A SAILOR from Milnthorpe has used his expertise to guide the Great Britain Blind Sailing Team to a world championship.

Each team at the Blind Fleet Racing World Championships in Ontario, Canada, was allowed a sighted tactician and Jonny Cormack filled that role for the GBR B3 team.

And his long experience working with blind sailors proved crucial as the team landed a silver medal in their category, with their contribution helping the British squad to the overall team gold.

"We have been training hard for this event, using Windermere as one of the venues to get the team used to lake sailing conditions," he said.

"Coming away with silver and competing for gold shows we are up there with the best and contributing to the overall team's world title is awesome."

And Mr Cormack is hoping in the future to take the team a step further by providing instruction for them to sail unaccompanied with the help of sighted sailors in accompanying boats and buoys which give off bleeping sounds to guide the partially sighted crew.

He has been involved with GBR Blind Sailing for more than 20 years, and has taken the team to four previous world championships with his Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre colleague Jonny Stevenson.

Mr Cormack's role is to guide the team of Mr Stevenson and two visually impaired sailors without actually touching any of the boat's controls, with the helm and main sail controlled by the two visually impaired crew members.

The World Championship consists of three fleets, B1 with no sight, B2 with very low level useful vision and B3 with a small amount of useful vision, and with a bronze in B1 and gold in B2, Mr Cormack's B3 team's silver helped the squad to that overall gold, seeing off powerful teams from the likes of the USA, Canada, Japan and France.

The medals are just reward for Mr Cormack whose time in training and competing with the team is all volunteered and who has played a major part in charity fundraising to enable the team to compete.