Parasailing crews from 16 nations are vying for titles at the 2021 Hansa World Championships, with races October 5-9 in Palermo, Italy. The Hansa Worlds allow para-sailors to participate in 303 Single, 2.3 Single, 303 two-man and Liberty class events.
For many sailors this is their first taste of international competition and to help with the preparations World Sailing has supported seven nations with travel, accommodation and by providing boats to the teams as part of the programme. Para Sailing Development (PDP).
Sailors from Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania and the Philippines will also benefit from coaching during the World Championship, as World Sailing aims to increase global participation and expand the competition.
“Our goal is to make sailing more inclusive, increase participation and create new opportunities for para-sailors to train, compete and excel on the water,” said Massimo Dighe, sailor Paralympic and Head of Para World Sailing at World Sailing.
81-year-old Tony Sanpere (St. Petersburg, Florida) is the only North American to compete in the Hansa 303 division solo. Sanpere is a disabled combat injured Vietnam veteran (US Army, Retired) and benefits from the Disabled Sailing Program offered by the Veterans Administration and also works with the Wounded Warriors Sailing Program in St. Petersburg.
Sanpere is one of many people with disabilities around the world who enjoy learning to sail and competing with other sailors. Specially equipped boats, like his Hansa 303, allow even the most severely disabled person to safely escape the bonds of land and control a small vessel on their own.
Since para sailing was phased out as a Paralympic sport following the Rio 2016 Games, World Sailing has focused on increasing global participation for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.
As a result, Para World Sailing has grown rapidly, with over 32 nations competing internationally each year at various World Championships. By 2023, World Sailing aims for 45 nations from six continents to participate in all levels of parasailing and inclusive events.
Source: World Sailing, Ellen Sanpere