Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW, officially launched two new Access Dinghies on behalf of Sailability Pittwater and Sailability NSW.
In front of around 100 spectators and VIP guests gathered on the marina at Prince Alfred Yacht Club, elite competition sailors and Sailability members Maryanne Ireland and Lindsay Dalmon sailed into the presentation area to enthusiastic applause where Her Excellency sprinkled bubbly on the bows of the two boats.
The Governor named one boat Motty after the first Sailability Pittwater vessel and early participant Greg Mott. The original Motty was given to Sailability India last year to start a program in that country. Greg was an inspiration to Sailability and to the Spastic Centre.
The second Liberty was named Sophie after Sophie, immediate past President of Sailability Pittwater. Sophie and husband Anthony Marmont have cerebral palsy.
The two boats will be the first Liberties to be permanently based in the Sydney area and will be used by Sailability competitors to get in the practice needed for elite competition.
During her talk, the Governor noted that Sailability Commodore Allan Jones has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), General Division, for services to people with disabilities through his work with Sailability NSW and Sailability’s Pittwater branch.
Professor Bashir commended Sailability for its work saying, ‘I understand that Sailability NSW had a Vision for Sailability Day last year to plan the future. From that, NSW has embarked on a program under the guidance of President Neil Anderson to attract more members and volunteers, to allow sailors to compete at their desired level and to gather community support.’
In NSW alone, there are 22 Sailability branches, each running regular sailing days. Sailability NSW is also a member of D-Sport (formerly the NSW Sports Council for the Disabled) and of Yachting NSW. Sailability NSW is one of eight state or territory organizations under the umbrella of Sailability Australia.
Sailability Australia is represented within the national body Yachting Australia by a committee chaired by the highly respected Bruce Dickson and is part of the world-wide Sailability organization. Sailability is organised and manned entirely by volunteers.
The launch was also attended by Member for Pittwater and NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden, Bronwyn Bishop, Federal Member for MacKellar, Lynne Czinner, Mayor of Pittwater, Bruce Dickson, Chair of Sailability Australia, Ross Scoble, Commodore Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Chris Mitchell, manufacturer of Access Dinghies and David Adams, Patron of Sailability NSW and around the world sailor as well as Commodores of other Pittwater sailing and yacht clubs.