The Yachtsman 2017-2018 RPAYC Yachtsman 2016-2017 - Page 84

INVICTUS GAMES RPAYC SUCCESSFUL INVICTUS GAMES LAUNCH M ost members will have seen some great footage of their Club conducting the Invictus Games Launch on Sydney Harbour in June. The day started with the Official Launch at Admiralty House, 500 days ahead of the opening of the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games and 108 days until competition begins for the 2017 Toronto Games. In attendance was the 2017 Australian Invictus Games Squad, their friends, family and other supporters. RPAYC General Manager, Suzanne Davies was invited to represent the RPAYC at this event in recognition of the Club’s contributions to the day. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, Chairman of the Invictus Games and he introduced the speakers, the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, His Royal Highness Prince Harry, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Prince Harry’s speech was heartfelt and moving. He spoke of the catalyst for the Games being the moment he was forced to leave his fellow soldiers on the front line in Afghanistan in 2008 after his presence there was leaked. While he realised that to remain would have endangered his company, the guilt he felt was overwhelming. The flight he departed Afghanistan on carried the body of a Danish soldier and other badly injured soldiers and he reported that this was the moment he knew he had to do something for these people to help them and thus the Invictus Games were born. 82 YACHTSMAN On launching the Games, Prince Harry said; “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. “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.” Prince Harry concluded “The Invictus Games are coming to Australia – game on down under!” It was Gladys Berejiklian who announced that sailing would be included in the Invictus Games for the first time in Sydney! As the event broke for a morning tea with the Prince, the dock of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron was a buzz with RPAYC and RSYS representatives and veterans preparing to head out in the wet and blustery conditions to conduct the sailing demonstration. The event was executed by RPAYC Club Coach Tom Spithill who had worked tirelessly in recent weeks ensuring plans were in place, the boats were ready, volunteers engaged and veterans prepared to race. With everything in check it was game on! RPAYC Race Officer and Vietnam Veteran Ted Anderson was in charge of the day’s racing and with the assistance of David West and Sue Anderson they trained up a number of veterans who, while they were unable to participate by sailing, enjoyed learning to participate in the race management activities. Bill Ebsary’s Le Billet and Andy McKillop’s Winifred were out on water supporting the fleet and providing