Oman Sail will be hosting the inaugural RS Venture Connect World Championships at the Barcelo Resort in Mussanah. Between November 24 – 27, we expecting the world’s top disabled sailors from all around the world to compete in this event. We spoke to Bernadette, a member of the Netherlands team who will be competing. Here’s what she had to say.
“In life and sailing, my partner and I are both wheelchair users. We met in 2019 in Austria while practising sit-skiing together (I was the student, and my partner was the teacher). There it was, where we fell in love. When we were back in Holland, we discovered we were both sailing. That first summer, we started sailing together in the SV14, but unfortunately, this boat was no longer available in our club after summer 2021. So, we started sailing in the Hansa Class, and in July, we participated in the ONK in Rotterdam, finishing in 2nd place. In the late summer of 2021, two RS Ventures Connect boats were at my club, ProRegatta in Rotterdam. We were immediately in love with this boat. In October 2021, we went to the WK Hansa Class in Palermo, where we experienced a lot of equipment failure, so we ended up 39th in the 303 double class out of 68 competitors. In 2022, my club couldn’t host the RS Venture Connect event because there were reconstruction labours of the terrain in the harbour. Instead, we continued training in the Hansa Class and came 1st.From Sept 9 to 11, we hope to compete in the first RS Venture Connect Dutch National Championship.
Besides sailing, we do a lot of other adapted sports, like hand biking, wakeboarding, golf surfing and indoor skydiving.
We are excited to be at the RS Venture Connect World Championships in Oman this November. My sister Lucie Linssen and her husband Gijs de Rijk will accompany us. They live in Switzerland and will fly into Oman from there to help us and other sailors. We will sail in the open class in Oman because my partner Erik is not eligible for the IPC. According to the IPC, I am officially classified as 3.
We look forward to meeting the organisation and the other sailors in November in Musannah. See you there!”
There is a lot of momentum behind this fantastic event and we look forward to the top sailors from around the world meeting together in beautiful Oman for a fantastic week of racing!