Sailing for people with disabilities at Grafham Water




Grafham Water Sailability - making waves for disabled sailors

                     Sailing For People With Disabilities














Judi Figgures M.B.E. It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of our co-founder Judi Figgures M.B.E. Judi died peacefully at home in Huntingdon on 28th November 2017. She has brought inspiration to sailors and volunteers at Grafham and other Sailability groups throughout Britain and abroad for over twenty years. For all of us who sail or help with Sailability Judi will be with us for many years to come.

Grafham Water Sailability
is a charity based at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire. Our objective is simply to enable people with many types of disability to enjoy the thrill of sailing.

We welcome new members with disabilities, even if you have never been sailing before. One of our newest members in 2017 is so delighted at sailing our Challenger trimarans that she asked her students at Knapwell Deaf Blind Resource Centre to make the wonderful Thank You Card shown on the left. Thank you Jane.

We also welcome able bodied helpers without whom we wouldn't get afloat.

Scroll down this page to the Contact section, send us an email then come along and meet us. Your first visit and maybe a trial sail is completely free and without obligation. You'll find us a friendly and welcoming club.

The 2017 Sailing Season has now ended after a busy and successful year. Thursday sailing will resume the first week in April 2018. Sailing starts at 1.00 p.m. and finishes around 4.30 p.m. All sailing is, of course, subject to the weather which is assessed at the start of each session.

Meanwhile we have a winter programme of social and coaching events.

Scroll down to our online publications list for our 2017 - 2018 winter calendar.

We Provide
solo and accompanied sailing opportunities for our disabled members. Our focus is very much on the active participation of sailors in all our activities. We coach all new members to sail to the best of THEIR ability, whether with our very experienced sailing buddies or solo sailing.

Our Fleet Of Boats includes eleven Challenger trimarans which can be sailed solo or with an accompanying sailing buddy,  two Hobie Tandem Mirage trimarans and a Drascombe Longboat which can accommodate a group of six.  We also have our own fully equipped Safety Boat and a coaching RIB.

Our 2017 Regatta was one of the most enjoyable ever. It was held over the weekend of 24th and 25th June. Nineteen boats competed, including several visitors. The event was made possible by our helpers, including Rotarians without whom we wouldn't get afloat. See the full race report and pictures in Yachts and Yachting:

Bart's Bash 2017 on 17th September was the fourth annual international race to commemorate the late Andrew Simpson, killed whilst preparing for the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco Bay. Six GWS boats competed in the Grafham event this year.

Over the same weekend two Grafham boats competed at the Challenger Class Association Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club. Pauline Shaw and Julia Winter held their own amongst a very competitive fleet including competitors from France and Hungary.

The David Campbell Race is the culmination of our season's competitive sailing and takes place on the penultimate Thursday of October each year. This year the whole GWS fleet of eleven Challengers took to the lake. The race always takes in the water tower in the far north-west of the lake - favourite route of our late Honorary Commodore David Campbell, in whose honour the race is named.

So whether you're interested in racing or relaxed sailing come along and meet us. You may be surprised by how much we have to offer.

Contact Eric Joyce by clicking on this email link then come along and meet us:

      Email Enquiries


      Grafham Water Sailability
      Grafham Water Centre,
      Off Chichester Way,
      Cambridgeshire PE28 0GW


For a Google location map click here and key in PE28 0GW
We are located at the 'A' symbol, by the waterside at Grafham Water Centre


Grafham Water Sailability is a Registered Charity, No 1116917 

Download our online information files
at the foot of this web page


Our New Clubhouse & Boathouse
were formally opened by 
Sir Hugh Duberly, the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, on Thursday 15th September 2016. The fabulous new buildings took two and a half years of planning and fundraising to bring to completion.

With Royal Approval - Our Sailing Secretary Pauline Shaw and other GWS members met The Duke of Edinburgh during his visit on 25th May 2016 to Grafham Water. Prince Philip took particular interest in hearing about our members and our boats. 

GWS founder Judi Figgures M.B.E. received the R.Y.A.'s Francis Elkin award from The Princess Royal in London on 21st November 2014. Last year our outgoing Chairperson, Wendy Hopkins, received an RYA Outstanding Contribution award from Princess Anne.

Bart's Bash 2017 on 17th September was the fourth annual international race to commemorate the late Andrew Simpson, killed whilst preparing for the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco Bay. Six GWS boats competed this year. First Challenger home was helmed by solo sailor Geoff Nicholls and the first two person boat was helmed by Laura Saunderson, buddied by John Morrow.

from many of the clubs in our area provide invaluable hands-on help every sailing Thursday, as well as contributing towards our funding. Pictures of our Rotarians



Online GWS Information Files:

Download GWS Calendar 2018

Membership Application Form

Notes On Challenger Sailing

Download Essential Guidance for GWS Sailors and Carers

Download GWS Safety and Operating Procedures

Download GWS Protection Policy

Download GWS Risk Management Plan


GWS Sailing Secretary Pauline Shaw chatting to H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh
during his visit on 25th May 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of  Grafham Water reservoir. Prince Philip also met other GWS personnel and showed great interest in our members and our boats.

A selection of pictures from our 2014 David Campbell Memorial Race. This was the race's fourth outing and traditionally takes in the water tower in the north-west of the lake, one of David's favourite routes.  These photographs are by Marcia Carpenter.


Some of our Rotary supporters and our sailors -