first letter from Australia to Japan

Joint Japan - Australia Disabled Sailing Project

Grahme Rayner, a recent competitor in the Melbourne to Osaka Two Handed Race, received a truly warm welcome on his arrival in Osaka at the conclusion of the race. Grahme hopes that this project will go some small way towards repaying Japanese people’s generosity shown during his time in Osaka.




Sailability NSW is encouraging non-sailors into sailing, regardless of ability. Sailability’s aim is to include disabled sailors, their family and friends as well as volunteers into a community based sailing programme.

Sailability NSW has

Sailability NSW has developed the following resources to support disabled sailing organisations, all of which will be available to Yacht Aid Japan at no cost.

Sailability is a positive wave of community enrichment


Grahme Rayner of Sailability NSW will travel to Osaka on 6th August to co-ordinate this project. Grahme, recently a competitor in the Melbourne to Osaka Two Handed Yacht Race made many contacts and spoke to various Rotary and Lions Clubs as well as Yacht Clubs and Disability Organisations. Grahme holds the following positions within Sailability NSW and is ideally suited to run this project:

Vice President -Sailability NSW

Vice President -Sailability Rushcutters

President -Sailability Liverpool

A small fleet of Access Dinghies, donated by various organisations in Australia and Osaka, will be shipped to Osaka to arrive in early August.

A series of Come & Try Sailing days has been arranged for five weekends with various Yacht Clubs. Grahme will attend these events, ensuring the boats are correctly rigged and various safety procedures are followed. During the working week Grahme will address Government organisations, community service clubs as arranged eg. Rotary and Lions Clubs. The week days will also be utilised to demonstrate the concept of Access Dinghy sailing to disability organisations and their clients should they be unable to attend on the weekends.


Access Dinghies are the ideal boats for people with disabilities to sail as they are easy to sail, they are fun, they are safe and will not capsize and there are inexpensive.

Access Dinghies are unique. Their uniqueness comes from their ability to be sailed by an individual seated low down in the boat instead of leaning over the side to gain stability. The design features add up to allow total novices of any ability to sail an Access Dinghy with little or no tuition, nearly regardless of conditions. For control Access Dinghies have a very efficient high aspect rudder blade which presents no resistance when turned. Access Dinghies are steered by a very simple joy stick, positioned right in front of the sailor which logically turns the boat left or right to left/right commands. There is also a servo assist joystick which operates electric winches (if fitted) opening up sailing to all disabilities as the joystick can be controlled by hand, foot, chin, or any moving body part.


The total estimated costs for this project is A$30,000 and included costings for:

2 x Wide Seat Access 2.3 Sailing Dinghies.

1 x Single Seat Access 2.3 Sailing Dinghy with servo assist electrics.

1 x Access 303 Sailing Dinghy.

Flight, accommodation and living expenses six weeks for Grahme Rayner.



These boats will initially tour five venues in Japan (Osaka and Tokyo and 3 others). They will then be based in Osaka.

Currently a documentary on the Melbourne ? Osaka Race is being produced. Grahme has spoken to the presenters of this documentary regarding the potential of another documentary based on the Come & Try sailing tour of Japan.

This site is being built into a world-wide reference for disabled sailing and is visited by many hundreds of people each month. It is Sailability NSW's intention to provide complete coverage of the Try sailing tour using the same facilities as was utilised during Grahme and Vinny's recent race eg.



With the beginning of the project due to begin in early August it is imperative that sponsorships are quickly finalised as Access Dinghies need to be built and shipped via container boat to Japan. The shipping time to Japan from Melbourne is 19 ? 22 days.

Grahme's scheduled arrival in Osaka is 6th August and departing on 12th September, 1999. Come & Try events will be held on the following dates:

Osaka 14th and 15th August

* TBA 21st and 22nd August

* TBA 28th and 29th August

* TBA 4th and 5th September

Osaka/11th and 12th September

Mid week sailing opportunities pending availability.
For further information contact Grahme Rayner on 0146 141457 or email <>

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