Lance Hinrichs grew up around the sport of sailing, but he never truly appreciated the freedom it provided him until an accident during his junior year of college left him as a quadriplegic.
It took six years of rehabilitation until Hinrichs could get back onto a boat. It took a few more years until technology could make him totally comfortable on the open waters.
Since taking his first class geared toward disabled sailors in Newport, R.I., in the late 1980s, Hinrichs said "the sport has grown profoundly" throughout the world.
"There are programs all over the U.S. that do recreational sailing. It's a Paralympics sport, and it is a sport with a very...