Natasha Lambert has cerebral palsy and controls her boat by breathing through a straw
‘Sip and Puff’ sailor Natasha ‘Miss isle’ Lambert’s fundraising efforts reached the £10,000 milestone.
The 17-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and controls her boat by breathing through a straw in a specially-engineered bicycle helmet, is only four legs into her 12 leg sailing challenge.
She will then swap her 21ft Mini Transat boat, Miss Isle Too, for her special Hart Walker to climb Pen y Fan, the highest peak in Southern Britain.
The teenager said a huge ‘Thank You!’ to everyone who has supported her
so far, as she resumed her Sea and Summit Challenge sailing from Exmouth
to Dartmouth yesterday.
She is keen to hit her target of £15,000 before the end of her month-long challenge.
Through the Sea and Summit challenge Natasha is raising money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the RYA Foundation, as well as the profile of sailing for people with disabilities.
Having enjoyed her first rest day with a tour of the RNLI Exmouth Lifeboat station on Sunday, including seeing its pioneering Shannon class lifeboat, Natasha was back on the water for the shortest leg of her trip so far, 18 miles into Dartmouth.
She completed the leg in four-and-a-half hours before being welcomed into Dartmouth by the Dart RNLI inshore lifeboat, Anne Bailey from Dart Sailability and the The Rotary Club of Dartmouth.
Natasha received a rousing cheer from around 40 youngsters out sailing dinghies as part of the Royal Dart YC’s summer holidays activities programme.
When she came ashore Natasha was presented with a cheque for £400 by Peter Goldstraw from The Rotary Club of Dartmouth, raised amongst its members.
Mum Amanda said: ‘It was very nice of the people at Rotary to present Tash with a cheque for £400.
‘There are a lot of generous people out there, and having reached £10,000 already we’re hoping to get to our £15,000 target before we finish.
‘Hopefully people will continue to support Tash as they have been, both in person as we have gone round and online, it’s been really amazing the kindness people have shown so far.
‘It does mean so much to Tash to know she is able to help other people in this way because she has so much help from people.’
This week Natasha is scheduled to sail from Dartmouth to Salcombe and Salcombe to Plymouth, then having a short rest period before heading into Cornish waters and some of her sternest sailing challenges yet.
Yesterday evening she was the guest at a special reception being held for her at the Royal Dart YC.
Sea and Summit is Natasha’s biggest challenge yet – a month-long project sailing her specially-designed 21ft yacht, Miss Isle Too, single-handed around the South West coast of England to Wales before the Pen y Fan climb. In total she will sail around 430 miles and climb 2,907ft.
Sailing has been Natasha’s big love since she first went on holiday with the Calvert Trust aged nine. She then started sailing at home and spent two years sailing with the Even Keel Project and her local RYA Sailability. RYA Sailability is the national programme providing people with disabilities opportunities to learn to sail and sail regularly. Last year she sailed across the English Channel, and in 2012, the 50-miles around the Isle of Wight.
To support Natasha’s challenge visit www.missisle.com
For more information on getting involved in disability sailing visit www.rya.org.uk/sailability
Pictures: Peter Goldstraw from The Rotary Club of Dartmouth (centre) prepares to present Natasha with a cheque as she is welcomed to Dartmouth by the RNLI Dart Lifeboat and Dart Sailability. Dad Gary and coach Phil Devereux watch on; Miss Isle Too sails into Dartmouth