Athletes Roll is always interested to talk with adaptive athletes to learn more about the sports they play. As summer winds down, we’d like to share our conversation with Lucas Currier about adaptive sailing.
Lucas Currier is 17 years old and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is an avid sports fan and loves to watch and play all kinds of sports. He currently plays power soccer with Northeast Passage and has participated in the Power Soccer National Tournament for the past several years. Last year, Lucas was adaptive skiing at Loon Mountain through an organization called JB’s Keys to DMD. Lucas told us, “They asked if we tried sailing and we of course said no. I had so much fun skiing so I said why not give sailing a try.”
In addition to skiing, JB’s Key’s to DMD provides recreational scholarships for adaptive sailing lessons with Sail Cape Cod. This includes free to the family lodging, food and 2 days of sailing. They aim to increase awareness of adaptive sports, provide opportunity to participate in adaptive sports in a safe and supportive environment, and let families enjoy outdoor sports together. Sail Cape Cod provides access to all without limitation through their SeaLegs Adaptive Sailing Program.
Lucas and his mom, Linda, live in Exeter, New Hampshire. This was Lucas’ 2nd year sailing, and he enjoyed a free weekend courtesy of a JB’s Keys to DMD scholarship. They stayed at the Cape Codder Resort and drove to Hyannis Harbor. At the dock, Lucas was Hoyer-lifted into the sailboat so the instructor can strap him into a chair. Now he’s ready to go!
After they eased out from the dock past the other boats using the motor, they were far enough out into the bay to put the sails up. They enjoyed two hours of sailing in the bay before heading back.
Lucas explained the only modifications needed for adaptive sailing were the Hoyer lift to get him into the boat and the chair he sits in. And of course everyone needs to wear their life jacket! The sailboat is 18-22 feet long with one sail and plenty of space for two people plus the instructor. To change direction they move the tack from one side of the boat to another moving the sail. Lucas said “We were told the boat will never tip over because it is heavy and just won’t do it even though I thought I would fall off of it.”
When we asked Lucas what sports he has tried and which he likes best, he told us he plays power soccer competitively, has tried golf, and as previously mentioned, adaptive skiing and sailing. Lucas confided “I can’t really relate [sailing] to power soccer because power soccer is my true passion and I love it. Don’t get me wrong sailing is really fun and exciting when you go fast but can’t compare to power soccer.”
Lucas’ advice to others like himself about trying something new: “Just because you have an illness or physical disability, you shouldn’t let that stop you. There is always an alternative. Even if you don’t think something is possible you should think outside the box and contact a great organization like JB’s Keys to DMD, Northeast Passage, or Sail Cape Cod.”