Macquarie 2012 Access Worlds preview

Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC), located at The Spit in Mosman, will be the host of the Macquarie 2012 International Access Class World and International Championships from 8-13 April 2012, which will include Paralympians, world, national, and state champions.

The special feature of this regatta will be that while 80% of the sailors will have some form of disability, the competition is open to all. This aspect of inclusion is strongly supported by those with disabilities, making this one of the few sporting opportunities where athletes with a disability compete on equal terms with and against able bodied athletes.

Some of the world’s most highly decorated sailors, among them Paralympians and world, national and European champions, are expected to compete in the Championships. The event has attracted over 120 sailors from nine nations currently registered to compete.

A spectacular Opening Ceremony will be held on the evening of Sunday April 8 at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, and will be attended by Tony Abbott, Federal Member for Warringah and Leader of the Opposition and the Hon. Graham Annesley MP, the NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation:

Top entries of interest:

Dan Fitzgibbon – A 35 year-old promising Olympic sailor after winning at national level in the youth 420 class, became quadriplegic after an accident. From Queensland, the Beijing Paralympic Games silver medallist and his crew, 42 year-old Liesl Tesch (incomplete paraplegia), a NSW Central Coast teacher who has represented Australia at an incredible five Paralympic Games in Wheelchair Basketball, winning Silver at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, and bringing home Bronze from the Beijing Games. Will represent at London Paralympics in the SKUD 18, but team is yet to be announced.

Ame Barnbrook - from the NSW South Coast - a remarkable 23 year-old born with Phocoamelia, meaning she has only the lower half of her left leg, a small foot and three toes – no other limbs. She uses her toes for eating, writing, playing the trumpet and fulfilling her passion for sailing. She has been campaigning as a skipper in the SKUD 18 for Paralympic selection, but has just missed out. Has won many events over the past 10 years.   

Greg Hyde - The Clontarf resident is a former windsurfing world champion who represented Australia at the 1984 Olympics. He was also a 16ft skiff champion and crew of the gruelling 1993 Sydney Hobart overall winner, Cuckoos Nest, before a usually fatal form of encephalitis struck him 14 years ago, then he had a stroke in 2008, resulting in partial paralysis, short-term memory loss, and speech difficulties. Now in his 50’s, he has gone on to win Gold at the 2009 World Masters Games in the Access class and won the Liberty class more recently in his first that class.

Zoltan Pegan – Originally from Australia, he now calls Hungary home. As reigning world and European champion in the Access 303 single-person, and the two-person with his wife Eva, he is the man to beat and the pairs to beat. Zoltan, the 53 year-old former pilot also represented Hungary in the 2.4mR single-person class at the Beijing Games.

Stephen Churm – the NSW father of three recently joined Beijing bronze medallist skipper, Colin Harrison in his Sonar three-person boat for a Paralympic campaign. In their first outing, fourth was the result against a world-class fleet and Churm, who will compete at these Championships in the Access 303 against his former Aussie Paralympic campaigner mate, Zoltan Pegan, is likely to be heading to the London Paralympics.

Peter Thompson – From the ACT, he represented at the 2000 and 2004 Paralympics in the 2.4mR class and at these Championships will sail against, among others, his former able-bodied coach, Michael Leydon (ACT), a past Access 303 world champion.

Queensland brothers Duncan and Angus MacGregor will compete against each other in the Access 2.3 single-person. Duncan, 22, is a multiple world and state champion, while 16 year-old Angus became Australian Sailor of the Year with a Disability after winning the 2010 World Championship in Great Britain. He has also won Australian Access 2.3 and state titles.

Di Pearson – MHYC Media

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Event Schedule: 



Sun 8th

6pm Opening Ceremony

Mon 9th

Racing Day 1

10:55 Single Person Racing (1st Warning)

13:55 Two Person Racing (1st Warning)

Tues 10th

Racing Day 2

10:55 Two Person Racing (1st Warning)

13:55 Single Person Racing (1st Warning)

Wed 11th

Racing Day 3

10:55 Single Person Racing (1st Warning)

13:55 Two Person Racing (1st Warning)

Thurs 12th

Racing Day 4

10:55 Two Person Racing (1st Warning)

13:55 Single Person Racing (1st Warning)

Fri 13th

Racing Day 5

09:55 Single Person Racing (1st Warning)

12:55 Two Person Racing (1st Warning)

6pm Closing Ceremony & Dinner

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 April 2012 )