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Smith Family kids sail in Sydney Harbour Regatta

by Nicole Brown/Sail-World Cruising on 5 Mar 2011
Sydney Harbour Regatta - imagine doing this if you’d never been sailing before! .. .
There's nothing like a day sailing to blow away the cobwebs and give you a new perspective on life, and that was the idea behind the Smith Family's Learning for Life program last week when they took a bunch of young people sailing on Sydney Harbour last week.

The program was part of the Sydney Harbour Regatta, their charity sailing day.

The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program helps children and young people from low socio-economic areas to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves. Seven students supported by The Smith Family were given a rare opportunity to take a break from their studies to take part in the charity yacht race.

Among the seven teenagers taking part in the charity sailing day were 18-year-old students Jan Jan and Jarrod Osei.
Jan, who had never been on the harbour before, joined the crew of Wild Oats X which took line honours in today’s harbour race. The University of Western Sydney student, who graduated from Fairvale High School last year, is undertaking a course in Policing and aims to move into Forensics. Jan was thrilled his first experience sailing alongside some of the best crew in the country.

'Everyone was really friendly and I learned a lot of new things,' said Jan, who was given the chance to steer Wild Oats X by skipper Mark Richards. 'The crew showed me how to sail, explained about how the wind works and the different sails and were really encouraging. Steering was a bit scary but fun and winning was the best.'

Jarrod Osei, who is studying music at Eora TAFE Redfern, took to the water with Jim Cooney’s Brindabella, which finished second across the line today. Jarrod was impressed with the former Sydney Hobart winning boat and the Australian circumnavigation record attempt the crew are planning for this year.
'Today was indescribably awesome and I’d like to learn to sail – I’d like to start now,' beamed Jarrod who also enjoyed some time at the wheel today. 'Knowing this boat is going to try and break the record for around Australia makes today even more amazing.'

At the end of the day's sailing, the Middle Harbour Yacht Club presented The Smith Family with a donation of $5000.

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