Sailor stories

Michael Jones

One of our Sailors

I became interested in sailing with the Britannia Sea Scouts. I joined Sailability Wellington in 2003 to develop my sailing skills so I could sail independently. I learned to sail the Hansa dinghies and went on to compete both in New Zealand and Australia, and won the National Championship in the Liberty Class in 2011 – beating both the Australian and World champions at the time!

Born with Spina Bifida, I get around on a pair of crutches. My other hobbies include spending time swimming and going to the gym.

I have worked hard at developing winning strategies on the water and hope I will continue to compete at all levels as well as being a member of the race squad. I help teach the new sailors who are learning to sail, as well as take out some of the sailors who enjoy our sport as a form of therapy.

I am a former trustee of Sailability Wellington and a former member of Yachting New Zealand’s committee for sailors with disabilities.

In 2007 I was fortunate to be the only New Zealander selected to sail a leg from Crete to Malta on the Gypsy Moth IV during its voyage around the world. It was a brilliant experience and I learnt a lot about sailing and working with people from other countries who had a mix of abilities and came from different backgrounds.