Experience the fun of sailing with Sailability

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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.

Group ready to set sail

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.

Sailability team helping people on board yacht


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.

people sailing


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.”

Ron, 68, Male.  Leg Amputee.

"I joined Sailability in 2021 because I was in a position to volunteer my time and I wanted to get involved in the community and sail on the beautiful harbour. I love every minute of it, the social aspect, the historical facts, the literary and etymological links (word nerd!). Joining the club has changed my life for the better. I have something to look forward to every week, something that gives me as much as I put in. I love our crew, our vibe, I sail with some of the most kind-hearted and experienced sailors, and we just want to do good things."

Shelley, 46, able-bodied female

"I'm a person who had always wanted to go sailing & never had the opportunity, who then acquired a disability when I was 40 years old. When I accidentally discovered SRB, 10 years after that, it was the most positive change in my whole life. Not only do I get to regularly experience the absolute joy of sailing, but as a pensioner it fills many of the empty days in a week, for a cost that is very affordable. In addition, the small club atmosphere means other members quickly become friends and for me, who was previously very socially isolated, that is perhaps the most valuable part of all. SRB really is a club where anyone can belong, regardless of age, physical capacity, or social position!"

Gaye 60ish, female, physically challenged

"Sailing has always had a profoundly therapeutic effect on my mood. Many years ago, when I found Sailability was offering sailing to disabled people, I quickly offered to volunteer as a Skipper. It brings me great joy to witness the positive effect that the sailing experience has on others and the expressed gratitude and appreciation received from them."

Tony 70, with 58 years sailing experience.

"I joined on impulse about 10 years ago and have never regretted it. Sailing is an adventure, every outing is different, and at Sailability it can be frequent or infrequent depending on my needs. I find my mind is free from other cares as I concentrate on sailing duties, improving my skills, enjoying our wonderful harbour and getting to know my crew mates."

Rona, 70+, able bodied

For more information about group bookings, individual bookings or to volunteer:

Contact Tery Breen on 0403 020 755 or by email to commodore@sailabilityrushcuttersbay.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sailability.rushcuttersbay

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