South Tyneside sailor strikes gold

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A sailor from South Tyneside has struck gold after competing in a national competition.

South Tyneside Council employee Chris Albert took part in this year’s Blind Sailing National Championship at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.

Chris, 50, works as a technical support officer with the council’s hearing and visually impaired service,

Chris, who lost his sight as a result of diabetes, was a member of a three-man crew in the competition.

The event saw 12 visual impaired sailors and nine sighted sailors competing over two days of racing.

His achievement was recognised at a meeting with South Tyneside’s Mayor, Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress, Coun Moira Smith.

Chris said: “It was lovely to spend some time with the Mayor and Mayoress who showed great interest.

“They suggested that I could do some work with the Sea Scouts.”

Last year, Chris who trains at South Shields Sailing Club, won silver as part of a four-man crew representing Great Britain in the Blind World Fleet Championship, in Chicago.

That event saw around 15 teams from across the globe compete over four days of racing.

Coun Smith, said: “I am delighted to hear about Chris’s outstanding achievement.

“A goild medal in the Blind Sailing National Championships is something to be proud of.”

“His golden success is truly inspiring.

“He is an exemplary ambassador for both South Tyneside and the council.”