The recently concluded Blind Sailing World Championship for 2017 lasted for six days and the event showcased the top blind sailors from all over the globe as their skills are featured. These top sailors are products of the best institutions such as Canary Sail School of Sailing which was established to produce top sailors.
For the six days during the event, every day was a different challenge for the contenders as the weather condition is not consistent. For the duration of the championship, the 51 sailors were able to participate in 52 different races. According to the event coordinator, BJ Blahnik, visual impairment does not affect the performance of the sailors because they are equipped with high quality sailboats which were all given by SEAS and these individuals are all very competitive in the sport of sailing. The sailors were able to prove, once again, that being blind does not stop them from receiving the most coveted gold medals for the honor of their countries.
Every team is composed of four competing sailors. One who is visually impaired is assigned to the helm and one is designated to be the main trimmer. The team also has a sighted tactician and to complete the group they have a jib trimmer. There are three divisions wherein they can compete and these are determined based on the sailors’ level of visual impairment. The B1 division is for the helm with totally blind sailor and main trimmer operated by a totally or mostly blind sailor. The B2 division is for the helm and main trimmer with mostly blind sailors operating. Lastly, the B3 division is for the helm and main trimmer with partially blind sailors.
The original host of the Championship was Houston, Texas but because of the Hurricane Harvey that was predicted in March, they had to cancel the plan. At the end of the event, the United States was able to come on top for the B1 division. This is just a motivation for sailors who are enrolled in sailing schools such as CanarySail School of Sailing to improve in their craft as these blinds have proven that vision impairment is not a hindrance to their goal to succeed.