Miss Isle eyes At­lantic record

Practical Boat Owner - - News -

Natasha Lam­bert, who holds the ti­tle as the youngest dis­abled woman to skip­per a yacht from Scot­land to Ire­land, is now pre­par­ing for a new chal­lenge – to sail across the At­lantic Ocean us­ing just breath con­trol, sim­i­lar to ‘sip and puff’ pioneer Hi­lary Lis­ter.

The 21-year-old from Cowes has athetoid cere­bral palsy which af­fects all of her limbs and her speech. Un­able to use con­ven­tional con­trols, she in­stead sails by sip­ping and puff­ing into a sin­gle straw – a sys­tem de­vel­oped by her father, Gary.

Natasha has just pur­chased a Bavaria Nau­titech 46 cata­ma­ran ahead of the ARC in Novem­ber 2019. If she com­pletes the pas­sage from Gran Ca­naria to St Lu­cia, she’ll be­come the first per­son to cross the At­lantic by breath con­trol.

“To cross an ocean for Natasha is mas­sive as she can’t walk across a room by her­self. It is a huge ad­ven­ture for her,” ex­plained Natasha’s mother, Amanda. “We want to show peo­ple that sail­ing is very in­clu­sive and can be an ad­ven­ture for the whole fam­ily,” she told PBO.

Amanda, Gary and Natasha’s sis­ter, Rachel, will be mak­ing the cross­ing with Natasha, who has founded her own char­ity, the Miss Isle School of Sip and Puff, which teaches sip and puff sail­ing around the Isle of Wight.

Natasha, who is more fa­mil­iar with sail­ing her mod­i­fied 21ft Mini Transat Miss Isle Too, is al­ready get­ting a feel for mul­ti­hull sail­ing, hav­ing been on­board dur­ing the de­liv­ery trip from La Rochelle to the Ham­ble.

Natasha Lam­bert in­tends to cross the At­lantic with the ARC in Novem­ber 2019

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