MEMBERS of the newly-formed Chesil Sailability group are celebrating after receiving a generous donation of vital buoyancy aids and clothing.

The disability sailing group were given the donation of buoyancy aids from Henri Lloyd, the international supplier of sailing clothes and equipment, which has a shop in St Mary Street, Weymouth.

Henri Lloyd Weymouth store manager Paul Ormes said: “It is great to be involved with this project to give everyone the opportunity to get on the water. We hope our kit will help the sailors stay safe.”

Chesil Sailability sailor Jane Buckle said: “The buoyancy aids will make a huge difference for all of us sailors as they are an essential part of our kit and give us confidence on the water.”

The group proudly wore the new kit when they met Lord Sebastian Coe during his visit to Portland Marina last week, telling him about their new venture, which is a genuine legacy of the Paralympic Games.

They also met RYA Olympic manager Stephen ‘Sparky’ Park, who praised the Chesil Sailability group’s work and said: “It is really important to have progression from sailing taster sessions to giving people the opportunity to take up sailing as a competitive sport.

“There are some racing circuits for a number of classes of disabled sailors and the British Sailing Team Paralympic squads, but it is crucial to create an infrastructure for progression.

“With Chesil Sailability planning to help create this entry to racing and progression, as well as race management, is really exciting and hopefully will be a fantastic Games legacy.”

This week Chesil Sailability held its first on-the-water session with four sailors sailing in perfect conditions of sun and a gentle breeze.

Some very broad smiles proved what a success it was.

Both sailors and volunteers are really looking forward to continuing over the summer and laying the foundations for expanding further next year.

Hugh de Iongh, the inspiration behind the Chesil Sailability group, said: “The donation of this equipment is warmly welcomed – without it the sailors could not get out onto the water in safety.

“The establishing of the Sailability project was inspired by the Paralympic sailing events hosted here in Weymouth and Portland last summer.

“After the Games we realised that sailing for disabled people was not as easy as it should be, but Chesil Sailability is now making it happen.”

To support Chesil Sailability or find out more, visit or call 07543656390.