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About Us

Sailability in NSW first appeared as Sailability Gosford, formed in April 1995 using yachts sailed on Brisbane Waters. The foundation members of the first club included Denis Critchley, John Woodward, Ruth Miller, and Phil Vardy. Sailability also becomes a member of the NSW Sports Council for the Disabled.

December 1995

Sailability NSW was formally incorporated. Sailability Dobroyd was formed using Access Dinghies and was the first Sydney branch. The committee members included: Neil Anderson, Paul Taylor, Jackie Kay and Wayne Teagle.

April 1996

At the first AGM held at Gosford, it was decided to centralise the committee of Sailability NSW in Sydney and a new committee was elected. This committee included Neil Anderson, Paul Taylor, Jackie Kay, Wayne Teagle, Allan Jones, Denis Critchley, Lyn Phillips and Clea Wallace.

03-Apr-02 - Grants Close Early by David McDougal

Leils Tesch

Patron of Sailability NSW.

Liesl Tesch, AM (born 17 May 1969) is an Australian wheelchair basketball player and sailor. She became an incomplete paraplegic after a mountain bike accident at the age of 19. She competed in her national wheelchair basketball team at five paralympics, winning three medals, and was the first woman to play the sport professionally. She took up sailing in 2010, winning a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.

In 2009 Tesch participated in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Sailors with Disabilities. After seeing an SBS documentary about the journey, Beijing silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon contacted her in late 2010 and they formed a sailing partnership. Sailing the two-person SKUD 18 class with Fitzgibbon, the team had immediate success, winning gold at the ISAF Gold Cup in January 2011 and a bronze medal at the IFDS World Championships in July of that year. They won a gold medal with a race to spare at the London 2012 Paralympic sailing competition held at Weymouth and Portland. Tesch`s mother had died of cancer after her first day of racing at the games; shortly after winning the gold medal, she said it was `a beautiful way to celebrate my mum`s life to win gold on a beautiful sunny day at the Paralympic Games`.

Mission Statement

Sailability NSW will facilitate participation in sailing and boat usage at social, recreational and competitive levels on inland, estuary and ocean water, for people with disabilities regardless of age and level of disability.