Voilier Fillao


Everyone sails on Lake Annecy

Jul. 2024
3 min.

In Sevrier, the sailing club Cercle de Voile has made a historical commitment to welcome anyone with a disability.

The adaptive sailing section, almost thirty years after its creation in 1996 by Jean-Claude Mogenet, continues its investment to work with groups and individuals all year long to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to go sailing on the lake.

With the wind in their sails

Affiliated with the French Sailing Federation (FFV) as well as a Handisport partner, Cercle de Voile in Sevirer figures among the pioneers and forerunners in adaptive sailing. With approximately twenty clubs in France, including three in the region, certified to work with individuals of all disabilities, the club in Sevrier stands out for its commitment.

Two trained instructors, Céline and Damien, as well as several specially-adapted boats serve as the foundation for an activity that continues to grow in popularity. With more than seventy people per week and three outings per day, the club rarely enjoys any downtime, welcoming individuals, whatever their disability, into the adaptive world of sailing.

Anyone with a disability – mental, motor, or sensory – can go sailing and take full advantage of the fleet of sailboats on Lake Annecy. Three types of boats are designed to welcome anyone on board, whether racing or for a more leisurely excursion, whether solo, as a duo, or as a group. Each type of excursion has a matching vessel.


© Cercle de Voile de Sevrier / Fillao

Drifting across lake

Several boats are specifically designed to adapt to the type of excursion, disability, or both.

The Hansa 303 is a small one or two-person sailboat with all of the controls placed within easy reach to be able to navigate while remaining seated. At water level, this offers the thrilling opportunity to feel the boat gliding along the lake’s surface while also being designed to never capsize.

The Fillao, a type of two-masted schooner, can handle groups of up to twelve people for a much smoother glide across the water. Through a specially-designed attachment system, people with motor deficiencies can be placed in seats, offering all the necessary safety precautions. A sling lift on the dock makes it easy to transfer the person to and from the boat. Learning how to properly navigate is taught step-by-step.

In addition, the five-person RS Venture Connect offers the right mix between the two above-mentioned boats, placing the controls in a centralized location. Adjustable based on the person on board, this boat’s multiple technical features make it possible to change from leisure to racing mode, and offers a wide variety of teaching options. Its retractable keel prevents it from capsizing.

Hansa 303

© Cercle de Voile de Sevrier / Hansa 303

Every type of sailing within reach

Whether to enjoy the simple pleasure of being out on the water or for competition, adaptive sailing opens up a realm of possibilities and a sense of freedom often lost due to one’s disability. Damien explains, “Every participant understands how lucky they are to be on the water, and the benefits of sailing clearly increase tenfold when someone has a disability. For us sports instructors, it is so satisfying to be able to offer them such an amazing, fulfilling experience through outdoor sports.”

For competition sailing, the club has kept busy with two crews in the French National Championships and each participating every other year in the European and World Championships. In 2019, the club even organized the French National Adaptive Sailing Championships. While the competition section has remained dormant for the past two years, they currently have plans to compete with new up-and-coming crews.

Adaptive sailing

© Cercle de Voile de Sevrier / Adaptive sailing

While Cercle de Voile in Sevrier has several partnerships with regional stakeholders to organize regularly scheduled lessons and outings, it also hosts groups and individuals from time to time upon request. What a great opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing, leaving one’s disability on shore for a stint while the soothing waters of Lake Annecy lull you into a calm state of well being.

We can never say enough about the benefits of spending time on the peacefully quiet water in the middle of the lake to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the experience.

Cercle de Voile de Sevrier

Route du Port – 74320 SEVRIER

Tel : +33 (0)4 50 52 40 04


Cercle de Voile – Adaptive Sailing

Cercle de Voile

Copyright :

  • © Cercle de Voile de Sevrier

Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue

Translation: Darin Reisman