The Barcelo Resort in Mussanah, Oman will host the RS Venture Connect World Championships from November 24th -27th. It is expected that teams from 15 nations will compete in this event, the first time that the RS Venture Connect class worlds have been hosted in Asia. In addition to featuring the relatively new World Sailing ‘race’ specification sails on all boats competing, the RS Venture Connect also features a so-called Seated Control System or ‘SCS’ which is specifically designed for use by people with disabilities.
We spoke to Genevieve’s support worker to find out more about her sailing background, how she got involved and why she has decided to participate in the RS Venture Connect World Championship.
“Genevieve is extremely challenged around verbal and written communication related to Aphasia along with right sided body paralysis that she acquired post stroke in 2001. Despite this, she is highly motivated, confident and has an engaging outgoing personality. She has demonstrated much determination and courage to attain her goals and continues to enjoy and make the most of each day that she was fortunate enough to have been afforded.
A short overview around Genevieve’s sailing history.
Genevieve sailed as a teenager in a Mirror dinghy and was involved in local, state and national competitions. She returned to sailing post stroke in 2005 as a social activity via Sailability. One session on the water in a Hansa 303 ignited her competitive spirit. Genevieve has her own Hansa Liberty and sails regularly at Club level. Pre-covid pandemic her competitive sailing included State, National and International events many times over the past 15 years. Her most notable recent achievement was in 2018 when she competed in the Para World Sailing Championship at Sheboygan US in a Hansa 303W and finished second. A Silver medal! In 2019, at the Para World Sailing Championship at Cadiz Spain she competed in the Hansa 303W finishing 7th.
Why this event?
Firstly, Genevieve is very keen to be actively involved in the strong international movement “Back the Bid” to get sailing back into the Paralympics in 2028 in LA. Next attraction is the RS Venture Connect presenting the opportunity to sail with a crew. As mentioned earlier Genevieve is physically challenged in a single person boat as she doesn’t have bilateral upper body strength and only one arm/hand to manage all the
various tasks involved in sailing a boat. Her competitive history includes several opportunities both local and offshore to helm a two person Hansa Skud18 which is much more suited to her physical limitations. Her crew for this event Grant Alderson has a strong history of international competition and is the past Australian coach for the Paralympic Sonar Class that competed in Rio 2016. Way back in 2013 at Sail Auckland in New Zealand Genevieve was invited to helm the Skud18 in an open class and finished with the Gold medal. At this time she realized that for her, a two person boat would ensure a much more satisfying sailing experience.
Genevieve is very determined, highly motivated, excited and thrilled to once again have this opportunity to helm a two-person boat at an international regatta. At the RS Venture Connect event, Genevieve will be supported by her friend Sian Kelly who will be available to assist with her general management and communication needs and all details around the actual sailing will be managed by her crew Grant Alderson.”
We look forward to getting top sailors from around the world together in beautiful Oman for a fantastic week of racing! Don’t miss out!