Wow what a year it has been! From an idea to reality in 12 short months!
As most of you are aware, the RPAYC has made a commitment in supporting people with a disability to integrate into the sailing and social activities of the club. This may sound simple, but is quite a step and shouldn’t be under sold. The aim of the IdS is to have a seamless program of events at the club where everyone, regardless of ability or age, can join in on all of the wonderful activities the club has to offer.
We are doing this by supporting 3 aspects of Disabled sailing:
2. Paralympic Sailing
3. Keelboat Sailing
These 3 aspects create a pathway for people with a disability to learn how to sail (Sailability), learn how to race competitively (Paralympics) and finally learn how to race on a yacht (Keelboat).
Through the fundraising efforts of our LinkHealthcare Island Weekend and dinner, we have been able to raise close to $40,000! We would like to thank every single member and the RPAYC for their support in this endeavour and promise that every single cent will go back into our club and into achieving our stated aim of Integration.
This year the IdS program has achieved some amazing things. Through our support of Sailability, we have purchase a new outboard for their new rib as well as various safety and lifting equipment. They continue their program at Chrystal Bay on Tuesdays.
With the support of IdS, our Paralympic sailing program has given the RPAYC a new World Champion! In August, Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch won the Paralympic Skud 18 class World Championships held in Halifax, Canada for the first time. Another club member, Ame Barnbrook, placed 6th. This result capped off a great year for Fitzgibbon/Tesch where they also won the Skud Australian Championships (held at RPAYC) and the 2015 Sail Melbourne regatta. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games are looking promising for this pair if they can stay out of its suspect water and away from floating objects!
Finally, the IdS keelboat program is well underway with the adaptation of the Sydney 38 “Another Challenge”. Our tacking/canting seat is working great as is the new B&G electric joystick steering system. While developing these systems we have been sailing in as many Wednesday races as we can. Taking out anyone who wishes to come out. So far we have taken sailing Quadriplegics, Paraplegics, People with Cerebral Palsy, Vision Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Amputees, Returned Service Officers and more. If you know of anyone who would like to come out with us, please contact the club, we would love to have them out with us.
Another Challenge is now gearing up for its greatest challenge to date, to compete in the Sydney 38 National Championships being held at the RPAYC in February 2015 and the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta in August. We have been given permission by the class to compete using our seating adaptations and electric steering and are super excited to be taking part. We will be racing with a Quadriplegic skipper and mixed able and disabled crew so watch out for us out training and come and say hello!
Without the assistance of our supporters we would not have got off the ground and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them. Firstly our primary sponsor John Bacon and Link Healthcare, a great man and a great company. The RPAYC, the best yacht club in the world and our suppliers and helpers including; B&G, Ronstan, Club Marine, Olectrics, Bosun’s Locker, Lacey Marine, Andy McPhail and Warren Taylor. Thank you all.