Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Foyle Sailability Goes With the Flow

20th April 2016
Foyle sailability Foyle sailability

Following on from yesterday's Dun Laoghaire announcement of its Sailability programme the River Foyle in Derry has launched its fun introductory session as 'a fantastic opportunity for people with disabilities' to ‘Try Sailing’ for the first time and learn the basics. Taking place on Saturday 14th May at Foyle Marina this ‘have a go’ event is being offered for free and with no prior experience or specialist equipment required there really is no excuse not to give it a try!

Foyle Sailability exists to bring the joy of sailing and boating to people with disabilities from across the North West region of Ireland, says chairperson Cathal MacElhatton. “Operating from the Foyle Marina, which has a hoist, we have a range of accessible dinghies for everyone to enjoy out on Lough Foyle. Our aim is to provide safe and enjoyable sailing opportunities to people with disabilities interested in experiencing the sport of sailing and other ‘on the water’ activities”.

“On arrival you will be kitted out with all the necessary equipment and given a safety briefing and introduction, then it will be time to get into your boats and get sailing! Our qualified instructors will be in the boat along with you to help throughout the session and provide any tips on improving your technique. “

The event runs from 10.30am to 3pm and is divided into short sessions, so early booking from [email protected] is advised, although it’s free, advises Cathal. Foyle Marina is located at Baronet Street.

Foyle Sailability is offering this taster event as part of a national campaign called ‘Flow – Get into Watersports’ which is co-funded by The Erasmus Plus programme of the European Union and is a partnership between SportNI and a range of water based National Governing Bodies with the aim of encouraging more people to participate in watersports. The campaign kicks off with a weekend of water based outdoor activity taster events all over Northern Ireland during the weekend of 14th and 15th May. These events will be closely followed by a series of follow up training programmes to encourage people to continue in their chosen activity. So even if you can’t attend the taster events you can still get involved by taking part in one of the follow up training programmes that are taking place.

During the weekend there will be a range of clubs based all over Northern Ireland offering taster events in canoeing, sailing, water skiing and wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving.

SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Outdoor Recreation Development Officer, Mike McClure, believes it is a great way for people to get into a water sport and to eventually join a club by commenting “Flow is a wonderful way for people to experience the great natural water resources we have here in Northern Ireland and hopefully by taking part in this campaign it will help develop favourite past-times that participants will take part in for many years to come”.

Visit to see a full list of taster events and follow up training programmes that are being offered as part of the campaign to get you flowing into your next adventure!

Published in Sailability

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About Sailability

Sailability gives access to sailing for people living with disabilities or disadvantages. This Charity also provides kayaking. The aim is to train, educate and encourage more people with disabilities or disadvantages in getting on the water with a qualified dinghy, powerboat and first aid instructors.