Smooth sailing: Malcolm Turnbull out to sea. Photo: Wolter PeetersThe sky was a fine Liberal blue as the 16m yacht Moksha came around and started its run down Sydney Harbour. Mohmed Ali looked at Malcolm Turnbull and wondered who he was.
”He looks pretty good though,” the Chapel School Merrylands student said as the yacht raced HMAS Tobruk to Bradleys Head.
In the middle of the election campaign, the MP for Wentworth, resplendent in red sailing jacket, yachting shorts, deckshoes and replete with his own malcolmturnbull南京夜网.au baseball cap, bravely put to sea on Monday morning with some of the few people in Australia who had yet to hear of him.
Ten students from Chapel School, a high school in the western Sydney Labor heartland of Merrylands that caters to youngsters disconnected from mainstream education, go sailing each Monday as part of a Sailors With disAbilities program.
Turnbull has been patron of SWD for years and regularly sails with various groups. ”Chasing the charity dollar is a very crowded space and anything I can do to lift the profile, the better,” he said.
When Turnbull appeared at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to join the Chapel School crew, sailors on the Rushcutters Bay dock spontaneously wished him luck.
Clearly Turnbull is their man. Around Wentworth, billboards bearing his smiling face are more ubiquitous than seagulls. In Hall Street, Bondi, a stencil graffiti Kevin Rudd face carries a single word, ”Icarus”.
As Moksha cleared the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia wharf, one of the girls, a first-time sailor, sat rigid. ”I’m gonna throw up, she said. ”I don’t want to do this.”
A crewmember who had been watching her quietly took her into the cockpit and asked her to stow the line coming in as the mainsail was hoisted. Busy, her tears and fears vanished.
”That’s one of the aims, give people a stakehold, build self-esteem, and they can discover their capabilities. Sailing can do this,” Turnbull said.
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