Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 01/03/2016

Sailing without barriers for Baiona

The accessible boats, allow people with disability to enjoy the sea and sailing in equal conditionsThe accessible boats, allow people with disability to enjoy the sea and sailing in equal conditions

Baiona, featured in the Top100 Sustainable Destinations at ITB is located in the south of Galicia, in the north west of Spain, and is protected from the open sea by a breathtakingly beautiful bay,

Its geographical location offers natural, unsurpassable protection for fishing and leisure sailing vessels alike.

For the 2016 ITB a new local initiative in Baiona will be put forward to be showcased as best practice. ‘Sailing without barriers at Monte Real Club de Yates’ initiative, an accessible tourism project is in line with one of Green Destinations’ core criteria.

The specially adapted Sailing school of the Monte Real Club de Yates was created with the aim of bringing the world of sailing to people with disabilities, and it is currently the only one in Galicia which provides this kind of training throughout the year.

This project involved sailing training and practice, which 40 students have already taken part in and sailed for the first time. Beneficiaries have different types of physical and intellectual disabilities and belong to Special Education Centres in the area.

In addition to training, as part of the development plan of this sport for people with disabilities, the adapted sailing 2.4mR class Iberian Championship has been organised, which has brought thirty sailors from Spain and Portugal to Bayonne.

Fundación Repsol collaborates in the project for the acquisition of accessible vessels. It also supports the Club with training for professionals and retrofitting facilities to accessibility standards, in order to establish the MRCYB Adapted Sailing School.

The elimination of much of the architectural barriers of the club and the acquisition of adapted boats allowed Monte Real to become in 2014 the only Spanish sailing club to achieve a special award through the Association of Environmental Education and Consumer Affairs (ADEAC) for its work in social integration.

Baiona presented its candidacy to Quality Coast in 2013, and received the Quality Coast Gold Award in the same year, being the first destination in continental Spain to receive it. At the moment it’s in the process of renewing this Award for the coming years.

Ever an innovative destination Baiona’s beaches of Os Frades and A Ribeira were the first two beaches in Galicia to become smoke-free.

Baiona’s smoke free beaches program was started in 2012, and this practice was included amongst the VISTAS best practices in 2013-2014.

The smoke-free beaches program, being an entirely voluntary scheme with no fines or enforcement, relies on the civility and good will of beach goers.

Due its popular acceptance, in 2013 the municipality made another beach, A Barbeira and part of Baiona’s biggest beach, Ladeira, ‘smoke-free’ too.

Source: Travel Mole

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