Helensburgh team helps blind sailors hit the high seas

Our Helensburgh practice helped ensure smooth sailing at last week’s Blind Match Racing World Championships 2018 by offering clinical support to the athletes competing.

We joined forces with the event organisers, the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club and World Sailing as an official partner of the competition to assess competitors’ visual capacity to secure a level playing field.

The event took place from 3-7 September 2018 in the waters off Helensburgh.

Blind Match Racing is one-on-one racing between identical Sonar keelboats where blind and partially-sighted sailors race around a marked course with nothing but the sound of the buoys and the wind to make tactical racing decisions.

Five international teams raced last week from countries including; Australia, Canada, USA and Great Britain.
Our Helensburgh team were thrilled to be invited to help at such an extraordinary event. Practice manager, Jay Osborne commented: “These sailors are incredible athletes and are a real inspiration.”

The Event Chairman, Dr Craig Macdonald told us: “It’s great to have the Blind Match Racing World Championships at the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club – the first time this event has been hosted in the UK. Having expert, external partners nearby to support us to assess athletes’ vision is important, and we’re grateful to Black & Lizars for providing this essential service and becoming an official partner.

"Black & Lizars has been exceedingly helpful in the important classification process. The professional and knowledgeable staff based in their Helensburgh branch have provided technical support to ensure that competitors’ visual capacity is properly assessed according to international standards and ensuring a level playing field.
"We are extremely grateful for their expertise and thank them for their support of this event."

As well as partnering with the event, practice manager Jay was invited to a reception with HRH Princess Anne.

International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) classifier and optometrist Dr Krabbe was very impressed with our efforts, adding: “We were extremely impressed by Mr. Osborne`s keenness to help us with his knowledge and experience and we were impressed that he is keen to learn more. We were very much pleased and grateful.”

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