Natasha Lambert sails around the Isle of Wight. Picture courtesy of Cowes RNLI.
YOUNG sailor Natasha Lambert, who has acute cerebral palsy, received a hero’s welcome in Cowes yesterday (Sunday) after circumnavigating the Isle of Wight single-handed in a boat she operates using just her mouth.
The inspirational teenager, aged 15, took 12 hours to sail the 50-nautical mile course.
Using a single straw, the teenager can sip or puff to move the rudder of her boat Miss Isle in different directions.
She also has a switch, which she operates with her tongue to change the controls so they move the sails instead.
Three loud cheers from the many well-wishers echoed across the mouth of Cowes harbour as Natasha, from Northwood, crossed the finishing line, off the Royal Yacht Squadron.
She was escorted by a flotilla of boats, including Cowes RNLI Lifeboat which had just assisted a speedboat with engine failure in Osborne Bay.
The RNLI was one of three charities chosen by Natasha to benefit from her challenge, the others being Isle of Wight Scope and the Ellen MacArthur Trust.
The speedboat with a couple and three young children on board was towed to the Town Quay, Cowes.