Game on! Navy members honoured to host Invictus athletes

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author)

Location(s): Farm Cove, Sydney Harbour

Topic(s): Sailing, Invictus Games

The RAN Sailing Association acts as escort during the Invictus Games on Sydney Harbour. (photo: )
The RAN Sailing Association acts as escort during the Invictus Games on Sydney Harbour.

The Invictus Games are now in full swing with serving Navy members among those partnering with participants.

One of the first events was the sailing competition on Sydney Harbour. A late wind gust pushed Australia’s four man Elliott 7 sailing team over the line into first place ahead of Denmark with the Netherlands third.

In the Hansa 303 Division, Australia came in second and third.

The RAN Sailing Association is one of the many Invictus partner organisations. Commander Paul Garai was Navy’s representative on the RANSA management committee.

“It was an honour for all of us to be part of this competition,” CMDR Garai said.

“Apart from hosting the teams at the RANSA headquarters, our members also hosted participants and their families.

“A critical part of Invictus has been including two supporters for each competitor in recognition that family share the trauma as much as the veteran.”

The sailing competition took place in and around Farm Cove near the Sydney Opera House. Storm clouds which had drenched the opening ceremony on Saturday had brought with them strong winds made for perfect conditions. Among the hundreds of Sydneysiders watching from shore were the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who brought their own sense of excitement for both participants and their hosts as they embarked in the RAN Sailing Association’s yacht ‘Hunkey Dorey’.

“The Duke and Duchess were, as always, relaxed, engaging and enthusiastic,” CMDR Garai said.

“But the standout feature of Invictus is the genuine camaraderie and team spirit.

“As we welcomed the teams as they set up at RANSA, there was an amazing sense of community and determination from around the world.”

Taking place between 20-27 October, the Games use the power of sport to motivate recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding of sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country.