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Celebrating 25 Years of Mobility Cup

Sam Sullivan established the Disabled Sailing Association of B.C. (DSA-BC), in Vancouver, in 1989, using an adapted sailboat given by Man in Motion Rick Hansen. The boat, a British-made Sunbird, had originally been presented to Rick during Expo '86 by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Mobility Cup was founded as Canada’s “regatta of possibility” in 1991.

“I see the Mobility Cup more for its importance in helping develop new adaptive sailing programs and furthering existing ones,” continues Sam. “Many people see it just as a high quality race, but for me, that is not the essence of the Mobility Cup, although it is a high quality, competitive event.”

Each year, competitors go home full of enthusiasm, leading to the rapid expansion of disabled sailing associations. There are now more than 30 adaptive sailing programs across Canada.

The event “outgrew DSA-BC,” added Sam, prompting his 2001 Deed of Gift that transferred responsibility for the event to the adaptive sailing community as a whole. It is now overseen by the AbleSailNetwork.

For 25 years, Mobility Cup has inspired disabled sailing programs all
across Canada. Here is a list of locations:

1991 Vancouver, British Columbia 2004 Pelican Bay, Manitoba
1992 Vancouver, British Columbia 2005 Calgary, Alberta
1993 Vancouver, British Columbia 2006 Vancouver, BC
1994 Vancouver, British Columbia 2007 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
1995 Victoria, British Columbia 2008 Montreal, Quebec
1996 Vancouver, British Columbia 2009 Toronto, Ontario
1997 Calgary, Alberta 2010 Vancouver, British Columbia
1998 Vancouver, British Columbia 2011 Hamilton, ON
1999 Toronto, Ontario 2012 Ottawa, ON
2000 Montreal, Quebec 2013 Halifax, NS
2001 Victoria, British Columbia 2014 Kananaskis, AB
2002 Kingston, Ontario 2015 Victoria, BC
2003 Ottawa, Ontario 2016 Montreal, Quebec
We had the idea for the Mobility Cup right at the beginning, around 1989 or 1990 — explains founder Sam Sullivan — It was important to have people come together and celebrate their achievements, and to do that in the form of a race.