Grace Kennedy was born with Spina Bifida and has used a wheelchair for mobility all her life. In 2013, at the tender age of 19, she crewed in one of the world's toughest ocean races - the Rolex Sydney to Hobart. Here is Grace's story in her own words...


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Al Grundy
2420 Views

Al Grundy's Story

I had never been on a yacht before but I realised I could put sails up, pull on ropes, and make things do things. As it turned out sailing opened up a window... which opened a door... which opened a bigger door...but of course I didn't realise what was happening in those early days.

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Guy Carlisle
943 Views

Guy Carlisle's Story

Guy remembers his second Try Sail day as a standout day where he learned about how small things can bring great pleasure to those facing a major disability.

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Gordon Reid
1061 Views

Gordon Reid's Story

Keeping up my commitment to SWD on Try Sail days gives me the satisfaction of giving back to the community and sharing some of the joy I feel at being alive in Australia. I am also extremely proud to be a part of the SWD family.

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David credits SWD with giving him a better appreciation of what people can achieve. Being an SWD member has shown him first-hand that the human spirit is more powerful than the body. 

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Brett Pearce
931 Views

Brett Pearce's Story

Apart from meeting great people, forming lifelong friendships and getting in some great sailing along the way, being a part of SWD has helped Brett to own his disability, rather than to hide it.

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Ian Wyard
1201 Views

Ian Wyard's Story

Ian Wyard sails regularly as a volunteer with SWD on Try Sail and Winds of Change days, providing sailing opportunities to people with disabilities and disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Kristi Foster
2065 Views

Kristi's Story

Kristi Foster broke her back when she was just 21. Then just 16 weeks after surgery to repair her spine, she was in a car accident and broke her back and neck again.

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Mark Thomson
1684 Views

Mark Thomson's Story

Mark enjoys his association with SWD for many reasons. In his words, the crew "don't get inflated syndrome by big-noting their achievements - despite their significance." Put simply, "SWD is a really good group to go sailing with".

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Paul Clark
1033 Views

Paul Clark's Story

Paul enjoys the camaraderie of fellow SWD members like Jim in Accounts, and Al Grundy, who runs the mighty downstairs program (for those of you who don't sail this means packing sails and keeping everyone fed!). He also loves the wicked sense of humour of Ralphie.

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Mark

Mark

Goode

Northern Campaign Skipper Mark says working with SWD has opened his eyes to what can be achieved. He is amazed at how an activity like sailing can benefit people so greatly, particularly those living…

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Brett

Brett

Whitely

Brett was just 44 when he lost his right arm and leg in a head-on collision with a ute. The ute was overtaking and didn't see Brett coming the other way. A few short months later, he was out racing with…

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David

David

Leslie

I have an inherited disability called CMT (Charcot Marie Toothe Syndrome) which is a neuro-muscular condition affecting mainly the legs and hands to varying degrees. I have weaknesses in my calves and…

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Grace

Grace

Kennedy

Grace Kennedy was born with Spina Bifida and has used a wheelchair for mobility all her life. In 2013, at the tender age of 19, she crewed in one of the world's toughest ocean races - the Rolex Sydney…

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David

David

D'Annunzio

David credits SWD with giving him a better appreciation of what people can achieve. Being an SWD member has shown him first-hand that the human spirit is more powerful than the body. 

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Al

Al

Grundy

I had never been on a yacht before but I realised I could put sails up, pull on ropes, and make things do things. As it turned out sailing opened up a window... which opened a door... which opened a bigger…

Read More
Kristi

Kristi

Foster

Kristi Foster broke her back when she was just 21. Then just 16 weeks after surgery to repair her spine, she was in a car accident and broke her back and neck again.

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Kirk

Kirk

Watson

Kirk Watson is an accomplished sailor. His first sail down the Australian coast was at the tender age of 7 in a 32 foot motor sailor... and he's been on the water every spare moment since. Kirk sharpened…

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Chelsea

Chelsea

Cranfield

After participating in the Try Sail day, Chelsea came home and could not stop talking about it. It was such a wonderful time, and she felt secure and stable on the bigger boat. Every time she sees a boat…

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Mark

Mark

Thomson

Mark enjoys his association with SWD for many reasons. In his words, the crew "don't get inflated syndrome by big-noting their achievements - despite their significance." Put simply, "SWD is a really…

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