People with disabilities will be able to enjoy sailing thanks to a new centre of excellence.
The Castle Semple Centre, in Lochwinnoch, has become Scotland’s first Royal Yachting Association (RYA) ‘Sailability’ Centre of Excellence. This means it is ready to provide sailing opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities.
The centre has expanded to provide experienced staff and specialised equipment for disabled sailors. One of its latest pieces of equipment is a pontoon hoist, which has been donated by The Rotary Club of Gryffe.
The new facilities are due to be displayed in a Sailability Launch Day at the end of March.
The centre is a RYA Training Centre providing sailing and powerboat tuition for budding sailors. Staff have been working for a year to meet the standards required for the title of Sailability Centre of Excellence.
The new status means the centre will be holding taster days for potential new sailors along with outreach projects where they will send boats, staff and equipment to other venues to help them run taster days and attract new sailors in their area.
They will also be running a series of race training weekends throughout the year for existing sailors who want to take their sailing to a competitive level.
Lochore Meadows Watersports Centre in Fife will be joining Castle Semple as a sister Centre of Excellence in the east area in April, and the two centres will be working together to raise the profile of disability sailing across Scotland in the coming years.