Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Disabled sailor from Devizes will be taking on world’s best
3:00pm Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
Devizes resident Andrew Farrow is taking part in the open world sailing championships in September despite being paralysed from the waist down.
Mr Farrow, 47, from Festival Close, sustained a spinal cord injury after falling from a tree in 2006 and has been wheelchair- bound ever since.
But a grant from the Salisbury-based Southern Spinal Injuries Trust has enabled him to buy his own sailing boat and enter the world championships in Poole, where he will be up against both disabled and able-bodied sailors from all over the world.
Mr Farrow, who formerly owned and ran The Toy Tree in Old Swan Yard, said: “If I was running I would be up against Jonny Peacock and Usain Bolt. I know I won’t win but I want to train enough not to come last or crash into anyone.”
The grant from SSIT has allowed the father-of-two to buy his own 2.4 Metre sailing boat, which needs no alterations to be sailed by a disabled person. He said: “Because you sit very deep in the boat, you don’t have to move around in the same way you would in a more traditional design. You can control the boat from one position and it has a heavy lead keel which means it can’t capsize.
“Most boats designed for disabled sailors are a bit clunky but the 2.4 Metre is a beautiful boat.
“Sailing is one of the few sports that disabled people can take part in alongside able-bodied people. It’s opened up a whole new world for me.”
Mr Farrow is following in the wash of his illustrious grandfather, Major General Ralph Farrant, who took part in the Helsinki Olympics of 1952 and was chairman of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Charity fundraiser Mr Farrow said: “He used to sail out of Poole in a catamaran he designed himself.”