ASTO Small Ships Race -
Cowes - Friday
3rd to 5th October 2008
Dering Employment Services
announces its sponsorship
for a group of eight people
to take part in LSP's first
voyage on 5 - 9 May 2008
See more about Dering
NDCS crew competing in the
Sonar race in Skandia Cowes Week 2006
“Promoting Deaf Awareness through Sailing”
Ruth Marrison of Oxford, who is deaf, will be competing in Skandia
Cowes Week 2006. Her crew-members are: Katie Davison hard of hearing
of Caterham, Surrey, Julia Brett hearing of Oxford and Ruth’s coach
Richard Beardsley, hearing of Oxford. He has experience of working
with deaf people in sailing.
The four of them will be competing in
the Sonar fleet after receiving financial help from ‘The National Deaf
International Sonar is sailed in 12 counties by disabled
and non-disabled sailors of all abilities. They have supported the World
Disabled Championships in Cardiz 1999, Sydney Paralympics 2000, World Disabled
Championships in St Petersburg in 2001 and Medemblik in 2002.
Ruth said (second from the left)
‘This is all I have wanted to do is to receive sponsorship
that I worked to receive. Thank you for the sponsorship from
‘The National Deaf Children’s Society. Without the sponsorship
and support Cowes Week would not happened for us.'
Katie said (first from the left)
'My first experience of sailing is back in 1998, I was asked
by a friend to go for a weekend trial. When we got back to
dry land, I just wanted to carry on. It was then I'd found
my passion. Since then I booked numerous sailing trips.
It's been my dream to be part of a crew and sail around the
world... My only regret is not starting sailing when I was
I was over the moon and thrilled when Ruth asked me
if I would be interested in taking part in Cowes Week. My
joy and my dream are coming true for me. To be able to do
Cowes Week, I shall be building on that experience in the
future after Cowes Week 2006.
Who knows as I maybe the first deaf woman to go solo!!!!’
Julia said – ‘I embarked on my first sailing experience
in a windy, cold April, 2003, following a childhood of Arthur
Ransome novels and many blustery wanderings along windswept
I had always been fascinated with the water and had a burning
desire to experience the freedom, adventure and challenge
of wind and water. The thrill would strike, whether watching
or reading about Yacht races of the world, or single-handed
dinghy sailing, pottering about quieter waters, escaping the
stresses of life, exposed to the elements. So taking these
longings to sail in hand, I booked myself on a ‘learn to sail’
course. Not a particularly romantic setting but my best
alternative and the largest local stretch of water, Oxford
Sailing Club, Oxford. This was also the course, where I met
Ruth Marrison for the first time. Ruth was a shy young person
battling to ensure her disabilities did not interfere with
her desire to sail. Quietly determined, Ruth used every spare
moment out on the water, impressing other novices, such as myself,
with her ‘rudderless sailing’ and seemingly effortless ability
to ‘come along side’!
The sailing course was a wonderful and exhilarating experience.
Force 6 winds offered a wet and cold exposure to sailing and
occasionally scared the hell out of me. However, the excellent
coaching skills enabled technique and understanding to bolster
my rather naive enthusiasm. I knew I had the bug.
Since this time the pleasure of sailing has grown stronger,
learning to sail has been a skill for life and one of the most
enriching opportunities I have encountered. Having learned to
sail in Laser Pico’s, Wayfarer’s and RS Visions, I have since
helmed from Cowes to Southampton in a formula 28 and crewed on
a 44ft racing yacht in the Roker Regatta, Sunderland. While
still many moons away from calling myself even vaguely
proficient, sailing has offered me confidence, fun, escapism,
new friends and physical fitness.
After spending time watching the racing at Cowes last year, I
was delighted when Ruth asked me if I would race with her at
Cowes 2006. The opportunity of racing at Cowes is an ambition
I have often dreamed of fulfilling. It has been exciting
understanding the detail and work that goes into the organization
to participate and afford to race in an event such as Cowes week.
I am both excited with anticipation and trepidation about my
personal ability to support Ruth and challenge my own skills
in this race.’
Spinlock said - Spinlock are pleased to announce they
will be supporting Ruth Marrison in her 2006 sailing campaign.
Following their success in Cowes Week 2005 it is hoped that
Ruth and her crew will continue to promote deaf awareness
through sailing and encourage more deaf people to undertake
such s sailing. Ruth has shown that despite being profoundly
deaf you can still compete at the highest level in sport.
Through her determination and hard work, Ruth has secured
the support necessary to race in at several regattas this
year and Spinlock wish her and the team every success.
The National Deaf Children’s Society said - "The National
Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is pleased to sponsor Ruth
and her team of deaf sailors during Cowes Week 2006. We
are obviously hoping that the crew do really well and are
wishing them the best of luck! The NDCS is the only UK
charity solely dedicated to the support of deaf children
and young people, their families, and professionals working
with them and role-models like Ruth really help raise
awareness of the issues that deaf children and young people
can face. Ruth and the crew really show that deafness need
not be a barrier to achieving what you want in life."
Ruth and Katie will communicate with each other by sign
but will communicate by lip-reading to Richard and Julia.
Their aim is to promote deaf awareness through sailing
during Skandia Cowes Week 2006. Deaf awareness is. Deafness
should not get in the way of deaf people doing what they
want to do. Deafness is only another way of communicating,
it doesn’t mean we are unable to do things.
Ruth has sailed for over 4 years under the guidance of Sail
Training Principal Richard Beardsley at Oxford Sailing Club,
Oxford and has also sailed in many other different places.
Richard has worked with Ruth for the last 4 years. In that
time he has had to learn about deaf awareness and how to
communicate with deaf people.
Oxford Sailing Club is a busy club located on Farmoor Reservoir
in Oxford. It has a regular programme of racing all year round.
The club offers a range of RYA approved sailing, powerboat
and First Aid courses (and other training by arrangement if
required). We also provide boat hire facilities to members
and course participants.
Ruth, Julia, Katie and Richard are still looking for sponsorship
so if anyone would like to sponsor them, then e-mail Ruth on
If you would like more information then contact Oxford Sailing
Club on 01865 863201 or visit the website on
NDCS crew competing in the Sonar race in Skandia Cowes Week 2006