|Published:||Dec 12, 2013 11:49 AM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 12, 2013 10:34 PM EST|
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - If you've been out on Charlotte Harbor this week you probably noticed a fleet of sail boats. In them, are sailors from all over the world competing in the 20-13 Mid-winter Championship.
One neat thing about this race, it involves sailors with very inspiring journies
"When I was in rehab there were two types of people. People that wanted to move on, and people that didn't," sats Bruce Millar.
For Millar, it's clear to see which type he is. The Canadian sailor grew up around boats.
"I've always been a sailor, I grew up sailing. My dad built boats in the basement when I was a kid," he adds.
But back in 1997, that passion took an unexpected break. Millar suffered a spinal cord injury that put him in a wheelchair. But he says, that didn't keep him off the water.
"I'm not able to walk anymore but I am able to sail," he says.
That drive has made him a successful sailor all over the world, including here in Charlotte County. Millar is here with 20 other sailors from Canada, Norway, Great Britain and the US.
Event Chairman Martin Holland says it's the third year this group has competed here.
"It's quite amazing to see them climb down in their boats and compete at an olympic level... it's still that drive of moving forward and not letting anything hold them back," he says.
"Oh what I love about it is being able to leave the wheelchair on the dock... sailing with those guys you know I try to have every race as a learning experience," says Christine Laballee.
A learning experience for these sailors and an inspiration for us all.
"The people you see here... they're people that do things and get out there and sail and enjoy life and that's what we're doing here is enjoying life," Millar adds.
The sailors all had more races Thursday. They'll take a day off Friday and then be back out on the water this weekend for the national championship regatta. It's all happening at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club.