The Visually Impaired Sailing Association announces new Patron
The Visually Impaired Sailing Association (VISA-GB) announced that Pip Hare the respected sailor and Vendee Globe competitor has become the Patron of the Association.
VISA-GB is unique amongst disabled sailing charities because the majority of its board of trustees are visually impaired sailors who give a significant amount of their time to create opportunities for others with a visual impairment, to experience the freedom of offshore sailing. The majority of the crew on VISA-GB boats are normally visually impaired and play a full role in sailing and running the yacht.
Eddie Kitchen, chairman of VISA-GB said of Pip’s appointment:
"All of us at VISA are thrilled that Ocean racer, and lifelong sailor, Pip Hare has agreed to be our Patron. Our charity will benefit from her enthusiasm, knowledge and determined attitude that will see her on the start line if this year's Vendee Globe
race. Pip embodies much of what we stand for, there are many that think we chase impossible dreams, but our blind and visually impaired members are determined not to allow a lack of sight to stop them enjoying and benefiting from sailing. As our figurehead we know Pip will encourage us to achieve our ambitions.” He added “I also know that Pip will help us to deliver our message to all in the visually impaired and blind community, and that VISA-GB will continue to empower our sailors, encourage all to learn new skills and enjoy their participation in our great sport."
When asked about her new role Pip said "I was delighted to be approached by the Visually Impaired Sailing Association with a view to become their Patron. Having meet some of the VISA-GB sailors in 2019 I was extremely impressed by their approach and felt it matched my own. By empowering the visually impaired sailors to manage the complete boat trip it created a wonderfully positive approach to sailing. My own goals have been achieved by the same single minded determination I saw in these sailors, and I found it inspirational. By making sailing more accessible and fully inclusive I firmly believe we can make our sport open to all. I am pleased to accept the post of Patron and ambassador for VISA-GB and look forward to supporting and helping them achieve their goals."
With a full programme of events planned for 2021, VISA-GB hope to have over 100 visually impaired sailors on the water, both cruising and racing . They are currently planning for a circumnavigation of the UK to offer a taste of life on the water to the visually impaired in all corners of the country. Trustees and members will be following and supporting Pip on her adventure in the Vendee Globe.
Asked about how anyone who is interested can find out more, Eddie said “Any sighted sailors who would like to volunteer as crew or anyone who is visually impaired and would like to participate in our exciting programme can learn more by visiting our website www.VISA-GB.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org”