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Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee and Able Sail NL creates MOU for Accessible Rowing and Sailing

On September 29th, 2020

SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 (St. John’s, NL): The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee and Able Sail NL has taken steps to decrease the barriers associated with accessible sailing and rowing on Quidi Vidi Lake. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee and Able Sail NL has been implemented during the Summer 2020 water-activity season and will continue for the coming years.

For the last several years, in partnership with InclusionNL, we have been focused on increasing the accessibility of the Royal St. John’s Regatta so that it can be enjoyed by all patrons,” said Bradley Power, President of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee. “This new partnership with AbleSail NL further solidifies our commitment to making both the Regatta event and the sport of fixed-seat rowing as barrier-free as possible”.

Some supports which will be applied include; utilization of lifting equipment, provided by Able Sail NL, to promote to an accessible fixed-seat rowing program, establishment of a schedule which allows Able Sail NL to operate an accessible sailing program on Quidi Vidi Lake, and an information exchange program to update both parties throughout the duration of the program.

Able Sail NL has worked with the boating and water sport athletes and community area in the past number of years with fantastic results. We envision that these partnerships with the Royal St John’s Regatta, similar to that with the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club, will considerably grow the accessibility of these sports for many years to come. We are extremely pleased with the symbiotic relationship being developed with the Royal St John’s Regatta: we like to sail when there’s wind, and they like to row when there’s none!
– Matt Debicki, President, Able Sail NL

InclusionNL is extremely pleased to see this fantastic new partnership between St. John’s Royal Regatta and Able Sail NL to increase accessibility at the boathouse and develop an accessible fixed seat rowing program” says Kathy Hawkins, Manager of InclusionNL. “We look forward to seeing athletes with disabilities being a part of Regatta rowing teams in the years to come and applaud the organizers of The Royal St. John’s Regatta for their commitments to increase accessibility for everyone.

The sailing portion of the MOU has begun operation at Quidi Vidi Lake, with the goal of installation of the lift for fixed-seat rowing to be implemented in the 2021 rowing season.

The Royal St. John’s Regatta is the oldest continuing organized sporting event in North America, with this year marking the organization’s 202nd anniversary. More information about the Royal St. John’s Regatta, including details about operations, learn to row programs, learn to coxswain programs, and resources on how to establish a rowing team can be found at

Able Sail NL was created in 2018 with the goal to introduce the sport of sailing to people with all levels of ability, in particular helping those with physical and or mental barriers that may otherwise make the sport less approachable.

InclusionNL: Employer Support Services is the corporate program of Empower, The Disability Resource Centre. They develop partnerships with NL businesses/employers to build their accessibility confidence and reduce barriers for everyone throughout the province.

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Media Contact:

LeighAnne O’Neill
Executive Director
Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee
[email protected]