Focus Session: Limitless: How Today’s Disabled and Veteran Communities Can Become Inspiring Participants in Sail Training

Limitless: How Today’s Disabled and Veteran Communities Can Become Inspiring Participants in Sail Training

Join us for a discussion with panelists who have experienced firsthand what it takes to overcome not only the physical, but the mental and emotional limitations imposed by such difficulties. Discover how sailing has touched their lives, how they’ve seen it make a difference for others, and how you can increase or fill gaps in your programming by integrating vets and the disabled into your offerings.

Presented by
Scott Ford, Warrior Sailing Project
Joe Messere, Team Rubicon
Duncan Souster,  Jubilee Sailing Trust, Lord Nelson and Tenacious

Scott Ford
Scott Ford

Scott Ford is a blind sailor with The Warrior Sailing Program (WSP). He has participated on the WSP’s competitive team for the last three years. In 2016 he was the main trimmer on the teams J-22 for Charleston race week as well as the J-22 worlds in Kingston Ontario, where he also work the bow. Scott has been married for 26 years to his wife Leanne Zoerner, they were born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1988 and worked as a construction Mechanic (CM) in the Seabees. Scott served during the first gulf war and was medically discharged for blindness after serving eight years. In 2007 Scott moved to Traverse city where the schooner Madeline is home ported. Today he serves as an able bodied seaman on board the vessel.

Joe Messere
Joe Messere

Joe Messere recently hung up his camouflage uniform for the more glamorous work gloves and jeans he wears in his disaster relief work as Team Rubicon’s Region N Administrator. He found his calling when they offered him the chance to change the world alongside other people like him who needed to find a new sense of purpose in the community. As a veteran sailor and no stranger to tall ships, Joe has started to see the parallels between experiential education, outdoor team sport therapy for veterans, and his work in disaster response. He believes that everyone’s self worth is raised through sweat, smiles, and a job that can’t be done alone. I bet if you ask him in person about it he’ll point to a member on your crew as a great example, whether they’re able bodied or not.

Duncan Souster


The Jubilee Sailing Trust is a UN-Accredited international charity operating two iconic flagships for social inclusion, Lord Nelson and Tenacious, which operate across the world with a crew of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.  

Duncan was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in September 2014, following a long period of voluntary office as a Trustee (2008-2014) and Vice-Chairman (2013). During his time as CEO, Duncan has led the JST’s international expansion and growth of new programmes with corporate, educational, charitable and governmental partners.  

Duncan is a former Global Sales Director for ManpowerGroup, a Fortune 500 business services firm, where he was responsible for $6bn of revenues across their footprint of 86 countries and diverse business lines. He was also their global diversity champion. He is a life-long sailor, classic car enthusiast, and has a particular empathy for the JST’s work having lived, for many years, with his disabled mother.  

Duncan is delighted to be attending the Tall Ships of America conference and hopes to use the visit to build stronger relations and partnerships with operators across the region. He is also interested in meeting delegates from around the world, interested in using the visit of the JST’s ships to help build stronger, more resilient and connected communities.  

Duncan lives in Central London, UK. 





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