On the 27th June, the day before celebrating her 18th birthday, the inspirational Sip-Puff sailing supremo Natasha Lambert, an Honorary Member of the Island Sailing Club, will perform the coveted first firing of the gun that signals the start of this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
Natasha lives on the Isle of Wight and has athertoid cerebral palsy that affects her limbs and speech. As she herself describes it “the messages from my brain don’t go to the muscles I need them too and kind of get lost along the way, which is really frustrating! So I need help 24/7 with all sorts of things.”
Tash started sailing a few years ago and loved it from the start. She has undertaken and achieved an extraordinary amount of personal goals, in turn becoming an inspiration to so many. During 2010 and 2011 she sailed Miss Isle, her Artemis 20,, but she was striving for more control, more space for electronics and the ability to sail further afield. The team purchased a Mini Transat boat and converted her to become Miss Isle Too. The boat was completed in August 2012 to allow Tash to take full control of the helm and sails.
Since then Tash has carried out three big challenges, sailing round the Isle of Wight in 2012, crossing the channel from France to England in and sailing from the Isle of Wight to South Wales and climbing a mountain!
Her current objective is to set up the Miss Isle School of Sip-Puff sailing to help others learn to Sip-Puff Sail. To help her reach her goal, Tash has recently completed her latest mission called ‘Capital Venture’, setting out from Cowes back in her Artemis 20, sailing east along the coast past Dover and around, up the Thames and into the city of London. She then walked the square mile and collected cheques from some city banks.
Tash accepted the Island Sailing Club’s invitation to start the Race with great excitement, wreathed in smiles:
“Wow! I am absolutely thrilled to be asked to start this year’s Round the Island Race, I was so surprised to be asked. It is such a fantastic Race and such a fantastic honour! Thank you so much for asking me! It is going to be such a very special day.”
The Island Sailing Club’s Secretary, Lea Bennett, commented:
“It was such a wonderful reaction to our invitation that we knew we had absolutely found the right person to carry out this very responsible and important role.”
To round off the Race weekend in style, the Island Sailing Club is equally delighted to announce that Olympic sailing gold medallist Helena Lucas MBE will present the prizes at the ISC’s Prizegiving held at their Clubhouse in Cowes at midday on Sunday 28th June. A total of 78 fantastic prizes, many of them with a superb history attached to them, are handed out including the most famous of all, the Gold Roman Bowl.
Helena Lucas made history claiming the 2.4mR Paralympic gold medal at London 2012, becoming the first ever female winner of the male dominated Paralympic class and Britain’s first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist.
Helena was also the first GB athlete to be selected for Rio 2016 announced on 11th May, her 40th birthday; it’s a selection which sees her become the first official member of either ParalympicsGB or Team GB for Rio.
Helena, who was born with no thumbs and limited extension in her arms, is in the unusual position of having competed in both Olympic and Paralympic campaigns. Having sailed 470s since 1997 she moved into the Paralympic 2.4mR in 2003 before making her Paralympic Games debut at Beijing 2008, finishing seventh.
She is continuing on the road to Rio 2016 in a quest for her second gold medal, living and training in Weymouth. Aside from her Rio campaign Helena is also looking to experiment with new classes and will be fronting her own SB20 campaign.
There’s still time to sign up as standard entries don’t close until midnight on 13th June. http://www.rtir.me/entries and late entries are accepted right up until noon on 24th June.