As part of World Sailing’s reinstatement bid for the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games, they aim to:
- Increase worldwide participation to 45 nations on six continents
- Increase youth participation (below the age of 30) to 20% of total athletes
- Grow the number of female participation to 30% and ultimately achieve gender parity
As part of this effort, we have supported the RS Venture Connect class to activate regattas, strengthen the class and engage more para sailors from around the world. The RS Venture Connect is self-righting keelboat version of the RS Venture, with a lifting bulb keel for stability and a dry experience. Its large, self-draining cockpit makes it perfect for racing afloat. It offers a secure, multi-person boat for confidence-inspiring tuition and development. Designed with a plug & play parasailing equipment option, the RS Venture Connect can be set up for almost any disability – and quickly changed between sessions as required. From able-bodied to sip/puff electronic control, the RS Venture Connect does it all.
This is why we can’t wait to get all the top parasailors together in Oman this November to battle it out on the water. We spoke to Henriette, representing team Norway at the RS Venture Connect World Championship.
She said, “We are super excited to travel to Oman to compete in the Para World Sailing Championships this year! I wanted to participate last year, and finally, everything came together when I, by way of a post in a Facebook group called Positive Wheelers, connected with Luis.
I started 20 years ago with Tallship sailing, and the boats have become progressively smaller over the years. I have sailed and raced in Norway, New Zealand, South Africa and USA, and I fell in love with dinghies while sailing the Club Flying Junior for the University of Oregon Sailing Team in 2015-2016. I learned a lot but also struggled with finishing races because of my disability.
Luck would have it that I connected with the parasailing program in the Norwegian Sailing Associating two years ago. They gave me the opportunity to use the RS Venture Connect SCS that was located at KNS Ulabrand, and I fell in love instantly. I spent last year practising and had hoped to participate in Travemünde, but sadly I was left without a partner.
Asker Seilforening took me in late last year, and with a new boat lent to us by the Norwegian Sailing Federation, and I could keep practising with and alongside the para program.
When Luis came along, we were looking for someone to partner with me as representatives for Norway in the Nordic Championship. He is active in parasports like handball and bicycling and had tested out sailing in the RS Venture at the sailing outreach program hosted by KNS in collaboration with the Norwegian Spinal Cord Injuries Association. When I asked him to join me, he just said yes. And it’s been the wind in our sails ever since. With coaching and support from the Norwegian Sailing Federation we have made massive progress and decided the World Championship would be a great conclusion to a fantastic sailing season.”
Photo credit: Florian Conrads