Sailors with disABILITIES

Northern Campaign 2016

SWD launched its Northern Campaign on July 21, an outreach program for children with disabilities. This is an annual effort that takes the yacht, Kayle, and SWD volunteers who crew it from Sydney to Rosslyn Bay, Mackay, Southport and Coffs Harbour during the next 8 weeks. Called Winds of Joy, SWD runs this same program every year, as we have for over 18 years.

We also run Winds of Joy in Sydney and Melbourne during the year.

The yacht, Kayle, adapted to take 4 wheelchairs, and our onwater crew volunteers, are sailing in Rosslyn Bay, supported by a free berth from Keppel Bay Marina, and then onto Mackay, Southport and Coffs Harbour through to the end of September. 

Follow Kayle on the tracker here

We wish to thank Keppel Bay Marina for sponsoring SWD to have a free berth while in Keppel Bay (Rosslyn Bay) while there for the first week of the Northern Campaign. 

Kath Veel, SWD onwater volunteer, talked with radio host, Peter Greco, on RPH Adelaide about the Northern Campaign in July 2016:

Kath: "The boat is especially adapted so we can carry 4 wheelchairs in the cockpit...the children have a turn steering the boat, having a chance at the winches and doing the sails...I was a teacher before I started to do this. You can see the kids faces light up; they express their delight in all sorts of ways."

Join in everyday at

Photos of students sailing in Rosslyn Bay, July 21 - 26 2016.

Northern Campaign 2016

Northern Campaign Rosslyn Bay

Rosslyn Bay 2016 Northern Campaign

Rosslyn Bay 2016 Northern Campaign 1

Northern Campaign 2015

Dates for the 18th Annual Northern Campaign have been released and bookings can now be made online.  2015 is a shortened Northern Campaign due to resources and funding, dates are as follows:

SOUTHPORT Monday 3 August - Friday 14 August (Delivery to Coffs Harbour departs Friday 14 August PM)

COFFS HARBOUR Monday 17 August - Friday 21 August (Delivery to Newcastle departs Friday 21 August PM)

NEWCASTLE Monday 24 August to Friday 4 September 2015 (Delivery to Sydney departs Friday 4 September PM)

See our online calendar for details.

As part of our program we visit various ports on Australia's East Coast and take many hundred children with disabilities and disadvantaged people, sailing on faceboat. We offer this opportunity free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our supporters and volunteers.

SWD uses sailing as a tool to create optimism and to give people the opportunity to believe they can do things they never dreamed possible.


Fantastic Stories from our Crew

SWD Northern CampaignSome of the stories from this year's Northern Campaign crew members make fantastic reading.

Kristi Foster talks about the trip up to Southport

Harry Atkinson describes his four nights on faceboat

Ian Wyard tells a witty fisherman's tale and talks about the cool wheelchairs on board

David Pescud describes the effect of childrens' laughter

Steve Emmett wonders if Dicaprio was on board

and finally 

Captain Mark Goode makes us all smile and think a bit deeper with his Captain's log updates


If you would like to join us, SWD are taking online bookings NOW.  

We will need to collect some information about your school or organisation. 

Simply register your details at the sign up  page to gain access to our interactive booking calendar. Alternatively, if you already have a username and password login you can make a booking.

The success of our program over the years has meant that our Sail Days are at a premium, so we ask you to be as flexible as possible. To assist with our planning, please advise the earliest time you could be at the marina and the latest that you could return to the marina.

We take a maximum of 15 people (MAXIMUM 4 WHEELCHAIRS), including carers. If there are electric wheelchairs, the total number may have to be reduced. The minimum number is 10 people, including at least 8 people with a disability or special need.

Please note that all trips are subject to weather conditions. If the weather on any particular day is not suitable then we will not be able to go sailing. Also, if there is bad weather along the coast during yacht delivery times, from one port to the next, we may be late in arriving at a port. We may also need to leave early for the next port, and in those circumstances, we would have to cancel some or all of the trips. While the cancelling of trips is unlikely, due to weather, it is something of which you should be aware.

Download the Northern Campaign Training Manual. Essential pre-reading for all Sailors.