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Illawarra Club

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After a `Come And Try` day in 1997, it was decided that a Sailability branch should be started in the Illawarra region. At a specially-convened meeting, Graham Rayner from Sailability Liverpool organised an election of a Committee consisting of Peter Knox (President), Jane Dora (Secretary), Roy Parker (Treasurer) and a small number of ordinary members. The new Committee immediately began a funding drive, contacting local companies, service organisations and fundraising groups to pay for our own Access 2.3 Dinghies.

For our first sailing days we hired some dinghies from Sailability Dobroyd (thanks to Ed for bringing them down each time). We sent some of our volunteers off for Rescue Boat training, and things have been rolling along ever since. We have had around 45 financial members at a peak, but we are always open to new memberships.

We now have 6 Access 2.3 Sailing Dinghies, donated by Rotary Club of Fairy Meadow, Illawarra Master Builders Club, Dapto Leagues Club, The Tom Thumb Club and the Fraternity Club. We also have use of an Access 303, courtesy of the Illawarra Yacht Club, which is bigger than the 2.3s with a jib as well as a mainsail. The Illawarra Yacht Club also assists us with continued funding each year for administration and infrastructure costs, and maintains our sailing facilities.

The Illawarra Master Builders Club has also funded a boat trailer, and a hoist for getting people out of wheelchairs into the boats was donated by the Tom Thumb Club, Rotary Unanderra and the Inner Wheel, Wollongong. Illawarra Quilters organised some fundraising activities to pay for our lifejackets.

We have been to Canberra a number of times to compete in the National championships, and we`ve competed in a number of NSW championships, one which we hosted. In 1998 we organised the inaugural Inter-Club Trophy regatta.


We`re always looking for volunteers to train in Rescue Boat operation, or to help rig the boats at the beginning of a sailing day, or put them away at the end of the day.We also need volunteers to assist people in an out of the boats, as well as sail with people in our two-seaters, or help with the BBQ.