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The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has featured heavily
in the launch of the 2018 Invictus Games as part of a sailing
demonstration on 9 June showcasing the sport in front of an
iconic Sydney back drop with Prince Harry, senior Invictus
organisers, RPAYC Members and many other distinguished
guests watching on.
The RPAYC was asked to conduct the sailing demonstration
on the back of their successful sailing program with veterans
and the Soldier On Australia charity.
Prince Harry, Founder and Patron of the Invictus Games
Foundation officially launched the countdown to the fourth
Invictus Games at Admiralty House marking 500 days until the
“ Sydney will soon be the custodian of the Invictus spirit and
the focus for hundreds of men and women using the Invictus
Games to motivate their recovery from physical and mental
injuries,” Prince Harry said speaking in front of athletes and
“ I know that people across the country – from Perth to Sydney,
from Darwin to Adelaide – will embrace the Invictus Games and
show their support for competitors from their local towns and
right across the country. I have no doubt that the Sydney public
will make these games their own.”
“ The Invictus Games are coming to Australia – game on
Chair of the Sydney 2018 Invictus Games, Lieutenant General
Peter Leahy, earlier revealed that the sport of sailing will debut
on the 2018 competition schedule.
“ Sailing will be contested on Sydney Harbour and what a
wonderful backdrop it will provide.” The RPAYC will also be the
organising authority for the 2018 Games.
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull added: “ The Invictus Games
are another great opportunity for the whole community to show
our veterans, and those who serve today, that their nation and
their community is behind them and will support them every
step of the way as they recover from the injuries of war and as
they go on to lead and succeed in civilian life.”
Under grey skies the sails of the RPAYC’s fleet of Elliott 7
performance keelboats lit up Sydney Harbour just after 12:30pm.
Veterans crewed the boats with plenty of passion with some
exciting racing in Farm Cove providing an excellent preview of
what’s to come for 2018.
Unfazed by the pelting rain Prince Harry took to the water
to personally greet the teams and discussed the benefits the
participants had received through the club and the Soldier On
Looking very cold and wet, RPAYC Club Coach Tom Spithill
couldn’t remove the smile from his face when asked about the
sailing demonstration he had just coordinated, not to mention
his chance to personally meet Prince Harry.
“It’s just amazing, the people, the volunteers, the veterans.
It’s been an epic day, no amount of rain could dampen the spirits
of everyone here and I just can’t wait until October next year!
Prince Harry seemed like a really nice bloke, he has a military
background and founded the Invictus Games so I have a lot of
respect for that,” Tom Spithill said.
Tom was announced as a technical sailing advisor to the
2018 Games, along with his brother James Spithill who will be
an ambassador to the 2018 Games. James couldn’t attend the
launch as he is busy in Bermuda defending his America’s Cup
title as the skipper on Team Oracle USA.
The club’s partnership with Soldier On Australia has become
a central part of the club’s award winning Integrated disAbled
Sailing initiative which has seen many veterans excel in their
new pathways through sailing.
More than 500 competitors from 18 nations will compete
in 10 different adaptive sports in Sydney from 20-27 October in
2018. The RPAYC, CYCA, and RSYS will play a key part in hosting
the sailing component of the games. The events will be staged
across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park and on
and around Sydney Harbour. h
Prince Harry greeting the participants.
RPAYC showcase Sailing
to Prince Harry
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