by Eddie Linthout (as amended by s4e)
Eddie Linthout has shared this story about getting sailors into Liberties in Italy
“About six years ago I promised to Angelo that one day I would give him the chance to conduct on the sea a sailing boat.”
The promise was given by Daniele Malavolta, the key person of Liberi nel Vento, to Angelo Larocca and it has been totally fullfilled.
Daniele is a paraplegic person, he is very much involved with the Italian 2.4mr class and he organized the 2.4mr 2012 World Championship. Angelo is a severe quadriplegic person, he can just little move only his head.
Liberi nel Vento (Free in the Wind) www.liberinelvento.it is a non profit association based in Porto San Giorgio on the Adriatic Sea, about 300 km south of Venezia. The association owns a Hansa 303 used mainly for their sailing school.
On Sunday, July 10th, as programmed, Liza and Akko from Hansa Sailing Systems reached the Marina di Porto San Giorgio with three Liberty boats, two of which have been prepared for the use with servo systems applied to the chin or with the mouth air breath.
At the presence of many friends, supporters and media this sailing project aimed towards the sailing of a Liberty servo assisted has been presented. This system allows also persons with severe disabilities to be able to helm, in complete autonomy and safety, a boat and sailing through the use of servo controls.
Liza and Akko, also thanks to the perfect synergy with all the staff of the Liberi nel Vento, on Monday morning they set the seating and controls of the two Liberty to fit the best solutions according to the physical conditions of Angelo Larocca, Cinzia Cocciaro and Sami Arapi.
Late in the afternoon, great and exciting moment with the first sailing on the sea of Angelo who got easily familiar handling the rudder of the boat by operating the servo driven by the breath of his mouth.
“Angelo, with his security and mastery of the craft, has given great sensations and misty eyes from the emotions to all those who have had the fortune and pleasure to live this special moment of sport and life.” For the first time in Italy, in the Adriatic Sea, our fellow Angelo has skippered a boat using only the air breath of his mouth.
Tuesday afternoon further emotions … For the first time Sami at the helm of a boat with servo and, after 12 years, Cynthia, she founded the Liberi nel Vento, has returned to sail in Liberi nel Vento. Great step forward for Angelo, still with the controls operated by the breath of his mouth, began to interact, as well as on the rudder, also on the mainsail.
“Unspeakable the excitements and the smiles returning to the port, in the late afternoon, of the sailors and all the supporting staff. It was only possible to organize and implement such an important and delicate initiative only with the help and the professionalism of Liza and Akko as instructors and the whole team of Liberi nel Vento.
During the presentation, leaving everyone pleasantly surprised, the Managing Director of a important company in the territory has said themselves available for the purchase of one Hansa Liberty in order to give continuity, in the future, on the sailing initiative for the severe disabilities.
You can find more photos and videos of the sailing at the Liberi nel Vento Facebook page.