Tony Purkiss Story
I was declared legally blind after getting caught up in the Bali bombings in 2005. However, losing my sight hasn’t stopped me from sailing yachts of up to 83 feet in length.
I also teach a Certificate IV in Business Management (FLM) at TAFE NSW and participate in corporate and motivational speaking.
Sailing has been a part of my life for 30 years. I have done eleven Sydney to Hobart races (including the notorious ‘98 round) with a 2nd and 3rd place in division. The most recent was on board the 2013 faceboat along with 15 other inspirational SWD crew members.
I have sailed in 22 Sydney Gold Coast races and competed (and cruised) to Lord Howe Island fourteen times. I was on board when the ex-Whitbread maxi "got the double" (line honours and overall winner) in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, and was divisional winner in the 2012 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Regatta on my own yacht - and my first attempt at this race.
I have done thousands of ocean miles and delivered yachts and motor vessels from Cairns to Adelaide and as far away as New Caledonia, Vanuatu and New Zealand. I have crossed Bass Strait 28 times and circumnavigated Tasmania (mostly two-handed). During this time I have encountered most of what Mother Nature could dish up.