Mark Thomson 1743 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".

Mark Thomson started with SWD in 2000 while looking to crew in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. He would crew on a different boat in preparation each week. David Pescud had him as trial crew for SWD that year but already had a full crew. The following year, Mark was lined up with the Volvo Team but plans changed (by a stroke of luck) leaving him free to crew with SWD. Mark has now completed fifteen Bass Strait crossings as part of the SWD race crew and in delivering the boat back from Hobart. 


Mark was born in Townsville and now resides in Woy Woy, on the central coast of NSW. He met partner Liesel Tesh through SWD on the Disable Bodied Sailors project in 2009. Liesel is better known for having competed six times in Paralympic Sailing.

Mark has crewed for SWD in offshore races and Kids' Days as well as Friday afternoon Carers' Days, of which he says (with a smile on his face) "round off my week." He has also skippered several Northern Campaigns for a couple of weeks at a time. 

The people Mark sails with are not super-fit athletes but they give sailing a really good go, sometimes even outcompeting other more elite boats. 

Mark doesn't see it as volunteering, mostly because he is there participating as skipper or crew. He says, "It's just what I do!" And there have been some memorable moments, including sailing with remarkable seamen like Phil Thomson (one-arm amputee) who always conducts himself confidently and calmly on board.

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Mark Thomson

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