Introduction to Sailing Day for People Living with MS in Ireland

Oceans of Hope Challenge in conjunction with MS Ireland are now inviting applicants for the first Introduction to Sailing Day for people with MS in Ireland. You will join them at the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School ( in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin on Wednesday the 10th of April 2024. 

If you are interested in this exciting day on the water, please email Please note places are limited but the hope that this will be the first of many adventures in Ireland. To learn more about MS and sailing please visit or watch the video below with Irishman Stephen Fitzpatrick who sailed with Oceans of Hope on their Athens Challenge in 2023

People sailing in the Oceans of Hope Challenge

Oceans of Hope is a UK based charity set up for people with MS, led by people with MS, who are uniquely placed to understand the condition because they are living with it themselves. Their aim is to offer people from all over the world the opportunity to experience sailing as a way of learning new skills and restoring the self-confidence which can be stolen by MS.

Through their varied sailing Challenges, they create a safe environment for people with or impacted by MS to realise their own ability and achieve extraordinary things. Enabling people with MS to live their lives to the full and to challenge the limitations they may experience from the condition.

Irishman Stephen Fitzpatrick sailed with Oceans of Hope on their Athens Challenge last year. An experience he calls life changing. 

“Approximately two years ago, during my search for group activities tailored for people with MS, I stumbled upon the Oceans of Hope website. The story of their achievements immediately captivated me. As a sailing enthusiast since my teenage years, I regularly sail a laser boat with friends on a nearby lake in Kerry. When the opportunity arose to participate in the challenge trip planned for a week in Greece in May 2023, I eagerly applied and was fortunate enough to be accepted.

“Upon arriving at Alimos Marina in Athens, I met my crewmates, the skipper, and the first mate on a Saturday afternoon. Our group consisted of nine individuals representing diverse backgrounds, ranging from a retired great-grandfather to a person in their twenties.

Ultimately, more than 120 participants sailed across two weeks, distributed among nine yachts. Each boat accommodated approximately 8 to 10 people, forming tight-knit groups. Participants hailed from various corners of the world, including the UK, US, Australia, and Europe. Describing the experience, one participant shared, “It’s like a camping trip on a boat, with each night spent at a different breath-taking Greek island.”

“The sailing routes in the Saronic Gulf offered a picturesque backdrop for our adventure. The philosophy of the journey was simple: do what you can and take breaks whenever necessary. Everyone understood the individual challenges faced by participants. Throughout the week, we sailed at a leisurely pace, spending a few hours in the morning sailing, pausing for lunch at idyllic locations, and then continuing for a few more hours before dropping anchor in a bay off a stunning island or docking at a quayside.

“Spending a week outside one’s comfort zone alongside fellow travellers on the MS journey proved to be a refreshing experience for the soul and spirit. As someone once put it, “Courage comes after you do something that truly scares you, and not before.” Sailing on these boats proved to be inclusive for people of all abilities, as holding on while sailing was standard practice, benefiting those with balance issues. The boat itself was well-suited for the trip, with all sailing tasks easily managed from the cockpit if necessary.

“For those who often feel isolated due to MS, engaging in team-building activities like this had an enormous positive impact. Participants realized they were not alone, and they had the ability to contribute and support others.

“It is astonishing to witness how individuals flourish in this environment, yet disheartening to encounter the simple barriers that await them back on dry land. For example, steps that are too big, lifts that are too narrow, ramps that are too steep and toilets that are inaccessible. These challenges serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of creating a more inclusive and accessible world for all.

Nevertheless, the truly remarkable aspect lies in how people learn to overcome the daily difficulties imposed by MS with grace and resilience. They exhibit true magnificence. For me, this embodies the spirit of the Oceans of Hope Challenge. This experience has undeniably transformed my life”.

This is an introductory course so all levels of experience welcome. To find out more email. To learn more about MS and sailing please email