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DVD making a big splash

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 05 July 2010

A DVD portraying the work of a sailing project for disabled people has enjoyed its first official screening.

The Right to Sail was shown to a packed crowd of members and volunteers of Waveney Sailability at the Wherry Hotel, in Oulton Broad.

A DVD portraying the work of a sailing project for disabled people has enjoyed its first official screening.

The Right to Sail was shown to a packed crowd of members and volunteers of Waveney Sailability at the Wherry Hotel, in Oulton Broad.

Professional photographer and video producer Alan O'Neill has made the film along with his daughter Emily and Anglia television presenter Claire Weller.

And between them they spent 100 hours interviewing, filming and editing the 20 minutes DVD to show how the project, set up by local Rotary clubs has grown since its inauguration in 2005.

The object of the project is to give everyone with a disability a chance to find more independence and enjoyment from sailing in a safe environment with training, equipment and support.

As part of the DVD members spoke of their enjoyment in the project, with Joe Smith revealing: “I took up sailing at 70 - crazy.”

While volunteers such as treasurer David Collins and secretary Kevin Taylor told of their dedication to it, with Kevin admitting: “It's taken over my life really, but I don't mind.”

Claire, who conducted all the interviews, also spoke to supporters the Broads Authority and Jonathan Adnams.

Chairman Richard Morling told the audience: “It's a wonderful occasion to show you what has been going on and it's an insight into what we've been doing. We have got between 50 and 60 members at the club who are obviously disabled and it's great to see them week after week.”

Mr O'Neill, a fellow Rotarian, offered to make the DVD free of charge after watching Mr Collins make various presentations about Sailability.

“I've made hundreds of films globally, but this one has been very special. We are hooked and will be lifelong friends of Sailability.” said Mr O'Neill, of Charles Hodge Photography and Video Production.

Sailability now has 12 dingys supported by several local businesses and organisations and a larger fixed keel squib for people who cannot independently sail on the water.

After three years the club now has around 60 members and 40 volunteers, who meet every Tuesday afternoon between April and October.

Now some of the members are learning to race and sail regularly in events organised by the Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club.

And they have successfully secured money to build a boathouse, which will be launched ready for the next season in April.

The film has been dedicated to sailing member Deano Perkins who passed away last month.

During the event, the volunteers also paid tribute to John Sait, the bookings officer who also died recently.

Order a copy by post for £5.50 including post and packaging by sending a cheque payable to Waveney Sailability, 59 Harrington Avenue, Lowestoft, NR32 4JX or call 01502 564658.

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