Sense the Wind

a documentary by Christine Knowlton

Blind sailors race across open water learning not to fear what they cannot see, on boats or on land. Life turns unpredictable as the wind when one of them gains something far more valuable than a trophy and must learn to live and to sail with a new sensibility.

2013 Sense The Wind Teaser - 1:12 min

2013 Sense The Wind Pitch Trailer - 4 min

We also produced our 4 minute Trailer to be fully accessible for those visually impaired or blind through Audio Description. Click here to playAudio Description Play button

Sense The Wind is a documentary journey into the little known world of competitive blind sailing, one that follows four visually impaired sailors on the water as they passionately train and compete, while exploring the unique international community that has grown among these brave athletes as over years they cross the starting lines at regional regattas, Nationals and Worlds. Off the water, further empowered, they face family and social challenges, striving to succeed in work and advocacy, yet eager to return to the water for the thrill of racing.

Please help us reach our finish line and bring to light with these inspiring stories. For more information on how you can support this project, please go to the "donate" page.

2011 Fundraising Trailer - 09:21 min


September 22

Our film event was a great success and almost $5,000 was raised to fund final editing. Over 90 people attended, film lovers and sailors enjoyed food & drink, the lively auction and, theatre screening of the exciting trailer and a sneak peek scene excerpt. The response we heard was fabulous, the interest in the film and support to get it finished is growing.

The RI Jamestown Press published a nice article about our film last week, news that informs and reinforces the local and wide reaching buzz building around Sense The Wind.

Some project highlights:

- Intensive editing resumes in a few weeks and funds are still being sought to take us over the finish with our great team.

- The Website is currently being redesigned onto WordPress, as a very generous pro bono donation. The new site will launch late October.

- Motion graphic and point of view character FX are in development and magic is being created for the film as we speak.

- As editing progresses further into November, our talented sound designer and composer will begin adding their layers of sound.

We are on a roll. Stay with us on this ride and help us along! We have such a passionate and talented crew.

August 10

A Race Dinner Film Event will take place at the Jamestown Arts Center on Saturday, September 6th at 7pm. It will feature work-in-progress sneak preview of clips from Sense the Wind and a conversation with the filmmakers and film participants.

This special fundraising event occurs during the 2014 Sail Newport Blind National Sailing Championship. Competitors from around the country, along with former America's Cup and Olympic sailors, will join volunteers, families and friends for camaraderie, food & drink, music and auction. All are welcome!

Tickets are $25 Advance, $35 Door, which includes a Burger Bar and Homemade Dessert. Cash Bar. Advance Tickets may be purchased at:

Proceeds go towards film post-production expenses. If unable to attend and wish to support the film’s completion simply go to the Donate page.

July 22, 2014

Film editing began in February and continues with the careful crafting of these four sailor's stories. Finding that magic balance and interweaving of characters and events, that perfect opening and ending is our current creative challenge. As with most unscripted documentaries filmed over many years, the editing process is complex and typically requires many hands and eyes to provide feedback as the rough cut evolves and tightens. We are giving the time needed for Sense The Wind to fully take shape and be ready for picture lock and music and special effects. Editing will continue into fall and the film be released early 2105.

The Creative Team is growing, bringing talent, fresh vision, impressive awards and enthusiasm to our documentary project. Our network of supporters and partners continues to build and, new possibilities for outreach and distribution arise as the film moves toward its completion. We are well on the way!

February 19, 2014

Due to unfortunate health issues, our previously assigned editor, Julie Lewis, became unable to participate in our project. We wish her the speediest recovery back to the editing seat.

As such, we would like to announce the newest addition to the Sense the Wind team: the award winning editor, Jean Dunoyer. Jean's eclectic experiences and curiosity for exploration and adventure fuels his passion for filmmaking and the art of storytelling. He seeks to push the limits of convention in editing style. In contemporary settings, he aims to achieve a presence felt through experiential sequences sparse in narration and paced for heightened emotional impact.

We are excited to be working with Jean and harness his wealth of experience and creativity to fulfill our vision of Sense the Wind. Our first story meeting in Boston is February 22! Many more will follow until reaching picture lock this summer.

In the meantime, our fundraising efforts will continue as to fill the coffers to cover all the upcoming editing, music, special effects and post production costs. And they will add up and, overlap! If you would like to contribute to our heroic efforts to finish this inspiring film, please go to the Donate page to access links and information.

November 20, 2013
Two private fundraising parties were generously hosted in Greenwich, Ct and Newton, MA. The film team, featured sailors and guests came together to raise needed funds for editing and completion. Our new trailer and sailor testimonials was screened followed by a some words about the film and it's mission. The success of these events engaging people with the film project is seen as donations continue to come in and suggestions and contacts offered.

At the Greenwich event a generous $5,000. check from The Carroll Center for the Blind was presented. The Bay State Council for the Blind followed with a contribution and, at the Newton event a donation pledge from Perkins School for the Blind was made. As our Advisory Partners and related organizations are rallying around Sense The Wind, our team of individual supporters grows. It is time for all hands on deck to finish.

October 15, 2013
Texas took the Blind Nationals for the second year, but the sailBlind and other sailors pledged to end that streak next year. At the event wonderful testimonials were filmed that were cut with the new trailer. Event planing is well underway.

September 12, 2013
Fundraising kicks into high gear as the 203 Blind Sailing National Championship is ready to start in Newport, Sept 14-15. The competing teams include Sense The Wind sailors, Nancy, Matt and Phil. Let the race to the finish begin for all!

June 6, 2013
The film project has made it to Japan for the 2013 Blind Sailing World Championships, following sailors, Nancy Jodoin and Matt Chao as they compete on the world stage. Fantastic event and race footage from SOE and TOMO, shot the by the world class sailing photographer SOE, is being generously contributed to Sense The Wind.

May 20, 2013
After a preliminary January release of our new 1 minute Teaser, it has been re-edited and launched with original music by Lee Rosevere, created through the Disquiet Junto online music project. This beautiful guitar music underscores the drama and thrill of racing these blind sailors enjoy. The Teaser may be seen on Vimeo:

September 17, 2012
A new pitch trailer is coming soon. Exciting on the water and event footage from the June CA Blind Invitational Regatta and the recent Blind Nationals filmed in Newport, RI is being prepped for editing a shorter trailer followed by editing a second rough cut of the film. More donations are needed to continue editing and finishing. Join our team to help us complete Sense The Wind!

September 11, 2012
Thanks to the Larchmont Yacht Club and other friends of our consultant, Buttons Padin, the AYC's donor matching challenge was met and slightly exceeded. We have exciting race and beautiful event footage from the Blind Nationals held at Sail Newport September 8-9th thanks to a top film crew.

Onne van der Wal brought his renowned photographic artistry and professional sailing experience while Jeff Mootze rigged the boats with his self-leveling mounts and sports cameras to capture lots of on-board action. Still photographer, Kim Holcombe generously lent her commercial eye to shoot the regatta and a moving awards ceremony. Editing is underway and fundraising for completion continuing, our finish line in clear sight.

Get your friends to crew up with us and help open the world's eyes to blind sailing.

To donate online go to: