Last week, Soundview had an amazing opportunity to film with the Wetwheels Foundation at the launch of their new powerboat in Falmouth. The charity has boats all around the country and Finley Allen, Soundview’s Production Junior, was lucky enough to be the person to give the latest addition to their fleet it’s debut spin. Here, he tells us all about his experience:
What is Wetwheels?
I was really pleased when we got the phone call from Wetwheels to film their latest launch. They do amazing work. Wetwheels is a national charity set up in 2011 by lifelong sailor Geoff Holt. Geoff was paralysed in 1984 after a swimming accident and as a result, became a wheelchair user. He was eager to continue with his his lifelong passion and wanted others to have the same opportunities on the water. So, Geoff set up the charity Wetwheels, which has fully accessible boats. He hoped to give people of all ages and abilities the chance to experience power boating; something they would never forget.
When I founded Wetwheels, it was with the aim to make the sea accessible to all disabilities, including those most excluded. It had to be a highly sensory experience and I designed the boat with a ramp to the wheel so, for a moment in time, anyone with a disability, could be captain of a powerboat. Only out there does the real magic happen, you leave your disability on the dock and have a truly memorable adventure on the ocean.”
The newest boat is the charity’s 6th fully adapted boat. After initially starting out in the Solent, Wetwheels branched out to Jersey, Hamble, Whitby, Dover and now Falmouth. I could nor resist the offer to captain her on her maiden voyage.
As we got on the boat, tied my chair to the deck (when I wasn’t driving) I thought ‘Ah this will be a gentle ride into the Carrick Roads’. Then with a ‘Ready?’, from Geoff and boat captain Dave, we were off. It was quite a force at first, giving me a kick of adrenalin as we reached 50 mph. A few minutes more and it was my turn to take control; ‘Oh No’, or so I thought. I’d never driven a boat before, let alone a brand-new state of the art, £200,000 powerboat.
The excited, nervous energy that I felt quickly subsided, and as I took the wheel, I began to steer the boat. With the help of the excellent captain Dave, (I couldn’t have done it otherwise!) we weaved around other vessels as we approached the mouth of the Fal. We eventually reached open water, and that’s where the sense of freedom set in. I felt at ease with the situation as the boat began to glide through the water. Although the boat was going at 30 mph, I never once felt unsure and I think the photo says it all. Thanks Wetwheels for a truly memorable adventure on the ocean. I am definitely coming back for more!
Of course it wasn’t just about me having fun, but we also captured the launch for their promotional video, with the added bonus of sending the footage to ITV and BBC, where it made the lunchtime and evening news.
Find out more about Wetwheels
To find out more about this brilliant charity click here: https://wetwheelsfoundation.org
See more of our video production work here.