Experience the fun of sailing with Sailability
Published 26 August 2022
Sailability NSW Rushcutters Bay is inviting people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the natural beauty of Sydney harbour on a sailing adventure.
The not-for-profit local organisation began in 2000 and provides members of the community of all abilities, those with physical and intellectual challenges, the financially and socially disadvantaged and those aged from teens to the elderly with a chance to sail.
Prior to Covid-19 pandemic the busy organisation operated 3-5 days-a-week including Saturday morning social sailing however Covid-restructions meant services were cut back.
Tery Breen from Sailability NSW Rushcutters Bay says now that restrictions have eased the organisation has returned to usual activities and is encouraging everyone, including newcomers, to have a go at sailing.
Groups and individuals
Sailability's group programs cater for groups of up to four clients and two carers with a skipper and a crew member provided. Groups range from those from disability services to aged groups and cultural groups. Group programs are usually run on weekdays, departing from Rushcutters Bay.
Individuals who’d like to get involved can reigister for one of the popular Saturday morning learn-to-sail and social sailing sessions from 9am-12pm.
Volunteers are also greatly needed, particularly on Saturday mornings, including experienced and non-experienced sailors.
“We rely on volunteers for both on-water and off-water activities. Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and are a mix of ages and abilities," Tery says.
“We need volunteers willing to start immediately on Saturday mornings from 9am – 12pm, and we are also interested to hear from volunteers available weekdays 10.30am-12.30pm for group sails in the near future.”
On-water volunteers need to be able to sail a yacht or crew under the direction of the skipper, and also need a Working With Children Check.
Off-water volunteers are needed to help with tasks like committee work and maintenance.
New volunteer skippers are also welcome, with a training officer available to certify new skippers on an initial sail.
“Having lost my leg in 2000 as a result of a motor vehicle accident, I stumbled into sailing through a chance meeting with the Sydney Amputees Association who were having a Social Sail. I had never sailed on a Yacht before. This eventually lead me to Sailability Rushcutters Bay (SRB) where I learnt to sail with SRB’s Sailor Development Program. From there I went on to skipper SRB's Sonars, “Primary Wave” and “Mid Wicket” in Summer Series and Winter Series Yacht races on the Harbour and have taken out a number of Trophies, winning in those Series. Having refereed Rugby League for 11 seasons prior to losing my leg, sailing with Sailability Rushcutters Bay has given me an active sport suitable to my abilities and something I can be competitive in.”
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