Disabled teenager gets powerboat champion backing
British powerboat champion Shelley Jory-Leigh will be supporting disabled teen sailor Natasha Lambert by leading her safety boat team during the 2014 Sea and Summit challenge.
On 24 July, Natasha, aged 17, who has cerebral palsy and sails using her mouth to operate a ‘sip and puff’ mechanism, will embark on a month-long challenge sailing single-handed down the South West coast of England to Wales.
Shelley and her safety boat team (Gary Coleman, Dan Whapples and Andy Smith) will accompany Natasha on the 430-mile journey, following in an eight-metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) powered by a BF250 engine kindly donated by Honda UK.
Shelley said: ‘I’m so excited to be supporting Natasha on her remarkable journey this July and August. ‘Honda has provided me with my old start boat from my early Honda racing days which is fantastic. I would also like to thank Redstone, who are supporting our team to be able to make this happen.
‘Ever since I first met Natasha I’ve remained friends with her and wanted to support her. She has been out in a powerboat with me and just laughed the whole time wanting to go faster!
‘Her magnetism and enthusiasm to succeed overwhelms me. She is determined to lead a more than normal life.’
Natasha said: ‘Shelley is just awesome and she’s a fab role model. I’m so lucky to have her and her team helping me and I really appreciate them giving up their time.
‘I’m so excited about this adventure- it’s going to be epic!’
The Sea and Summit challenge will see Natasha sail 430 miles and climb 2,907ft whilst raising money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the RYA Foundation, as well as the profile of sailing for people with disabilities.