Fact and Fiction
The first profoundly deaf person to sail around the world, Paul Hebblethwaite, a joiner from Helperby, North Yorkshire, took part in the BT Global Challenge 1996-97, onboard the Time & Tide.
Although the crew came 14th out of 14 in all legs except the second (Rio de Janeiro - Wellington, 10th) and fourth (Sydney-Cape Town, 10th), placings do not matter. Given the disabilities on board (cerebral palsy, hearing and sight impairments, polio, chronic asthma, amputation etc.), it is a triumph that the Time & Tide completed the race; and only a few days behind other entrants.
During the voyage a cascade of frigid sea swept Paul Hebblethwaite from the bow and along the deck until his groin became impaled on a deck cleat, requiring the saloon to be turned into an operating table for emergency surgery. . But, after only a week's recovery, he was back on his feet.
The York Evening Press, published Saturday
7th Feb 1998 reported that 31-year-old Paul was given a special prize at
the Yorkshire Electricity Sports Awards, which honour the regions leading
sports people. Article link:
The story of the Time & Tide is told with passion and insight by journalist Marina Cantacuzino in her uncompromising book On Equal Terms (Simon & Schuster, London, 1997).
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