Hilary Lister is a "dis"abled woman from the United Kingdom, she has "reflex sympathetic dystrophy" a proggresive disease that has paralysed her from the neck down. She just took up sailing a few years ago, and using "sip and puff" technology was able to become the first quadriplegic to sail across the English Channel. Here is the interview I wrote her.
Ralph:Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, and congratulations on your award "Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration." That must have been very cool.
Hilary: I was the last person I expected to be nominated for, let alonereceive, the award. I really do feel very humbled. All I did was go for asail with some mates for a day. I couldn't have been more surprised,especially as my Mum had pointed out that there were steps up onto the stage(she got it wrong, she just couldn't see the ramp!) It was an amazing night.
Ralph:What is it you like most about most about sailing?
Hilary: Like most sailors, I think that it's the freedom. On the water I'm my own person, and I love the wind and water. It feels like flying!
Ralph:Do you follow the careers of any of the "pro" disabled female sailors like Jennifer French of the U.S?
Hilary: A little, but I have only been sailing for a very short period of time, and all my sailor mates are able-bodied, so I tend to spend most of my time following them.
Ralph: Do you have any plans for competition? The paralympic trials and the IFDS disabled sailing championships are just around the corner.
Hilary: I enjoy sailing on the sea, and my preference is for long-distancesailing. I haven't done much racing, but it gets crowded, and I like thesolitude you get on the ocean.
Ralph: What would you say to a young woman that wanted to get into sailing?
Hilary: Just go for it! There is bound to be a club relatively near you,even if you live far inland there are reservoirs and rivers.
Ralph: On your website you talk about sailing around the British Isles, goodluck with that and keep me informed, you really deserve that award. Till next time.__
To find out more about Hilary check out ChannelChallenge