Natasha Lambert has been fascinated by sailing since the age of 9. She was a little disappointed when she learned that she wouldn’t be able to sail on her own because of her quadriplegic cerebral palsy since it affects her movement and ability to communicate. Seeing his daughter’s interest in sailing, her father, an electrician, came up with a “sip and puff” method for her to navigate a boat. Natasha started using her boat in small rivers and very soon started sailing in the sea.
Now Natasha sails a 46ft catamaran “Blown Away” that has been specially modified for her. She steers the boat by using her tube – if she sips, it goes left, and right if she blows into it. There is a sensor in her helmet that connects to the sails, which she controls with her tongue. Through various sailing challenges, she has raised £65,000 over the years for charity and is set to sail 3,000 miles again on November 22 with a 8 member crew to raise £30,000 for three charities – Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, RNLI, and the MissIsle School of Sip Puff Sailing, which is Natasha’s own school that teaches other disabled people sailing using the sip and puff method.
You can learn more about Natasha’s modified boats on the MissIsle website.
Watch the videos below to learn more about her adventures and how she navigates her boats with her mouth.