Background & Sailor Profiles for the Artemis Even Keel Challenge @ Cowes Week


Gone sailing!

Background & Sailor Profiles

A fleet of six Artemis 20 keelboats, each helmed by a qualified UKSA skipper and crewed by one amateur disabled sailor will undertake one of two races each (six boats per race), competing in the first rounds on Sunday 1st August. The top three sailors from each race then go through to the finals on Monday 2nd August to compete for the inaugural Artemis Even Keel Challenge Trophy in what is set to be a highly competitive Pro-Am finale as some hotshot skippers guest helm.

Steve White, Brian Thompson, Nick Rogers, Simon Clay and James Grant are in place in addition to well-known Cowes-based sailor and sailmaker,  Paralympian Andy Cassell.

Novice sailors:

  • Adam Allen
  • Andrew Farrow
  • Michael Foale
  • Mark Haughey
  • Sue Hill
  • Terence Henley Hunter
  • Trevor Hutchinson
  • Natasha Lambert
  • James & Christina Loosemore (brother & sister)
  • Craig Rose
  • Clare Steeples

ADAM ALLEN, 38, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Having been born and brought up with boats and then studying yacht design in Cornwall it was clear that Adam would always work in the sailing industry. He became a sail-training skipper for The Ocean Youth Club, The Sea Cadet Association and The Jubilee Sailing Trust – a role he thoroughly enjoyed.

Ten years ago Adam was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease meaning the discs in his back are progressively failing. Adam has had many high-risk spinal operations including the insertion of two artificial discs. His movement is limited and even walking is extremely painful.

Sailing gives Adam the great escape he needs. He can forget about the constant pain and just concentrate on the wind and the waves.

ANDREW FARROW, 45, Devizes, Wiltshire

Andrew was paralysed from the chest down in a car accident in 2006 and found the adjustment from a very active life to being wheelchair-bound extremely hard with the ripple effect meaning he had to sell his business and could no longer be the main carer of his two children.

Finding a way to get out on the water was hugely liberating and Andrew can now realise the dream of a lifetime and become a better sailor. Dealing with his own adversities has lead Andrew to a new role coaching people about to face a sudden and dramatic change in their lives due to redundancy, illness or disability.

MICHAEL FOALE – no details at present

MARK HAUGHEY, 40, Ireland

Having sustained serious injuries in a driving accident at the age of 20, Mark tried many other sports but finds that sailing is the only way that he feels truly independent. His first attempt in the Artemis 20 was very physically challenging. However, on realising and accepting that this would be the case throughout his life, he bought one.

Mark always assumed that his work would offer up the physical and social release he longed for but sailing the Artemis 20 is actually fulfilling him.

SUE HILL, 33, Totland, Isle of Wight

Sue has had Fibromyalgia for 8 years causing restricted mobility, pain in all her joints and extreme fatigue at different levels of severity for all this time.

Sue comes from a family of sailors and hopes that through the Even Keel programme she will be able to sail independently, improve her confidence and learn enough skills to eventually beat her family at their own game!

TERENCE HENLEY HUNTER, 47, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Terence was a self employed builder & maintenance contractor up until about 3 years ago.  He endured an injury of 2 prolapsed discs in his lower spine. This, in turn, compressed the spinal cord and damaged the nerves to my legs. It took 6 months to explore, diagnose and operate.

During the following year Terence went through intense physiotherapy & hydrotherapy while trying to reconstruct his life and business. With the support of his wife and family and the drive to succeed Terence moved on and recently finished restoring a Mirror dinghy. He came to participate in the Even Keel Project via Sailability and is now enjoying the sailing he only dreamt of previously.

TREVOR HUTCHINSON – no details at present

NATASHA LAMBERT, 13, Isle of Wight

Natasha is 13 years old and has Athertoid Cerebral Palsy affecting all her limbs, but it doesn’t stop her love for having a go at anything! She has really enjoyed the sailing she has been doing this last year with the Even Keel Project; thrilling at the speed and being close to the water.  In fact she loves anything to do with the water and recently she’s been to the Maldives and snorkled with sharks!

Natasha loves travelling and says her perfect holiday would involve travelling abroad to sail and swim. Natasha has also been climbing and abseiling in the Lake District, and does lots of walking. She has just completed a sponsored walk up Tennyson Down for charity and raised over £2,000 for a walking aid like the one she uses.

At present, Natasha needs assistance in the Artemis 20 but is hoping in the future she will be able to helm a boat unaided with the use of a sip/ puff system like Hilary Lister.

JAMES & CHRISTINE LOOSEMORE – brother & sister – no other details available at present

CRAIG ROSE – no details at present

CLAIRE STEEPLES, 33, Wickham, Hampshire

Claire has severe learning and communication difficulties having sustained brain damage at birth.  Claire is the first young person in Hampshire to move out of a Care Home and be part of the Government’s Personalised Social Care Reform Scheme and Claire has a team of Personal Assistants who lend their support for 24 hours a day.

Now she has greater independence, the focus of Claire’s life is what she CAN do, rather than what she cannot do. Her enthusiasm and will to succeed is what drives her and The Even Keel Project is a hugely positive step. Claire can often be spotted out on the Solent giving her Instructors high 5’s!

Professional Skippers:

Nick Rogers, 33, Lymington

Nick won a Silver medal at the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games in the 470 class. Recognised as one of nicest guys on the circuit, Nick has recently decided to retire from the Olympics and focus on other areas of the sport.

Brian Thompson, 48, Cowes

Brian is a vastly experienced and successful offshore racer with more multihull sailing miles clocked up than any other Briton to date. He has been racing speed machines for more than fifteen years as either skipper or watch captain and has notched up over twenty sailing records.

Steve White, Weymouth

Steve White’s trajectory up the British solo sailing ladder began, like many things do, with a flash of inspiration whilst on a sailing trip. It was after a sail from Plymouth around the infamous Fastnet Rock that Steve felt an almost primeval pull and knew instantly that he had found his calling. White Ocean racing owns the Open 60 racing yacht currently called ‘Toe in the Water’ in which Steve circumnavigated the world in the last Vendée Globe race, which is the most extreme race in the sailing arena; 27,000 miles alone, non stop and with no outside assistance. Now with the next Vendée Globe in 2012 firmly in their sights, White Ocean Racing is searching for sponsors to join the team during their race programme leading up to and including the Vendée Globe. Steve’s latest project this winter (2010-11) is to take on sailing’s toughest challenge of sailing westabout non-stop and alone around the World.

Simon ‘Lovely’ Clay, Southampton

Simon, better known as ‘Lovely’ in the sailing world, has been sailing as long as he can remember, starting on dinghies and cruising with family. While studying economics and politics at university most reading weeks were devoted to obtaining the RYA certificates which eventually led to a career as a professional sailor. He now forms an integral part of the Artemis Ocean Racing Team.

Andy Cassell, Cowes

Andy Cassell was born without legs and hip joints but this has not stopped him becoming a top racing sailor with a career spanning 50 years. For most of his career he didn’t even sail as a disabled sailor but as the Paralympic sailing movement grew Andy was asked to compete in the 1994 Worlds and 1995 European Disabled Sailing Championships.  He came home from the Paralympics in Atlanta with the Gold medal and the three-man team had the honour of being awarded ‘Yachtsmen of the Year’ by the Yachting Journalists’ Association in 1997. He set up the Andrew Cassell Foundation to encourage other disabled yachtsmen and women to compete on the water.


The Even Keel Project Press Office

Peta Stuart-Hunt | PR Works
T: +44 (0) 1590 679 621
M: +44 (0) 7711 477 707


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