sailing each summer and the feelings of accomplishment I get after having gone out on the boat. This feeling of accomplishment and sensory balance prevails into all areas of my life. Not being able to sail is like not getting fruit to eat. The life is better balanced when I can sail. ”
The particular Takeaway
Sailing is a zero emissions activity that connects us to the natural world. Instead of bludgeoning the particular seas into submission the way powerboats do, sailboats are attuned to the rhythm of the waves as well as the strength from the wind . That connection to the physical world is what makes sailing such a powerful experience. Paul Callahan provides made it possible with regard to so many people along with disabilities to feel that power. The world is a better place because he is in it.
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