We are proud and honoured to welcome onboard the World Renowned and accomplished Author and fellow Yachtsmen.
Rod Heikell has joined the team to spread the word about Disabled Global Challenge and support Jasmine in her Quest to be the first disabled Female to sail single-handed around the world.
Rod Heikell was born in New Zealand in 1949 and sailed hesitantly around bits of its coast in a variety of yachts. He tried racing in the Hauraki Gulf but was really not much good at it. In England he abandoned academic life and for no good reason other than curiosity, he bought Roulette, a 1950’s plywood JOG yacht nearly 20ft long, and sailed it down to the Mediterranean. He worked on charter here and delivered yachts until, in ignorance of the scale of the task, he set off to write a yachtsman’s guide to Greece. This was followed by guides for other countries in the Mediterranean and he has been sailing there for nearly 40 years now. He has sailed back and forth between England and the Mediterranean including a trip down the Danube and on to Turkey in Rosinante, an 18ft Mirror Offshore. In 1996 he took his fourth yacht, his Tetra, to SE Asia and back for the research for Indian Ocean Cruising Guide. Apart from sailing the ‘wrong’ way and back again the ‘right’ way across the Indian Ocean in Tetranora, his beloved 31ft Cheverton New Campaigner, he has done two transatlantics in seven tenths and two transatlantics on Skylax, his present yacht. He has also cruised extensively in other parts of the world on other yachts. Skylax is now back in the Mediterranean after her circumnavigation being readied for new adventures. He always returns to the Mediterranean, his favourite cruising grounds, where with his wife Lu he updates his guides on the area.
He has had over 25 books published and been translated into six languages. He often writes articles for yachting and other magazines. When he is not on Skylax he lives with Lu in Cowes on the Isle of Wight working on his books and cooking good food in the Keith Floyd tradition of one for the pot and one for cookie. His most recent books were The Trade Wind Foodie, The Accidental Sailor and Sailing Ancient Seas. He also writes fiction under the name J C Graeme (To Ithaca and My Name is No One).
Imray Mediterranean Almanac (editor) (Imray)
Mediterranean Cruising Handbook (Imray)
The Adlard Coles Book of Mediterranean Cruising
Greek Waters Pilot (Imray)
Mediterranean France & Corsica (Imray)
West Aegean (Imray)
East Aegean (Imray)
Italian Waters Pilot (Imray)
The Turquoise Coast of Turkey (Dogus)
Turkish Waters and Cyprus Pilot (Imray)
The Danube – A river guide (Imray)
Yacht Charter Handbook (Imray)
Indian Ocean Cruising Guide (Imray)
Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Companion to
Mediterranean Islands (contributor)
Sailing in Paradise: Yacht Charter Around
the World (Adlard Coles)
Ocean Passages and Landfalls (with Andy O’Grady)
The Trade Wind Foodie (Imray)
The Accidental Sailor (Taniwha Press)
Sailing Ancient Seas (Taniwha Press)
To Ithaca writing as J C Graeme(Taniwha Press)
My name is No One writing as J C Graeme(Taniwha Press)
Disabled Global Challenge
I grew up with a younger brother in a wheelchair taking him to school, putting him to bed, washing him and putting him back in the wheelchair when the kids at school tipped him out. That was a long time ago back in the 1960’s and things have moved on. To a degree. I think the biggest eye-opener for me as big brother was the expectation that because he was in a wheelchair, he was somehow mentally slow. Questions were put to him in a monotone in a drawn out way. A little effort and you would know he was bright as a button and brighter than most.
You might think this is all a bit of a sob story. Wrong. My brother saved me from the conventional peer group at school discussing pop music and girls and taught me, through a sort of osmosis, to look at people in the world in a different way – especially anyone who was disabled. He died when he was 17, but his legacy remains.
Since that time, I’ve encountered numerous disabled people cruising on yachts. We even had some come out when I skippered a flotilla company in the late 1970’s. We employed simple DIY solutions: the bosun’s chair to splash them into the water; a couple of beefy charterers to carry them up the rocks to a taverna; some mooring lines to lash the wheelchair in the cockpit. It was great fun though keeping a paraplegic in the dinghy who has had had a few drinks at the BBQ takes a bit of doing.
I have written about disabled folk sailing in the Med in a few articles in the past and I take my hat off to those who in comparatively modest craft with just a few mods, especially handholds, have sailed down and around the Mediterranean. Now for this challenge, I hope I can be of some use, not in a namby-pamby sort of way, but from the heart with a bit of a visceral understanding of what life is like for the disabled, especially anyone who is taking on a challenge like this. The journey will be a long one, but a great one with much to learn along the way. Just like it is for the rest of us.
Rod will be an integral part of the project providing technical advice and support in the preparation for Jasmine and her epic Global challenge to be the First Disabled Female to Sail Single-handed Around the World championing Disabled People and Women on a Global Bases.
The companies, organisations and individuals listed on this page are helping to support this project in some way. Disabled Global Challenge would like to thank these people from the very Bottom of our hearts. Because of their support that this project is becoming a reality.
to find out how you can help with this project drop us a line here
Donate now to make a difference be part of the team