Chicago woman with partial sight competes in Independence Cup

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Independence Cup Regatta kicked off Friday from Burnham Harbor. The race enables adults with disabilities to set sail and compete on Lake Michigan. One sailor taking on this race is a lifelong Chicagoan who is taking on the Cup for the second time and making us Chicago Proud.

Wind in her sails and across her face gives a feeling of satisfaction to Kathiana Reeves.

"Sailing for me it frees my spirit. It allows me to sore with the wind," said Reeves.

Reeves started sailing 12 years ago after a friend told her about the program with the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation.

"I grew up in Chicago. I always knew there were sailboats and hoped to have the opportunity to ride on one but I did not know there was a program for people who have disabilities. So my friend told me about the program and I came, signed up and low and behold it just became a big part of my life," she said.

Reeves has very low partial sight with just a small bit of vision in her right eye. That does not stop her from being a part of a crew and setting sail with just a few modifications.

"What we do is I have a watch that will talk so when we're doing the countdown for the sequence for racing I can set the watch and it'll keep me ready. I'm the crew, so it will keep me ready to for the start and be a part of working with the skipper to do the race," Reeves explained.

Able-bodied members of the crew help Reeves stay on course and create an even playing field with the other competitors. This weekend's Independence Cup is just another glorious day on the water for her and there are no plans of slowing down any time soon.

"It's the kind of sport you can continue as long as you feel you can be safe on the water," she said. "There's no limit. I'll do it as long as God will allow and the wind keeps blowing."

The Independence Cup runs through Sunday.

For more information on the Independence Cup visit:
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