BRAVE teenager Natasha Lambert has been forced to delay her round the Island sailing attempt by 24 hours due to lack of wind.
With winds speeds of just 1-2mph predicted tomorrow (Saturday), Natasha has delayed the start until Sunday when more favourable conditions are forecast.
Natasha has acute cerebral palsy and cannot control her muscle movements but that has not put
her off her goal of sailing single-handed around the Island in a boat, which she operates using just her mouth.
Using a single straw, the 15 year old from Northwood can sip or puff to move the rudder in different directions.
She also has a switch, which she operates with her tongue to change the controls so they move the sails instead.
Natasha has spent the last few months learning the technique and training with her two sailing coaches, James Merrick and Reece Jacobs.
Natasha said: "I am really excited about this weekend’s challenge.
"I don’t think I will sleep the night before as we have to be up at 4am anyway. I hope there will be a little more wind forecast as it will be a long sail at the moment.
"If I can complete this challenge, then I can start to plan the next.
"I hope to raise lots of money for my fabulous charities, Isle of Wight Scope, the Ellen MacArthur Trust and the RNLI."
Natasha will officially start her challenge off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes with a bang as the gun fires at 5.45am. The 50-mile challenge should take her between ten and 12 hours and she will be followed by an armada of safety boats and well-wishers.
Geoff Holt, the first quadriplegic yachtsman to sail solo around Great Britain, is a great supporter of the teenager and has given his specially designed powerboat, Wet-wheels, to Natasha’s team for the challenge but cannot attend due to commitments abroad.
Natasha’s mother, Amanda, said: "This weekend is very exciting for us as a family and we want to show other people in similar positions to Natasha that achieving your dreams is a reality.
"Natasha is supported by a great team, on and off the water.
"Without all these people and the sponsorship of Artemis, this would not be possible."
• People can track Natasha's progress by logging onto her website www.missisle.com
If she is sucessfull, her boat Miss Isle will be on show at the PSP Southampton Boat Show from next Friday.