Last Wednesday, March 22, the first regatta for Alzheimer's disease was held in Barcelona, organized by the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation together with the Veles por el Alzheimer Association.
A hundred people, divided into more than 15 boats, sailed along the Barcelona coastline. In these boats, affected people, relatives and caregivers related to the disease, together with captains and professional sailors, fought for the best possible position in the regatta.
80 people with reduced mobility, who unfortunately could not get on any of the sailboats in the competition, went aboard Golondrina to accompany and enjoy the race with their companions.
The Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation is usually a pioneer in this type of conferences or events as they want to encourage people with cognitive difficulties to continue developing activities on their own, whenever possible. In less than a year they have carried out more than 25 therapeutic activities related to nautical activities.
Two round-the-world sailing yachts among the participants
This is the first regatta in the world in which the participants in the race are the people suffering from Alzheimer's disease themselves. As a curiosity of this regatta, it is worth mentioning that two of the participating sailboats have been in the most important single-handed round the world sailing race in the world.
Two sailing yachts over 18m in length, IMOCA Mundus and IMOCA Escola, participated in the Vendée Globe. Apart from these two "legends", other boats have participated in other important ocean races.
"Since the beginning of the program of Reinforcement and Stimulation of Memory and Health, REMS, 10 years ago, we want people with the onset of cognitive impairment to achieve well-being and quality of life with activities such as cultural outings or outings in nature."
"With Veles por el Alzheimer we have seen that these activities were so positive, and we have been so encouraged, that we have proposed the challenge of making this first regatta worldwide, where the protagonists are the affected people themselves," said Marta Lacambra, general director of the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation.