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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sailor To 'Blow' Her Way Across Channel

The Times: The Channel sailor whose breath will harness the wind

Next month Hilary Lister will attempt to sail from Calais to Dover using only a straw to steer her yacht through the world’s busiest shipping lane.

She lost the use of her arms and legs to illness long ago and can move only her head, which will be less than 2ft above water on a route where passenger catamarans churn up wakes 8ft high.

Mrs Lister will be strapped into a cushioned racing driver’s seat. She will pilot the boat by sucking and blowing gently on two plastic straws linked to a control unit that operates the tiller and the two sails. Breathing in on one straw will steer the boat to starboard; breathing out will guide it to port. The other straw controls winches that adjust the sails.

Click here for a graphic of the boat.


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