The Yachtsman 2017-2018 2017-2018 | Page 31

R PAY C A C T I V I T I E S R PAY C A C T I V I T I E S S A LT W AT E R V E T E R A N S M  Meet our ‘Saltwater Veterans’ If you see them around the club please make them welcome. (L to R : Club Coach Tom Spithill, Craig McGrath, Nick Johnson, Scott Reynolds, Adrian Whitby) 56 YA C H T S M A N R PAY C eet the aptly self-named ‘Saltwater Veterans’. This group of inspirational sailors are all part of our Soldier On program run here at the RPAYC. The team of four Craig McGrath, Nick Johnson, Scott Reynolds, Adrian Whitby have all gone through the steps to become members of the RPAYC and are now regular racers on both Wednesday and Saturday here at the Club. Scott Reynolds and Craig McGrath are team members of the Invictus Sailing Team who are training to represent Australia at the upcoming Invictus Games in October. Adrian Whitby is also an active volunteer on our Race Management Team and is part of the Invictus 2018 Sailing Race Management Team. Scott Reynolds, or “Scotty” as he is better known to his mates around the Club came to the RPAYC through the Soldier On sailing program and went through the Club’s Keelboat Sailing program as well. Although Scotty grew up in Manly, he now lives in Queenstown NZ and when not enjoying the mountains is seen around the Club racing on Wednesdays and Saturdays and volunteering his time to encourage more veterans to get involved in our wonderful sport. To read more about Scotty’s story, check out his profile on the Australian Defence Force Invictus Team website Craig came to the RPAYC through the Invictus Australian Sailing Team selection process and has never looked back. Craig lives at the foot of the Blue Mountains, making the commute out to the Club on a regular basis to race regularly with the lads on the Elliott 7’s and members boats of a Wednesday and Saturday. Along with Scotty, Craig also volunteers on Veterans Sailing Day and is also profiled on the Australian Defence Force Invictus Team website. Adrian Whitby, or “Smiley” as he is better known to his mates has just recently become an ambassador for Soldier On, leading the charge encouraging more veterans to come along to the Veteran Sailing days run here at the RPAYC. “There is nothing that puts a smile on my face quite like seeing my fellow veterans enjoying their day and setting a new direction in their life”, said an emotional Smiley. On the last Veterans Sailing Day, we had a record number of participants, totalling more than 40, a first for our program and very much the result of the concerted efforts Smiley and the team at Soldier On put into the sailing days. Last but not least, Nick Johnson came to us in the early Soldier On days and has progressed quickly through the Keelboat program here at the RPAYC. Nick loves the great outdoors and uses his time sailing to relax and to encourage other veterans to join in the fun. He races regularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays with the boys on both the Elliott 7’s and Club members boats. The team raced on Sunday as part of the Dustbuster Series and as per the games specifications were not using spinnakers, however they still managed a top three result beating competitors who had the advantage of using a spinnaker. THE INVICTUS GAMES O ver 500 competitors from 18 nations contested 11 medal sports and two feature events over eight days of fierce but friendly competition across Greater Sydney including Sydney Olympic Park and on and around Sydney Harbour. The Invictus Games is more than a sporting event – it captures hearts, challenges perceptions and changes lives. In October 2018, spectators enjoyed free entry to watch the sailing on Sydney Harbour either by boat or from Farm Cove and celebrated the unconquerable spirit of our wounded warriors. Tom Spithill, our Head Coach at RPAYC, was the Sports Competition Manager for Invictus Sailing. Tom was responsible for the overall delivery of the sailing events and has been instrumental in assisting with adaptive sailing opportunities at RPAYC. Without the long term Club volunteers that have assisted Tom over the years, the event would not have be possible. The RPAYC have provided unprecedented support through the provision of the Elliott 7’s for training, access to coaching staff on and off the water, many hours from  Invictus Games - Be Inspired! Be Entertained! Be There! The Invictus Games is more than a sporting event – it captures hearts, volunteers and active participation with their Youth Squad training and One Design racing program. The Sailing Regatta took place on Sunday 21 October 2018 on Sydney Harbour with 12 teams from eight nations competing in the Elliott Class and eight teams from six nations competing in the Hansa 303. Alfred’s Cruising provided spectator boats to allow Club members to observe the racing close to the action. The plan for the day was to sail down to Sydney Harbour on the Saturday or earlier depending on weather, take Club members out on the harbour to watch the action on the Sunday and then sail back to Pittwater on the Monday. It was be a great day on the Harbour with lunch provided on the boats for the spectators. The centre image is of sail training for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 sailing team which was held at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Newport, New South Wales, between 4-6 May 2018. Photographer - LSIS Jayson Tufrey. © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence R PAY C YA C H T S M A N 57