Skandia extends 'Try Sailing' initiative to allow disabled visitors the chance to sail at Cowes 20/6/07

Skandia, celebrating its 13th year as title sponsor of Skandia Cowes Week (3-11 August 2007), is extending its highly successful ‘Try Sailing’ initiative to allow disabled visitors the chance to get out on the water at this year’s event.

For the past two years, hundreds of visitors to the world famous regatta on the Isle of Wight have been able to take to the water for a free sailing lesson thanks to Skandia and the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA).

Anyone over eight years old qualifies for the sessions, which can be booked at the Parade in Cowes. Disabled visitors wishing to have a go can pre-book their place on the specially designed boats by registering via the ‘Try Sailing’ page on

Due to the specialist nature of the boats, Skandia strongly advises disabled visitors to check the suitability of boats for their disability and pre-book to avoid disappointment on the day.

Tim Sewell – Skandia’s sponsorship manager – commented: “One of our key objectives as title sponsor of Skandia Cowes Week has been to open up the event and make sailing more accessible. When we launched ‘Try Sailing’ in 2005 it was an instant hit and last year we were able to almost double the number of free sailing lessons on offer. This year we are delighted to further extend it to allow disabled people the chance to get out on the water and I hope those who do get a taste of the freedom sailing can offer people of all abilities.”

Standard sessions will run from 0930 until 1800, with specialist disabled access sessions running from 0900 to 1630. All sessions will be available from Saturday 4 August to Saturday 11 August. The UKSA will be providing safety cover, tuition, buoyancy aids and insurance, as well as RYA-qualified instructors to run the lessons. The initiative will be promoted to visitors on the Parade for the duration of the event.