WANTED: Jetski volunteers for World Blind Sailing Champs

Competitors sailing Noelex 25’s at the 2008 Australian Blind Sailing Championships

If you own a jet ski, jet boat or rigid inflatable boat (RIB) and want to be part of a world championship event, the organising committee for the IFDS World Blind Sailing Championships wants to hear from you.

At least four jet skis, one jet boat and two RIBs are needed for the event on Lake Rotorua from 13 to 21 March 2009.

Organising committee member Tony Thompson said the jet skis, jet boat and RIBs can either be lent to the committee for use or the owners may prefer to operate their jet ski, jet boat or RIB themselves. All fuel costs will be covered and the committee has extra insurance cover for the event.

'We will be launching the yachts in shallow water each morning and we will need jet skis and a jet boat to tow the boats out to temporary moorings, so the crews can put their rudders and centre plates down in deeper water,' Mr Thompson said.

The jet skis and jet boat will also be needed at the end of each day's racing to bring the boats back into shore.

'If you can help out the blind sailors, we would be really grateful - whether it's for a couple of days or for the entire event. It promises to be an exciting event on and off the water,' Mr Thompson said.

Eighteen crews from nine countries will battle it out for top honours in the event, including the defending champion New Zealand team.

In blind sailing each boat has a crew of four people - two blind and two sighted people. There are three classifications - B1 (totally blind), B2 (can see light and dark) and B3 (vision impaired eg. tunnel vision). The boat is skippered and crewed by 'blind' sailors and the sighted crew members are only permitted on board to give instruction to the blind crew and ensure the safety of the yacht during competition.

The 2009 World Blind Sailing Championships are supported by Bay Trust, Rotorua District Council, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, New Zealand Community Trust and SPARC.

To volunteer a jet ski, jet boat or RIB, or to find out more, please contact Tony Thompson on 07 349 4810 or email a_thompson@clear.net.nz

For more information about the event check out www.2009worldblindsailingnz.com