Try getting me off the water, says Krista Bailey
Mornington disability sailor falls in love with life on the high sea
- New Victorian Go Sailing & Boating program begins to deliver benefits
Like a duck to water, Seaford disability sailor Krista Bailey (pictured above) has fallen in love with life on the high sea at the Mornington Yacht Club and is about to conquer the world at the helm of a small boat.
Krista has become a Sailability role model for the State Government’s new $400,000 Go Sailing & Boating program being managed by Yachting Victoria.
The program is designed to establish a stronger grass roots base for the future growth of the sport through state wide training and expansion of the inclusive Sailability program.
Two years ago despite having a form of muscular dystrophy and being a total novice, 37 year old Krista who lives in Seaford overcame a big challenge to master the basics of sailboating, that would have stopped many more able people.
Not content with just messing about in boats, Krista now steers a specially equipped un-tippable in 2.3m Access Dinghy. She has been receiving regular on water coaching and skills training on Sundays and Wednesdays from Sailability Mornington Yacht Club (MYC) volunteers who have helped her to move rapidly up the ranks.
Took out top State honours
Earlier this year she was selected to compete in the State Access Class titles in Geelong. Krista surprised everyone by taking out the top honours and earned the right to go to Adelaide over Easter in the Victorian team for the Australian and International Access Class Championships where she finished on the podium in third place in the Australian division.
Krista says, “I was so proud to win the Victorian title and return to my club a winner which helped me say thankyou to all those at the Club who have helped me.
“In the next two years I hope to compete in the national titles and in 2009 represent Australia at the world International Access Class Championships in Japan.”
Fallen in love with sailing
Sailability MYC’s co-ordinator Mike Daddo says, “Krista has fallen in love with sailing and is so passionate. She trains hard, is a good listener and is very ambitious and I expect she will soon step up to the more demanding 3.60m Liberty dinghies which will be quite a test for her.
Mr Daddo added, “The specially built boats and equipment that Krista and nearly forty other participants are using have in part been purchased from $29,000 raised and donated to Sailability MYC by Mt Eliza Lions Club, Rotary Club of Mornington, the Woodpecker Group and station 3MP Community Chest.
“We now need many more volunteers from the community to staff the program both ashore and on the water because demand is outstripping supply,” he concluded.
Meanwhile Krista has expanded her weekly sailing schedule to include some on water volunteer work on Wednesdays taking novices like she once was out to experience the thrills she now adores so much.
Go Sailing & Boating program
The $400,000 State Government funded Go Sailing & Boating program is available to all clubs at no cost and it is designed to establish a stronger grass roots base for the future growth of member clubs and the sport through state wide training of race officers, instructors and coaches.
It is being managed by Yachting Victoria whose CEO, Ross Kilborn said, “This program is about growing our grass roots capacity first to develop sailing for planned future success through an expanded foundation of increased participation, increased skills and attracting more qualified volunteers.
Mornington Yacht Club has embarked on a local Mornington Peninsula Sailability program to attract people of all ages with abilities from Frankston to Portsea who want to get out on the water (Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays) to have fun and experience the joys of going boating, whilst all times being supported and supervised by trained volunteers.
Sailability which is conducted from 17 clubs or branches across the state, aims to introduce people of all ages and abilities to the joys of sailing in a fun, safe, inexpensive and a supportive environment.
They can enjoy the freedom and excitement of recreational yachting in boats ideally suited for people with single and multiple disabilities. There is a supportive social atmosphere but there are also plenty of opportunities for the more competitive like Krista to develop their racing skills to sail at club, state and national level.