Captain Sarah Parry has been active in the area of sail training for many years. Her drive and determination has seen her bring a dream into reality, and this was recognised at the 2017 Sail Training International Conference in Bordeaux, France, where Captain Parry was awarded Sail Trainer of the Year (Over 25). This is a remarkable achievement in a strong international field, and the second time an Australian has won the honour in recent years.
Captain Parry spent her early year in the Royal Australian Navy and later as a joiner working in set and stage production. This led to her becoming a production designer and art director. In 1984 she discovered the plans that would later become the Windeward Bound. Envisaged in 1985 and commenced in 1990, after many years of hard work by enthusiastic volunteers, the 33m brigantine Windeward Bound was launched in 1996. Since then the ship has sailed more than 100,000nm, circumnavigated Australia – a voyage of over 12,500nm, sailed to New Zealand and crossed the notorious Bass Strait innumerable times.
For the past 17 years Captain Parry has served as the Managing trustee and Captain of STV Windeward Bound. She holds a Master <35m certificate with square rig endorsement, MED 3 Certificate and is a British Nautical Institute Square Rig and Sail
Endorsed Master. Captain Parry also holds an international STCW 95 watch keeping certificate as a master for vessels <500GT for distances up to 600nm form the coast.
Captain Parry, who provides enthusiastic and strong leadership, has achieved remarkable things over the past 20 years. As well as embarking countless youth in Windeward Bound for youth development voyages, Captain Parry also actively promotes formal mariner training. Since 2002 more than 38 volunteer crew members have attained Certificates of Competency through the provision of hands-on-training, sea-time, supervision and funding for courses.
Of the many notable youth development courses run on board Windeward Bound, a stand out is the annual Youth Leadership challenge. This successful program, run for the last six years, combines ten bright, young, positive Tasmanian youth with ten young former refugees, now residents, on a ten day voyage along the Tasmanian coast. First envisaged by Captain Parry as a means of introducing new migrant youth to positive young Tasmanians from all parts of society, this voyage has exceeded all expectations. It has enabled the create of broad youth networks across communities, and generated a high level of inclusiveness amongst migrant youth participants. The program has been well supported, initially by the state’s Rotary Clubs, then by the wider business community. The program has spread to Norway via the vessel Sorlandet, and is in the process of being picked up by Leeuwin II, South Passage and Spirit of New Zealand.
Captain Parry is a staunch supporter and Vice President of Tall Ships Australia and New Zealand (TANZ), and Windeward Bound regularly participates in tall ship regattas and festivals.
Congratulations Captain Parry!