Sailing into the Future

Sailing together, beyond disability: IBSA and Yacht Club Punta Ala celebrate the launching of the Hansa 303s for disabled sailing

Sailing together, beyond disability and with a view to developing disabled sailing: this is the goal of the partnership between Punta Ala Yacht Club and IBSA Farmaceutici which – within the scope of the international project Sailing into the Future. Together – celebrated together the official launching of two Hansa 303 boats donated by IBSA to the sailing club.

“Sailing into the Future. Together focused on a sport – sailing – and made it a vehicle for raising awareness of issues such as environmental sustainability, respect for nature, inclusion and social integration”, announced Giorgio Pisani, Vice President IBSA Southern Europe and Project Leader of Sailing into the Future. Together. “It is within this context that the partnership with the Yacht Club Punta Ala in Italy – and with other sailing clubs and organisations in Switzerland and France – was born: to jointly promote inclusive sailing initiatives, providing boats suitable for the disabled sailing school”.

Many were the participants in the event; among them Elena Nappi, Mayor of Castiglione della Pescaia, and Chief Executive Officer Federico Mautone and General Manager Giuseppe Celiberti, representing IBSA Farmaceutici. What brought IBSA and the Yacht Club of Punta Ala together were two factors in particular: the sharing of a strong vocation for social responsibility and the vision of sport as a means of interaction and inclusion, especially for people with disabilities. It is indeed thanks to the donation of these two boats – specifically designed to allow people with physical and mental disabilities to practise a simple and safe navigation – that the Punta Ala Yacht Club will expand its own inclusive sailing activities, increasing the number of participants in introductory sailing courses and giving already expert disabled sailors the opportunity to race in one of the most beautiful and competitive regatta fields in Italy.

Prof. Alessandro Masini, President of the Yacht Club Punta Ala, together with many of his collaborators and instructors, engaged in carrying out the disabled sailing programme, described the initiative. “With a large number of athletes and with a reference location of the Italian Sailing Federation, the Yacht Club Punta Ala is a model in Italy for activities dedicated to people with disabilities. The two Hansa 303 boats donated by IBSA will expand our programmes, aimed at creating a real integration of the disabled on the competition field, thanks to the support of qualified instructors, who will coach sailors from aboard the two new boats as well”.

The ceremony was also attended by Francesco Ettorre, President of Federazione Italiana Vela (the Italian Sailing Federation), who recently inaugurated the Para Sailing Academy (Academy for disabled sailing). “The path that the Italian Sailing Federation has resolutely undertaken in recent years is very clear: a wide-ranging disabled sailing project that allows increasingly more people to get closer to our world. The Punta Ala confirms itself as one of the most active Yacht Clubs on the national scene, distinguishing itself for sensitivity and preparation within this sector. A special thanks to IBSA for this project, which allows to significantly increase the vocation of inclusiveness through sailing”, concluded Ettorre.

Taking advantage of the good wind and the calm sea, the two Hansa 303s were launched and made immediately operational: some disabled kids and athletes from the club unfurled their sails and navigated in the gulf of Punta Ala, followed from the shore by the many attendees at the event.

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