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Winds of Joy

Winds of Joy Sailing Program

Small Steps Towards a More Optimistic Future

The Winds Of Joy program offers sailing opportunities to children with disabilities. For many it's a small step on the journey towards accepting their circumstances and believing they can achieve more.

Key Outcomes

The program gives children with a disability the opportunity to feel nature's Winds of Joy blow over them.

Our participants:

  • Feel the winds of optimism on their face and the power of nature.
  • Steer the boat and learn some basic sailing skills.
  • Meet and engage with mentors and role models.
  • Experience first-hand, new, practical solutions to challenges.
  • Take photos and memories back to the classroom for continued learning.

All in a safe non-comparative environment.

View a 2-minute overview video of the Winds of Joy program

Why We Believe in Winds of Joy

For many, Winds of Joy is the first step on a journey of change. Most times this journey begins when participants see new horizons and they realise they don't need to be defined or confined by their circumstances. Seeing the magic moment when the 'penny drops' and change starts, is what motivates us to do this work.

"For the kids we take out sailing, the experience might as well be a trip to the moon because it is so far outside of their normal environment.

There’s no air-conditioning, no artificial light, no noise. It’s just nature, pushing the boat along. The kids get to steer the yacht, and when it takes off in a gust and they feel the acceleration, it’s like the boat’s alive and they are riding on a dragon’s back on a sea that has been there since the dawn of time.

Who knows how this will stimulate their imagination and where that will take them?"

About Our Yachts

Our yachts are specially adapted to take wheelchairs. Using a electronic joystick, pretty much everyone on board can have a go at steering the boat. Our skippers and volunteers are trained to offer support, kindness, and a positive environment which encourages our participants and stimulates their imaginations.

Program Availability

Location Dates
Sydney During School Terms 1, 2 & 4
Melbourne During School Terms 1, 2 & 4
Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Southport, Mackay, Rosslyn Bay During August and September
Hobart During February

View the Program Calendar for scheduled dates.

What They're Saying

"I had a spectacular day. It was something that I certainly did not think possible. I have not been sailing since I have been in my wheelchair, which is quite a few years now. To David Pescud and all of your volunteers, thank for making us feel so abled".

"On behalf of all from Waratah Day Program who attended the sailing session on Tuesday 7th May, I would like to say thank you to Sailors with disABILITIES and the skipper and all of the crew who made the day such a memorable experience. Many of our people who have a disability were talking about the experience for days afterwards and would love to attend again. A brilliant activity and service!"

"Every time we go sailing with Sailors with disABILITIES we know we are going to have a fantastic day. Our students with special educational needs, find sailing a very exciting and pleasant experience. Being on a boat and going in the same direction, brings everyone together. We truly appreciate this opportunity as it allows our students to feel fully included and accepted by the members of the crew. This consequently has a positive impact on our students' self-esteem and social confidence. You have been doing a great job! I can't thank you enough!"

"From the moment we arrived, we felt very welcome. We enjoyed meeting new people who showed a lot of passion for sailing. We were introduced to all sailing basics step-by-step and felt like we were members of the crew at all times. Thank you for inviting us to participate in this sailing experience and a beautiful day on a harbour."

"Thank you so much for the once-in-a-life-time day on the Sydney Harbour. Joshua enjoyed sailing on Kyle with his classmates so much, he could not stop talking about it."


A. The boat we use for our sailing programs allows a maximum of 15 guests on board which includes up to 3 wheelchairs and the carers required supervising the activity. We do not sail with less than 10 quests.
A. The program is free as we rely solely on donations.
A. A crew member will meet your group at the entrance to the Marina or Pier and direct the group to the boat.
A. Due to the severe limitations regarding the use of the boat's toilet, all necessary toileting should be undertaken prior to joining the boat.
Sydney: There is some on-street parking on New Beach Road, but this cannot be guaranteed. Similarly, there is limited disabled car parking outside the club.

Melbourne: There is parking along North Wharf Road, a member will assist with entry/swipe card to parking area.

Northern NSW & QLD: Public parking is available at the marinas, you may need to contact the marina directly for allocated disabled parking.

Hobart: Public parking is not easily found around the Club. There is some on-street parking on Sandy Bay Road, but this cannot be guaranteed. Similarly, there is limited disabled car parking outside the club, but this cannot be relied upon either.
A. Guests should wear warm casual clothing and white/light soled shoes (no black soled shoes allowed on board) and should bring a spray jacket/plastic poncho, wide-brimmed sun hat with chin strap and sunscreen.
A. There is no food to be consumed on the boat, but water in plastic bottles only is advisable.
A. Your duty skipper will contact your nominated representative if they have any concerns over the sailing conditions.
A. Contact your duty skipper with the number you have been provided with.
A. Yes we do.

Want to Come Sailing?

Our sailing programs are available free to special schools and community groups.

To reserve a sail date you will need to login to access the booking calendar.

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