The Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council is organizing its 14th edition of the Handi Voile 06 tour, a unique event in France, which took place on Thursday in Cap d’Ail. Handi Voile is to enable people with disabilities and their relatives to navigate at sea.
Four outings a day are organized on three different supports. The Echo 94, a collective sailboat adapted to accommodate people in wheelchairs; kayaks, double or individual; and trimarans, allowing you to sail in almost total autonomy. Always assisted by instructors and volunteers.
Between 60 and 80 people are welcomed on average at each stage. Sometimes even hundreds. All disabilities are represented – physical, motor, mental, intellectual or visual deficiencies.
Monitors are trained to have the appropriate gestures. Norman, sports educator, came from Le Havre for the Handi Voile tour. It has a dual qualification for adapted sport and disabled sports.
With him on the boats, nobody is afraid: enthusiastic and smiling, the apprentices pull the sails, row and sail with ease. It is only a part of them comes from centres where they already practice sailing to the sea.
For others, it is the initiation: “It is important because many people do not know that they can do these activities. One makes them discover, and there are others who went further and became competitors” explains a departmental officer.
Overall, the organizing team is delighted. “People are happy to meet us every year, and for us too, it’s always a pleasure. It’s fabulous to please people.”
The Handi Voile 06 tour schedule:
St-Laurent-du-Var on June 22
Cagnes-Sur-Mer on June 24
Villeneuve-Loubet on June 26