Special Olympics Sailing Program

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The fleet beats its way up to Waterfront City in a gusty breeze
The fleet beats its way up to Waterfront City in a gusty breeze
The Special Olympics Selection Regatta was sailed on Victoria Harbour, Docklands
The Special Olympics Selection Regatta was sailed on Victoria Harbour, Docklands
Racing gets underway at the Special Olympics Selection Regatta
Racing gets underway at the Special Olympics Selection Regatta
The Access 2.3 fleet provided some close racing
The Access 2.3 fleet provided some close racing
Mark Thorpe sailed with servo helm control
Mark Thorpe sailed with servo helm control
Winer of the 303 division, William Seah, sailed with Charles Weatherly on Saturday morning
Winer of the 303 division, William Seah, sailed with Charles Weatherly on Saturday morning
The Access 2.3 fleet heads upwind in the gusty conditions
The Access 2.3 fleet heads upwind in the gusty conditions
Mark Thorpe makes his way upwind
Mark Thorpe makes his way upwind
David Weatherly, winner of the Access 2.3 division
David Weatherly, winner of the Access 2.3 division
Martin Waller sails his Access 2.3 will full servo control
Martin Waller sails his Access 2.3 will full servo control
David Weatherly and Mark Thorpe sailed the Access 2.3
David Weatherly and Mark Thorpe sailed the Access 2.3
Morgan Staley (coach) and Alison Weatherly (team manager) keep an eye on Martin Waller at the selection regatta
Morgan Staley (coach) and Alison Weatherly (team manager) keep an eye on Martin Waller at the selection regatta
David Staley, Sunday, 23 August 2009

Docklands Yacht Club has just hosted a regatta to select a Victorian Team which will compete at the Australian Special Olympics Summer Games in Adelaide next April. 

Held over the weekend of 22 & 23 August, the event attracted 8 Special Olympics athletes who have participated in the SO Sailing Program organised by Sailability Victoria.

Strong breezes prevailed across the weekend, but the club managed to complete 6 races on the Saturday.  Gusts over 30 knots put an end to the second day of racing before the first race could get underway.

In the Access 303 two-person fleet, SO sailors either operated the jib or steered the boat with a Sailability volunteer as the other crew.  William Seah from Brunswick East, sailed with Charles Weatherly in the morning and then Alison Weatherly in the afternoon, to win the regatta by 3 points from Joshua Schwarz (Bentleigh), with Sarah Millsom (Yinnar South) third.

Two of the SO sailors in the Access 2.3 single-person division are wheelchair users and use servo electrics to control the steering and/or sails.  Unfortunately for Martin Waller, from Gruyere in the Yarra Valley, servo problems caused him to miss the first four heats.  But Martin came back to win the fifth race in the afternoon.  David Weatherly (Skipton) and Mark Thorpe (Sale) were tied after the morning's racing.  However, David scored 1, 2 in the afternoon to win the division by two points.

The Victorian squad that will prepare for the National Games will be announced in the next few weeks.  Docklands Yacht Club members and Sailability volunteers, Alison Weatherly and Morgan Staley, will be Team Manager and Coach respectively, leading the squad through a program of training sessions and regattas around the State to give the Victorians their best chance of success in Adelaide.  This includes participating in the Docklands Yacht Club Short Course Series and the Access Class Australian Championships being held at Royal Brighton Yacht Club in January.

From the National Games regatta, an Australian Team will be selected to compete at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens in 2011.

Other Links
 Final Results
 Special Olympics Sailing Program Information



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Docklands Yacht Club overlooks Victoria Harbour with sweeping views of the Melbourne City skyline and the ever changing Docklands precinct.  From January 2016, sailing will take place from the 60 metre pontoon at our new premises - the Community Boating Hub, 912 Collins Street, adacent to the Library at Dock Square.  Community Sailing days are normally the second and fourth Sunday of each month year round from 11am but are subject to change (check Calendar page for more details). Everyone is welcome. We supply the boats, lifejackets and instruction.

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