Sailing pioneer’s boat is presented to club as lasting memorial

Judi Figgures' boat Silver Lining II is presented to Grafham Water Sailability commodore Bob Bellamy

Judi Figgures' boat Silver Lining II is presented to Grafham Water Sailability commodore Bob Bellamy by her husband John. Picture: STEPHEN RADLEY - Credit: Archant

Disabled sailors at Grafham Water will benefit from the use of a boat left to them by pioneering disability sailor Judi Figgures.

Her challenger trimaran, Silver Lining II was presented to Grafham Water Sailability by Judi’s husband John.

Judi, 72, from Hartford, died last November having sailed throughout her life and she won Sailability’s top event, the David Campbell Memorial Race, with crew Steve Radley, shortly before her death from cancer.

Eric Joyce, from Sailability, said: “Judi specified before her death that this magnificent boat should continue to bring pleasure to disabled sailors at Grafham.

“The boat was formally handed over by Judi’s husband John Figgures to GWS’s honorary commodore Bob Bellamy.”


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Judi, who was regularly seen exercising her dogs in the Huntingdon area, suffered a serious back injury when sailing as a young woman and was later diagnosed with MS - but she continued to sail.

She started using a wheelchair in 1987 and, within a few years, was sailing a challenger trimaran at Grafham, which turned into Grafham Water Sailability.

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She became a leading light in the world of disability sailing, was an enthusiastic racer and a coach for Paralympic sailors.

Judi was able to continue with the sport she loved until the end of the season in October, despite being given just six months to live when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

She was presented with a top Royal Yachting Association award by the Princess Royal later that year for her contribution to disability sailing.

Mr Joyce said that disabled people could be surprised by what sailing could do for them, even if they had never been on the water before.

He urged them to look at the Grafham Water Sailability website and contact www.grafhamwatersailability.org.uk.

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