Quadriplegic woman crosses English Channel

Contributed by editor on Aug 29, 2005 - 02:31 PM


A 33 year old woman from Canterbury suffering from a degenerative disease has sailed the English Channel to France, becoming the first-ever quadriplegic to make a solo, wind-only crossing.

Hilary Lister made the crossing in six hours, 13 minutes on Tuesday (23 August). The 42-km journey is also the longest solo sailing trip ever by a quadriplegic.

Lister steered her customised eight-metre-long sailboat, Malin, through a system with two straws, controlling the sails and rudder by sucking or blowing, described as a "sip and puff" method.

She suffers from a degenerative disease and can move only her head.

Support boats followed along with Lister from Dover in England to Calais in France.