Rotary & Sailability

In The East Midlands ten Rotary Clubs assist a devoted group of local volunteers at Grafham Water Sailability (GWS) in providing freedom on the water to disabled people

The Rotary Club of St Ives is one of ten East Midlands Rotary Clubs assisting a devoted group of local volunteers at Grafham Water Sailability (GWS) in providing freedom on the water to disabled people. GWS is one of about 90 similar groups throughout the UK.

Rotarians attend on a rota provided by GWS for seven months April to October and assist the GWS volunteers in rigging boats, helping the sailors aboard, launching and recovering boats. Those who assist at the waters edge wear life jackets and waders. We also assist at the Annual Regatta and it's a lot of fun!

The ten Rotary Clubs have assisted in various ways over the years. Most recently in the building of new semi-permanent cabins, with both direct labour and financial contributions. The first Challengers were made in 1980 for £750, but of course they currently cost several thousands of pounds if bought new. The St Ives club is usually the lead helper in cleaning the boats at the end of March after their five months lay-up in the mossy cold outdoors.

At the end of each sailing year, towards the end of October, GWS give a thank you day for all the Rotary helpers from the ten clubs, with a generous buffet and a chance to go sailing as novice sailors, who have an experienced “buddy” sailor sitting on a removable seat between the central hull and one of the outriggers.

Please visit the Grafham Water Sailability website for further details

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