More than 60 disabled sailors will be taking part in the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta when it gets underway in Rutland next week

Britain’s biggest disabled sailing event – RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta – will be marking a special anniversary when it returns to Rutland Sailing Club on 4-6 August.

It is 10 years since the first event was held.

To mark the milestone, a new Open class is being introduced for the first time this year

More than 60 sailors of all abilities from across Britain have already registered to take part in the racing in no fewer than seven different types of boat.

Individual class titles are up for grabs alongside a the new Open class crown and the perennial Ken Ellis Pursuit Race Trophy.

Yachts moored up at Rutland Sailing Club

The regatta will be taking place at Rutland Sailing Club. Credit: Mat Fascione/Wikimedia Commons

Last year, sailors from the host club, Rutland Sailability, claimed three of the Multiclass titles – Graham Hall in the Challenger trimaran, Christine Spray and Neville Rose in the SKUD 18 skiff and Paul Allen and James Adair in RS Venture keelboat.

Five races are scheduled to take place on 5 and 6 August – four races for each of the classes or Open trophies and the Pursuit race.

In addition, the Friday (4 August) is a training day to give both newcomers and experienced sailors alike the chance to improve their skills with ability-relevant coaching from experienced racing experts.

RYA Sailability manager, Joff McGill, said: “Last year, we had more than 54 boats and 64 sailors taking part, and with the new Open class introduced for the first time this year we would love to welcome even more to mark the event’s 10th anniversary.”

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“The RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta is a fantastic opportunity for sailors to experience racing in large fleets for the first time, as well as providing some very competitive racing for those with more experience,” he added.

The inaugural RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta was held at Rutland Sailing Club in 2007 and was the first time so many different fleets had met and raced together.

“The secret to the event’s longevity and ongoing success is how much people enjoy it,” stated McGill.

“Because sailors of all classes are mixing at one event, they get the chance to meet new people, find out about different types of boat and equipment and get tips and advice from some of the leading names in British disabled sailing.”

“It is just a really friendly event where everyone is welcomed and, as hosts, Rutland Sailing Club always plays a key role in helping to foster the sense of community that makes the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta the unique event it is,” stressed McGill.

Sailability is the national programme run by sailing’s governing body, the RYA, giving disabled people the chance to try sailing and to take part regularly.

The British network of no fewer than 221 RYA-approved Sailability sites have boats and facilities to cater for people across the whole spectrum of abilities.