Meet 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's & Saturday's 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 know 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 HERE.
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 regualr basis to race reguarly with the lads on the Elliott 7's and members boats of a Wednesday and Saturdays. Along with Scotty, Craig also volunteers on veterans sailing days and is also profiled on the Australian Defence Force Invictus Team website HERE.
Adrian Whitby, or "Smiley" as he is better known to his mates has just recently become an ambasador 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 3 result beating competitors who had the advantage of using a spinnaker.
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)