Every summer for the past ten years, sailors from different yacht clubs, including sailors with physical and/or sensory disabilities, have gathered for the Regatta for the Association québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA).
Volunteer sailors are once again organizing the largest philanthropic regatta in Québec to raise funds to allow the AQVA to offer the freedom and excitement of adapted sailing to as many people living with disabilities as possible.
The event is an inclusive and exciting competition. The Royal St-Lawrence Yacht Club (1350 Lakeshore, Dorval QC H9S 2E3) is hosting The Regatta for AQVA on August 20, 2022, followed by a cocktail reception and dinner with dancing and prize giving. All profits are donated to the AQVA. To date, more than $280,000 have been raised since the Regatta's foundation, and this is the most important source of funding for the Association. Click here to register your boat, sponsor a boat or simply donate to the regatta.
With a start time of 1:30 pm on Saturday, August 20, 2022, on Lake Saint-Louis, this event will bring together some 40 sailboats from the sailing clubs of lakes Saint-Louis and Deux-Montagnes, including AQVA sailors aboard their specially designed sailboat, the Martin 16. Dinner (6 pm) attendance often surpasses 150 guests.
"The willingness and ability to sail with a physical disability is an extraordinary challenge, but it is possible," says Patrick Flaherty, co-founder of the event, which is organized by a committee of 14 volunteers.
The AQVA and its ten instructors allow more than 200 sailors to enjoy this adapted sport in a safe environment. Too often isolated by their condition, AQVA sailors take part in an inclusive and dynamic activity that gives them a sense of belonging. The pride of sailing, for first, repeat or old timers, and the feeling of freedom are visible on the eager faces of the sailors.
Adapted sailing is available to anyone with a mobility impairment, regardless of age or ability, alone or accompanied for pleasure or competition.
"It takes boldness and determination, but the outcome is exhilarating," Flaherty concluded.
The AQVA wishes to thank The Tenaquip Foundation and Desjardins - Caisse de l’Ouest-de-l’Île for their support.