David Pescud
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David Pescud's Story

Put yourself in David Pescud’s shoes in 1993.

You’re 46. Thanks to your own hard work and business savvy (and despite profound dyslexia) you’re financially bullet proof and able to retire.

You’ve just built a 50 foot yacht and you’re all set to take off for an idyllic life of cruising the oceans…

Sounds wonderful right?...

So why do you stop, take a massive u-turn, create a non-profit organisation called Sailors with disABILITIES and volunteer the next 20+ years of your life working tirelessly for it?

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Kids from local Southport Schools had a fantastic time on board faceboat. They splashed their feet in the water and enjoyed watching a pod of dolphins swim up to their side of the boat.

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In Star Trek, the philosphy was to go 'where no man has gone before', with SWD it is to create change and optimism. For me, our first day sail with children from Southport brought unexplained tears to my eyes and emotions I could not describe as I watched children laugh and smile all over the boat; change was occurring within me.

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Ian Wyard
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A Fisherman's Tale

The four grizzled hunters stood at the stern, their steely eyes scanning the ocean for the prey. "Thar!" called the skipper, jutting his square jaw towards the patch of ocean erupting as the fight commenced. The men's muscles flexed and rippled in the setting sunlight; the women gazed on appreciatively.

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Steve Emmett
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Was Dicaprio on board?

We had these two little tough guys and they got up on the bow of the boat, and you know the scene from Titanic? One of them was on the outside and the other big bloke who’s ‘rough as guts’ and HUGE is going ‘Hold me Jack, hold me..’ He was Kate Winslet and the other was Dicaprio! It was great to see these two little tough guys doing this whole scene.

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Our last port was Gladstone, a major shipping area for Queensland. Many of the children who came for day sailing on board 'Kayle' were from mining, shipping and working class families. 

After many years in a thankless job as a cop, the many smiles, genuine thanks and gratitude I received from the children and carers brought tears to my eyes as I realized I had found a new calling in life. 

To be part of creating change and optimism amongst people with disabilities through sailing is a great honour and although the crew and I have had our challenges we remain firm to the cause.

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Mick Sattin has been a professional singer since 1996 and recently appeared on the X Factor wowing the judges and audience with his strong soul voice.
"Sport and music helped me come out of my shell and got me integrated into the world. It’s great to support Sailors with disAbilities and the faceboat project. SWD does fantastic work by giving new opportunities to people which in turn encourages optimism and changes lives."

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Ian Wyard
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Ian Wyard's Story

Ian Wyard sails regularly as a volunteer with SWD on Try Sail and Winds of Change days, providing sailing opportunities to people with disabilities and disadvantaged backgrounds.

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David Pescud has been nominated for the Pride of Australia Medal - one of News Corp Australia’s most important community endeavours — recognising and rewarding our community’s most outstanding members. David explains what racing to Hobart means for those living with disability.

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I couldn't believe it when David invited me to join his team on Wot Eva to compete in the Sydney to Southport race. It was epic!!

I was so anxious leading up to the race, but once we got going, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have been a part of. The conditions for the race were perfect. With southwesterly winds to 25 knots, the boat certainly gets up and goes! Wow! It is an extremely fast yacht. After the race, I did the numbers and we had speeds up to 50km/h!

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Mark

Mark

Goode

Northern Campaign Skipper Mark says working with SWD has opened his eyes to what can be achieved. He is amazed at how an activity like sailing can benefit people so greatly, particularly those living…

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Brett

Brett

Whitely

Brett was just 44 when he lost his right arm and leg in a head-on collision with a ute. The ute was overtaking and didn't see Brett coming the other way. A few short months later, he was out racing with…

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David

David

Leslie

I have an inherited disability called CMT (Charcot Marie Toothe Syndrome) which is a neuro-muscular condition affecting mainly the legs and hands to varying degrees. I have weaknesses in my calves and…

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Grace

Grace

Kennedy

Grace Kennedy was born with Spina Bifida and has used a wheelchair for mobility all her life. In 2013, at the tender age of 19, she crewed in one of the world's toughest ocean races - the Rolex Sydney…

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David

David

D'Annunzio

David credits SWD with giving him a better appreciation of what people can achieve. Being an SWD member has shown him first-hand that the human spirit is more powerful than the body. 

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Al

Al

Grundy

I had never been on a yacht before but I realised I could put sails up, pull on ropes, and make things do things. As it turned out sailing opened up a window... which opened a door... which opened a bigger…

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Kristi

Kristi

Foster

Kristi Foster broke her back when she was just 21. Then just 16 weeks after surgery to repair her spine, she was in a car accident and broke her back and neck again.

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Kirk

Kirk

Watson

Kirk Watson is an accomplished sailor. His first sail down the Australian coast was at the tender age of 7 in a 32 foot motor sailor... and he's been on the water every spare moment since. Kirk sharpened…

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Chelsea

Chelsea

Cranfield

After participating in the Try Sail day, Chelsea came home and could not stop talking about it. It was such a wonderful time, and she felt secure and stable on the bigger boat. Every time she sees a boat…

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Mark

Mark

Thomson

Mark enjoys his association with SWD for many reasons. In his words, the crew "don't get inflated syndrome by big-noting their achievements - despite their significance." Put simply, "SWD is a really…

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