The two RS Venture Connect boats operated by the Société Nautique d’Ajaccio (SNA) in Corsica allow people to enjoy themselves and have freedoms regardless of their disabilities or difficulties they encounter in everyday life. This inspiring initiative, called MARE INSEME “Sea Together” in Corsican language deserves support and recognition for so many reasons. It’s empowering for individuals to be able to take part in water sports activities that are super relaxing and calm for everyone. The RS Venture has been very well adapted with all the elements are considered, it allows all types of disabilities to learn how to sail and discover this way of navigating.
A little bit about Pierre Gins…
“I am 61 with a long history of sailing. My wife got a job out here in Corsica and so we decided to move here, but I didn’t know what to do! I’d been a journalist for 15 years but have many qualifications in sailing coaching and development, forming squads and Olympic training in the 1990s. I knew I was passionate about sailing, and it pleases me to help people access the sport. So, in 2018 I saw this great sailing club and I proposed this project; to have a parasailing section. The only thing we were waiting for was the perfect boat. In April, Nico (RS Dealer) arrived with the RS Venture, and I began the project in May”
– Pierre Gins
How did Pierre set up the parasailing section?
Pierre had already identified the club it was going to operate out of, and the SNA offered its resources and support. However, he needed the people. He spent a while visiting local facilities that support people with disabilities. The whole premise of this idea was to offer nautical activities to people who can’t do things for themselves. Many of the parasailers involved are unable to eat or wash themselves independently, they never leave the building, and some are confined to their bed. Why not offer them and their carers an outing on the boat?
After motivating people to get on board and support this heart-warming initiative, Mare Inseme got the carers to try out the RS Venture. Pierre wanted them to see how stable it was and experience it for themselves. After a successful day on the water, they realised just how much of an impact we would have on people’s lives. And that for those who work tirelessly caring for those with disabilities, it’s nice for them to have a break. It’s great for them to experience the elements, we offer it to them for free and are supported by partners. Parasailing in Ajaccio is supported and run by volunteers who assist the instructors before, during and after the sessions. Without the volunteers, there’s no activity. Mare Inseme have flexible volunteers who do what they can to support the project, but also partners who support the operational costs with contributions here and there. Awareness of this project spread by word of mouth through Ajaccio. After recently launching a crowdfunding for a second boat, the unity of the community raised the funds in just a month and a half!
How can sailing change people’s lives?
Sailing most definitely has the power to enable the unimaginable. Mare Inseme recently had an autistic boy come in the other day who is normally in his own world and doesn’t enjoy socialising or physical touch. However, when on the boat he put his hand on his mother’s knee and gave her a big hug. A beautiful moment for all to see.
That’s what is so great about the RS Venture SCS. The spacious boat allows families to come and share the experience with them and make them feel more comfortable. It’s also super stable. Pierre and his team took the boat out to see if they could capsize it. After three failed attempts, they were reassured that it is uncapsizable and feel safe taking the boat out in different wind conditions. Pierre says,
“It’s a super well thought through boat, it’s an intimate, fun, fantastic and progressive boat. The first day we sailed it, we knew it was the best boat. When our clients are with us, they do nothing but laugh”
What does the future of Mare Inseme look like?
Pierre and his team are looking to add more RS Ventures to their fleet and collaborate with other parasailing organisations across France. Their vision is to create a more accessible parasailing community and train for regatta racing. The ultimate goal is to hold an international competition and social opportunity for those who can feel isolated, bringing together the united communities across the world to showcase their talents and skills.