Volunteers key to success of 2012 Macquarie Access World Championships
In the wake of the hugely successful Macquarie World Access Championships over Easter,
the tributes keep coming about the volunteering spirit that was central to the event.
Walter Carpenter, Chairman of hosts Middle Harbour Yacht Club, said that many had not been previously engaged in a voluntary capacity at the Club remarked about the wonderful experience they received from participating. “The comments ranged from the experience of meeting other members and forming new friendships, to the experience of having given and enriched other peoples’ lives.”
MYHC’s volunteer coordinator, Glynne Attersall, also praised all the Sailability volunteers, especially the lead role of the beach and marina teams.
Competitors were also enthusiastic. Patricia (Tish) Ennis (disabled) who, with Michael Leydon, won the Access 303 two-person class class, said: “This last championship was notably different from events in Canada and UK in many ways. I think it was the friendliness and practical assistance that came directly from the volunteers, starting with the car park attendants, the welcome desk and extending out onto the water that really made it!”
Tish is a founding member of Sailability Kogarah Bay and Sailability Bateman’s Bay.
Amid the 250 plus volunteer army at the Access Worlds was a dedicated band of volunteers from Sailability programs from NSW and around the country.
The marina team was led by Sailability Dobroyd’s Mike Cuming, the beach team by Port Stephen’s Richard Byrnes. Ladies connected with Sailability volunteered in registrations, site management, food preparation, and other areas.
The almost 100 Access dinghies were supplied mainly by Sailability branches in NSW and interstate and the majority of dock volunteers came from NSW Sailability programs.
Sailability volunteers included Rob Domone (Dobroyd), Paul Anderson - Kogarah Bay, Reg McQueen – Bundaberg, Howard Courtney - Kogarah Bay, Mike Cuming - Dobroyd, Richard Byrne - Port Stephens, Neil Anderson - Chairman National Sailability Committee, Yachting Australia, Chris Bowern - Rushcutters Bay, Pittwater's Malcolm Murray and Allan Jones, ACA President and ACT’s Terry Peek, Manly’s Eli Demeny and Dobroyd Aquatic Club’s Linda Billingsgate.
The Sailability Middle Harbour crew also made a solid contribution while Sailability Manly furnished the finishing team. Sailability Manly’s Denis Linney volunteered every day for maintenance of all boats, and donated tools and spare parts.
The Championship highlighted the amazing vision of Access Sailing Systems Chris Mitchell and Sailability pioneer Jackie Kay to create a means for sailors from so many different backgrounds and countries to be out on the water sharing the good and the bad experiences. Participants included Olympic, Paralympic, Special Olympics, off shore sailors including Hobart contestants, junior sailors and senior citizens.
And of course, Sailability sailors were strongly represented right through the fleet in every Access Class. And Sailability members from Australia and overseas supported their competitors.
Tish Ennis has the last word: “I think the young 303 Doubles crew from Sailability Callala, Grace Kennedy (an 18yr old with spina bifida) and her handsome, strong 16 year old crew, Justin Millsom, a Junior instructor from the Callala Sailing school really demonstrated what it was all about!”