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Noosa Yacht & Rowing take delivery of Access Disabled Dinghy

Youthsail Member Lucia Neely

Youthsail Member Lucia Neely

In July this year NYRC held a fund raising dinner for the Launch of the Buoyed Up Indigenous & Vulnerable youth Program and to help fund the purchase of a Hansa Sailing 303 Access Disable Dinghy for Youthsail Member Lucia Neely.

The event was attended by over 100 Noosa locals who listened to the sailing adventures of London Olympic Gold Medallist Malcolm Page and Olympic Paralympic Gold Medallist Liesl Tesch. Many Noosa business’s donated goods for a host of auction items and the evening raised over $20,000.

This week, with the help of Gordon and Laurie from Morgans Transport at Yandina and long time NYRC Member Peggy West, the new disabled dinghy arrived at the Club and Lucia was able to venture out for her first sail.

NYRC Sailing Manager Paul Blundell commented that as a young girl coping with Cerebral Palsy Lucia lacks the mobility that would normally allow her to swap sides in a sailing dinghy when she tacks on the wind. Weight distribution is extremely critical and without the Hansa 303 Access Dinghy Lucia would not be able to sail without the added help of an instructor aboard. The addition of this dinghy to the NYRC fleet has given Lucia the independence to sail under her own steam and move closer to fulfilling her dream of following in Liesl Tesch’s footsteps and represent Australia at the 2020 Paralympics.

The new Hansa Dinghy would never have been a possibility without the enormous support offered by the many Business’s that offered prizes, booked tables and joined in to make this worthy cause such a success.

Look out for Lucia on the water and give her a wave when you see the purple sails heading up the Noosa River.

By Paul Blundell, Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club