The Little Legend Foundation is honored to partner up with this great organization Boston Blind Sailing. We are so excited to be sending 5 teams of 4 sailers to the Judd Goldman Regattas in Chicago in July summer of 2020. The teams will be rocking their sweet new apparel we are hooking them up with so everyone in Chicago, keep an eye out for the Little Legend logo along with the Boston Sailing logo in July! We cannot wait to see this team sail to new heights and give them the opportunity to travel, learn and compete against other teams!
A few years back the Carroll School for the Blind started a sailing program for blind and visually impaired. It ran for a few years as just a recreational Saturday morning program. Clients spent 2 hours learning basic sailing skills, the parts of the boat and when weather conditions were very calm the blind/visually impaired sailor was allowed to use the tiller or main sheet. In 2014 a few clients decided that they wanted and needed to learn more. Learning to race was discussed and agreed upon amongst some of the sailors. The Carroll didn’t want to offer that to its clients so they dropped the sailing program.
Soon after that, word got out. An experienced young woman offered to teach racing to the blind/visually impaired. The group was called Boston Untied Blind sailing. A few of our sailors were able to afford to participate in regattas in the area. For the most part, even though people practiced twice a week from March through October they could not participate in any regattas. There were issues with leadership, dues missing, etc. In 2018 it was discussed and decided that it was time to make this a structured program with articles of organization, a new board and formally listed with the IRS.
We now have approximately 25 sailors and sighted guides who practice together twice a week at Courageous Boathouse in Charlestown Ma, and Community Boating on the Charles River. We take our sailing seriously and constantly strive to be better. In 2019, three teams participated in the Robie Peirce and one Design regatta in New York. One team won first place and the other two came in fifteenth and seventeenth out of twenty-three teams. We also had two teams go to Kingston Ontario Canada for the international Blind racing. One group won 1st place beating other Blind Sailors from around the world and our second team came in fifth. Within the Boston area, we are also beginning to integrate our sailing skills with sighted sailors no matter the weather or the challenge we are on the boats teaching and learning from each other. We as blind sailors are not a hindrance but an asset.
There are several regattas throughout the United States and we would like to be a part of it. Unfortunately, due to lower-paying jobs or limited income, there are many who give their all but can’t reap the benefits of their efforts. Our ultimate goal at Boston Blind Sailing is to show through an example that we as blind and severely visually impaired sailors can and will bring sailing to new heights and Boston Blind Sailing!
Blind sailor, Lynn Ma.
I’ve had vision issues for most of my life. After a surgery in 2008 that was supposed to help went wrong I eventually lost my right eye. My left eye deteriorated quite quickly after that leaving me with no usable sight.
I am a Dementia Practitioner by trade, specializing in the treatment of Alzheimer and related dementia through behavior modification with families and care staff rather than using medications.
I found Boston Blind Sailing 3 years ago. I never sailed a boat before then but knew that I needed the support of other blind individuals. I’ve always kayaked and enjoyed being outside and on the water so I figured why not?
Sailing has changed my life in so many ways. After my first time on the water I was hooked. I am the helmsman (I drive the boat.) Racing challenges all of the senses. You feel the direction of the wind on your body, you are constantly listening to the sails and how the water is hitting other boats. Physically you are moving from starboard to port you are ducking the boom as it moves across. Each time I’m on a boat it’s a new challenge. I have to do all of this independently. I am on the same playing field as any sighted sailor. Sailing pushes my boundaries; it pushes my expectations of myself. When something new comes along that seems difficult I find my inner voice saying “ you raced in 30 mile an hour wind, you were the only blind person racing against a sighted fleet, capsized, got back on and finished the race; this new thing you’re facing is small potatoes.” Going blind has opened my eyes to so many wonderful adventures; I’ve met wonderful new friends. Having the opportunity to race in different regattas gives
Boston Blind Sailing,; through example, that being blind is not a hindrance but an opportunity.
Hi, we are Matthew and Kerry Kalaher! We live in Plymouth, Massachusetts with our two boys, Tommy and Teddy.
This year, the boys turned 1 and 2 years old, so we decided to celebrate with a big party at our house. Our boys are blessed with lots of toys already, so in lieu of gifts we asked for donations to The Little Legend Foundation.
We are so grateful to our wonderful family and friends for their generosity in donating to such an inspiring cause. Tommy and Teddy had a ball at their party while learning about the greatest gift there is: the gift of giving!