Inclusive sailing: the partnership with the Punta Ala Yacht Club
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Alberto Bona’s sporting enterprise is only part of Sailing into the Future. Together. This big and ambitious project by IBSA is in fact based on the four pillars of the company – Person, Innovation, Quality and Responsibility – and is also dedicated to raising public awareness of issues such as environmental and social sustainability, respect for nature, inclusion and integration.
As part of its project Sailing into the Future. Together, IBSA has indeed launched partnerships with some Swiss, Italian and French yacht clubs and organisations that promote inclusive sailing initiatives, designed to involve people with disabilities in experiences in contact with the sea and the sailing world.
Among these, the Punta Ala Yacht Club, in the province of Grosseto, is the organisation that will promote this project in Italy, sharing with IBSA a strong vocation for social responsibility, as well as the vision of sport as an instrument of contact, interaction and knowledge, in particular for people with a disability.
Founded in 1976, the Punta Ala Yacht Club traces back its international fame to the organisation – both in the national and international context – of countless regattas, including the experience in the America’s Cup when, at the end of the nineties, it launched the first Luna Rossa challenge, with Patrizio Bertelli. “Since then”, recalled the president of the Club, Professor Alessandro Masini, “our sailing club has continued its high level sporting activity, also including an entire section dedicated to people with disabilities. By participating in events and organising regattas, we realised that the world of disability was excluded from large sailing, despite the fact that from sailing many benefits can be gained, in terms of both health and sociality. From here, eight years ago, our commitment was born to create a specific section that included a sailing school and the organisation of regattas for people with disabilities”.
Thanks to the large number of registered athletes – and its position as a reference centre of the Italian Sailing Federation – the Punta Ala Yacht Club is a beacon in Italy and abroad for sports activities dedicated to people with physical disabilities, and is planning to open up also to people with mental disabilities in the near future.
As part of the project Sailing into the Future. Together and the partnership with the Punta Ala Yacht Club, IBSA will donate to the sailing club two Hansa 303. “Boats”, explained President Masini, “that double our fleet of Hansa 303 and are perfect for both competition and sailing school. They allow, in fact, for single- and double-handed racing, but also to have an instructor on board during the lessons”.
The two boats will also be very useful during the regattas: “When national and international events are organised”, concluded Masini, “we are often asked to make available to the participants who come from further afar some boats to participate in the event. It’s also a very sustainable operation in terms of logistics and reduction of emissions. Thanks to IBSA, all this will now be simpler and more immediate, for the benefit of all the people who participate and support our events and initiatives”.