Autumn 2003


Commodore’s Bit
AGM & Prize Giving
Annual Dinner
Ceremony of Keys
Cruising at Chichester
Everything Comes
For Sale
Impossible Dream
Local Government
London Fun Night
News of Members
Regatta & Jazz Night
Sailing Report
SigneT Nationals
Social Calendar
Stop Press News
Tall Ships at Rouen
What Goes Around
Winter’s Coming
Working Party

I don’t go to big boat shows as normally there isn’t much there that interests me; I don’t go sailing in big boats because I am very prone to sea sickness.

This year I had a free ticket to the Southampton Boat show and went with Frank Rainsborough, ex commodore of Queen Mary Sailing Club. What made it very worth while and interesting was that Frank had an invitation to the naming ceremony of a 60 ft catamaran the ‘Impossible Dream’ at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club.

Ten years ago Mike Browne was a top athlete but then his world fell apart after breaking his back and being paralysed in a ski accident.

He lived at Ashford (Middlesex) and was introduced to 2.4 metre sailing at Queen Mary Sailing Club. The 2.4 metre is a scaled down version of a 12 metre racing yacht equipped for sailing by disabled people.

Within a couple of years Mike became one of the best 2.4 metre helms in the country and sailed for Britain in the Sydney paralympics. Three years ago he had the impossible dream of sailing single handed around the world.

He found designer Nic Bailey who didn’t think it was impossible and came up with even more outrageous suggestions. The result was the ‘Impossible Dream’ designed to be sailed single handed by a person in a wheel chair.

Everything is powered and remote controlled. A person in a wheel chair can board, unaided using chair lifts, and go right round the deck, trim sails and helm. The enclosed cockpit looks like one from an aircraft, again a wheel chair can go down to the sleeping quarters in the hulls unaided.

It is a beautiful looking boat and now Mike has to learn open ocean sailing. It was financed by his business ‘Snow and Rock’; one of his outlets is at Shepperton on the left as you go from Chertsey Bridge to Addlestone. Although he has now sold the business and is living at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club.

We were able to look all over the boat, chat with Mike Brown, Nick Bailey and the builders Multimarine Composites. After the naming Mike gave a very interesting speech describing the history of the project.

It is amazing what can be done by some one with the determination to overcome impossible odds.

Impossible Dream - Richard Cannon

Mike Browne

The cockpit

Impossible Dream

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