Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Prime Minister’s blessing for unique Sydney-Hobart challenger

by Barbara Cox on 23 Nov 2013
Mateship will head for Hobart . ..
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has endorsed an ambitious challenge by wounded, injured and ill Defence personnel crewing for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

The Prime Minister joined the crew and supporters at Darling Harbour, Sydney today for the official naming of the Volvo Ocean 60 Spirit of Mateship.

The yacht was bought by RSL (Queensland Branch) to provide sailing rehabilitation programs for wounded, injured and ill Defence personnel through the charitable organisation Mates4Mates.

Mates4Mates COO Michael Quinn said the Rolex Sydney Hobart challenge was a great opportunity for the crew to develop the skills and fortitude needed to recover from physical, emotional and psychosocial issues unique to those who have served in the military.


'One of life’s great tests has always been man versus the elements,' Mr Quinn said.

'Competing in this iconic race is a terrific opportunity for our Brave Mates to get outside their comfort zone, rebuild confidence and engage with people who best understand what they’re going through.

'It won’t be easy but they’ll get there with the support of all Australians.'

One of those ready to set sail on Boxing Day is Craig McCarthy who served in the Navy and Army for more than 20 years and has physical and psychological injuries.

'It’s fair to say I’ve been pretty down since I was discharged in 2006, so I grabbed this opportunity to push myself and develop a new sense of direction; at the moment that’s south to Hobart,' Mr McCarthy said.


The only woman in the crew, Lance Corporal Prue Sanson, is recovering from a leg injury suffered in her role as an Emergency Responder with third Combat Engineer Regiment based in Townsville.

Lance Corporal Sanson said the yacht race would be the experience of a lifetime and a long way from Army fire-fighting in north Queensland.

'The prospect of crossing freezing Bass Strait is a bit daunting but this is a great boost for my recovery, so bring it on,' Lance Corporal Sanson said.

'I’ve been office bound during my rehab and working as part of a small team again is really important to me.'

Spirit of Mateship has previously entered the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as Djuice and Southern Excellence, and was a Norwegian flagged competitor in the 2001-02 Volvo Round the World Ocean Race.

It has been repainted, rebadged and extensively refurbished including a new sail wardrobe.

Skipper Russell McCart has finished 12 Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigns and said the Brave Mates would be supported by an experienced crew.

'The Mates4Mates contingent is getting full training but we’ll support them to be really competitive,' Mr McCart said.

'If determination is anything to go by, you’ll see them on the leader board.'


Mates4Mates Chairman Peter Davies said the sailing program, which includes the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, is one of several practical ways the organisation supports wounded, injured and ill Defence personnel.

'Mates4Mates harnesses the strength of an iconic Australian trait – mateship - to help current and ex-service personnel rebuild their life skills and emotional resilience,' Mr Davies said.

'Every Defence operation is unique but Mates4Mates provides a bond between servicemen and women from different deployments or different wars.


'We offer health care and welfare including confidential counselling, physical rehabilitation, employment support and mentorship.

'We also make a concerted effort to reach out to their loved ones because we know how testing and lonely it can be on the home front.'

For more information visit www.mates4mates.org or www.facebook.com/Mates4Mates.

Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1Kilwell - 5BIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
So, thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 4 May