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November SWD Newsletter

Sailors with disABILITIES News

November 2019

Winds of Joy Northern Campaign 2019

After having to return to Sydney to address engine concerns at the end of the Coffs Harbour leg of the Northern Campaign, Kayle headed back out to sea and up to Newcastle in the first week of November.

Our volunteer crew had a fabulous week in Newcastle, with 11 Winds of Joy sails for 165 people, 5 in wheelchairs, 1 with his Guide Dog, from 8 different schools or disability support organizations. Be sure to look at our Facebook Page or Latest News to read up on our experience in Newcastle

Overall, this year's Northern Campaign:

  • Visited 5 locations
  • Held 45 Winds of Joy programs
  • Reached over 650 participants
  • Took 23 wheelchairs on board
  • Involved 33 schools and organizations
  • Was in the media 9 times

This wouldn't have happened without many hard working volunteers! Thank you to our skippers Mike and Kathy, and the crew who traveled to each location and volunteered weeks of their time. Thank you to our admin personnel and coordinators behind the scenes who were responsible for organizing crews and logistics. 

Plans have already begun for the 2020 Northern Campaign! Dates will be announced as soon as possible for interested crew volunteers to consider signing up for. All SWD crew volunteers are welcome, as well as potential new volunteers from the locations that we will visit. Please contact the office to register your interest or for enquiries.

Northern Campaign in the Media Again

SWD has continued to receive positive media support during the most recent leg of the Northern Campaign in Coffs Harbour. Click on the below programs to view the segment on YouTube

- Prime 7 News North Coast

- ABC Mid North Coast Radio

Our crew was also interviewed by ABC Radio in Newcastle. This news piece will become available to us at a later stage.

Thank you to SWD Supporter Ian Pemberton from P&L Corporate Communications for introducing us to the media sector 

Wright of Passage wins Award

The Wright of Passage Program (Stage 1) was awarded as the 2019 Volunteer Team of the Year in the Sydney City/Eastern Suburbs Region, by The Centre for Volunteering.

We are absolutely thrilled!

We've estimated that over 4000 volunteer hours went into the hands-on restoration aspect alone with our youth during Stage 1. This doesn't include the many hours behind the scenes for project planning, fundraising, admin etc.

Congratulations to all the volunteers involved with Wright of Passage!  

Wright of Passage Stage 2 is Underway

Wright of Passage Stage 2 is underway, with 6 youth participants currently spending 2 days a week at Woolwich Dock, getting settled into the program and starting work on Wright of Passage Mercator.

Everyone was very keen to take the boat out for a sail one afternoon, as well as introduce her and the space where they work, to their parents and/or carers in a social welcome evening.


Many thanks to volunteers Clive Hasset, Phil Steins and Robert Webber who have been providing project leader Andrew Davidson with a lot of support during the first few weeks of Stage 2.

We URGENTLY need at least four more volunteers to assist us, one day a week, on either a Wednesday or Thursday. A commitment for a couple of months is needed. Skills or experience in trades such as carpentry, metal work, painting etc. is desired. Please contact the SWD Office for more information or to advise of your interest.

If you ask any of the volunteers who helped longer term during Stage 1, they will tell you how rewarding participation is and seeing the trainees develop. 

Term 4 Sailing Programs Underway

A fully booked calendar of Term 4 sailing programs are now underway in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Melbourne and Sydney are each holding four Winds of Joy programs a week, and Sydney also has two Winds of Change programs.

We are looking for interest in holding more Winds of Care sails this term, after an absolutely magical outing in Sydney to celebrate National Carers Week 

Sign Up Now For Sydney Twilight Racing

SWD is taking part in the 2019-2020 Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Wednesday Non-Spinnaker Twilight Race Series. Twilight Racing is a relaxed, social race series that focuses on enjoying sailing on Sydney Harbour during the cool of the summer evenings.

Opportunities to come on board with us are open to all SWD Members. Some sails have crew limits due to corporate supporter outings, otherwise, we'd love to have our yacht full each sail!

Please visit the SWD Calendar for dates 

Racing Program Update

Our Racing Program is now well underway in their preparations towards competing in the TP52 Division series across three major regattas in November 2019 and April and May 2020.

We sailed WOTEVA in the CYCA Short Ocean Pointscore Lion Island Race with success. Lead racing skipper David Pescud was impressed with how the team worked together during the race and we were thrilled with a fourth place result.

The Botany Bay Race tested our skills in tougher conditions - stronger winds and a bigger swell. Again, we learned a lot, worked on our focus, and made smart decisions to keep the boat safe and moving forward consistently. We were again thrilled with a fourth place result.

Instead of sailing in the Port Hacking Race, we took the morning to work on teamwork, corners and spinnaker lifts and drops. It was hard work, but we left enough energy in the tanks for boat maintenance work in the afternoon.

The MHYC Sydney Short Ocean Championship was the first regatta of the season to include the TP52 division. Saturday was a short ocean passage race from Sydney to off Botany Bay and back, and Sunday was three windward-leeward races offshore. We were pleased with our overall performance in the ocean passage race, and especially the gybes we did the whole way back to Sydney. We were also pleased to be the outright winner, across all divisions, in the PHS class.

We are now shifting gears for the month of December, and will be focusing on helping prepare Kayle for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and supporting David and his team train the crew. 

SWD Lights it Up Red For Dyslexia

The SWD Race Program supported Dyslexia Awareness Month and the Code ReAd Dyslexia Organization's Light it up Red campaign during October.

Our Race Program currently includes three sailors with dyslexia and one sailor whose young daughter is newly diagnosed with dyslexia. Supporting each other is an important part of our race team. We lit Kayle up with over 500 red LED lights up her mast and along some of her lifelines. Red suits Kayle - she looked beautiful in the CYCA marina at night.

To see a video of interviews and lights, as well as more photos, please CLICK HERE.

Making Waves Regatta 2020

Planning for an even larger Making Waves Regatta in March 2020 is already well underway.

We need your help though!

Do you have any business connections who might be interested in hearing about how they can be involved in this important fundraiser for us?

Our Regatta team would love to hear from you!

We would also love to hear from people who have ideas for raffle prizes

The 2020 Making Waves Regatta will have an addition on previous years' regattas. Not only can corporates or syndicates buy a boat in the regatta, but Individual spots are also for sale.

Contact Julia, our Events Coordinator, on 0491 236 485 or

Need Help With Christmas Shopping?

Looking for a meaningful and memorable Christmas gift?

Buy an individual ticket to our regatta for a loved one for just $200, and you'll be making a $120 donation straight to SWD's programs. Included in the ticket price is a spot on a yacht for the afternoon race around Sydney Harbour, a packed lunch and drinks on board, and a race after-party at the CYCA, drinks, food and entertainment.

Buy experiences and memories - not just more stuff!

CLICK HERE to see the regatta entry forms 

SWD Prepares for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

With under 30 days until the start of the 75th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, preparations are well underway to have Kayle and her crew on the start line, Boxing Day, amongst 170 other yachts.

Preparing a yacht to be competitive and safe in this challenging offshore racing classic is no small task. Thank you to David Pescud for dedicating so much of his time and energy to this race campaign. Thank you also to David's SWD race experienced mates who will be volunteering their time to help him prepare the crew.    

Volunteers Needed for Hobart Winds of Joy

Schools are already booking Winds of Joy programs in Hobart for February 2020!

But we need to start putting crews together...

Two programs will be running each weekday from 13-26 February 2020. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for only part of the campaign. See the SWD Calendar HERE

After the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Kayle will be moving to the Derwent Sailing Squadron, where we will be basing our campaign. Volunteers are welcome to live on board, as we do for the Northern Campaign. 

Listen to a fabulous interview on ABC Radio Hobart, featuring Hobart-based SWD volunteer, Chrissy Materia, by clicking HERE

Crew Training Videos Available

The latest additions to our Crew Training video collection are:

Understanding Disabilities - Ep. 1 - Blindness, with James Hunter, SWD Volunteer who is blind

Understanding Disabilities - Ep. 3 - Autism

Yvonne (Head Teacher of Special Education) and Daniel (Support Teacher) from Condell Park High School speak about autism and how we can make our sailing experiences the most effective for people on the autism spectrum.

Both workshop videos are highly recommended


With a lot of focus beginning on Christmas shopping and retail sales, #GivingTuesday is a growing global movement encouraging people to do good.

On December 3, 2019, join the movement and give - whether it's some of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice in your community.

Donate to SWD HERE

SWD volunteers are encouraged to share photos of volunteering at SWD by emailing them to for our social media campaign.

Thanking and Welcoming Staff

We are saying farewell to Sydney-based crew trainer, Ivan Signorelli, after over 9 months with us. During his time at SWD, Ivan has run training days, developed a structure for crew training and accreditation, and also filled in as a substitute skipper in our programs at short notice. Ivan has decided to move on and continue building his sailing trainer career. We thank Ivan for his expertise and time with us, and wish him all the best.

We are also saying farewell to Michael Derrick, who has provided us with IT support for over 3 years. Michael has decided that it now time for him to truly retire. We will miss him, but thank him for his time and expertise, and wish Michael all the best.

We are welcoming Clerita Lewis into Michael's role as IT Support. Clerita has a Post Graduate Diploma in Cyber-Security, Policing, Intelligence, and Counter Terrorism from Macquarie. She is also already well known to those in our Office, as she has been completing work experience with Michael. We thank Clerita for her past work and welcome her into this new role. She will be in the Office one day a week.

You're Hired For Sale

Sydney-based yacht You're Hired is for sale through yacht broker Flagstaff Marine

You're Hired Listing

Dave Sharma MP Visits SWD 

Dave Sharma, the Federal Member for Wentworth, joined us for a Winds of Joy sail in Sydney earlier this month. We thank him for supporting our community grant application.

Thank You MySail Team

Thank you MySail for supporting our Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race campaign by providing us with free advertising for crew via their website and newsletters.

MySail is an Australian-based, free website application that is used by sailors to connect skippers and new crew. We continue to successfully use MySail to meet crew interested in sailing with SWD.

CLICK HERE to view the MySail website

Coming Up Next Month... 

 3 December 2019    International Day of People with a Disability

 3 December 2019    #GivingTuesday

 8 December 2019    AGM and Volunteer Christmas Party

10 December 2019   Melbourne Volunteer Christmas Party

26 December 2019   Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start

Save the Date! 

8 December 2019

AGM and Volunteer Christmas Party in Sydney

Venue: RANSA, 1C New Beach Rd, Darling Point

Time: 2 pm for the AGM and approx 3 pm for the Christmas party

Partners and family welcome - RSVP numbers for catering HERE


10 December 2019

Melbourne Volunteer Christmas Party Lunch

Venue: Cargo Restaurant

Time: 1 pm

RSVP on the SWD Calendar HERE


6 March 2020

Making Waves Regatta

We need volunteer help on the day - SIGN UP HERE

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Making Waves Foundation test

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