Hansa Sailing Director Chris Mitchell has been awarded the prestigious NSW Maritime Medal at a recent ceremony.
He shared the 2017 Maritime Medal for selfless, outstanding and sustained contributions to the sector with Mike Jarvin who has spent decades selflessly promoting positive outcomes for the maritime community.
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads, Maritime and Transport Kevin Anderson MP said for 20 years Chris Mitchell has been a key person in advancing disabled accessibility through vessel design, infrastructure and advocacy.
“Chris is an inspiration. He volunteers countless hours assisting disabled people to sail at various events and places around the Shoalhaven. His boat design for the disabled is used in 35 countries.
“His commitment to universal maritime design for the disabled is second to none. Because of Chris’s work, people now have the ability to sail in a dignified manner and in vessels designed to meet their needs.”
“Chris is a most worthy recipient of the Maritime Medal and I am proud to see he has been recognised today,” Mr Anderson said.
Chris is founder of Hansa Sailng Systems. Almost 3000 Hansa sail craft have been sold in 35 countries. Hansa is an internationally recognised sailing class.
Speaking at the International Sydney Boat Show awards ceremony, Chris said: “Hansa boats are of Universal Design and therefore can be sailed by anyone. The ballast keel, seating facing forward, steering with a joystick, and the reefing system, make them very stable, safe, and easy to handle. They became the foundation of Sailability in Australia, and subsequently internationally.
Chris had opened his remarks by saying: “Thank you very much for this recognition, but we also need to acknowledge my partner Jackie Kay. She should be recognised as the mother of Sailability around the world.”
You can read Chris’ response in full below.
Or, see the video here.