Quick Facts

Limb loss – hand amputee
How acquired
Chemical explosion
Date of Birth
October 31, 1955
Oatley, NSW
IT company owner
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Peter Blake

Career Highlights

4th place at 2012 IFDS World Championships


Sailing out of Cronulla Sailing Club since his youth, Jonathan Harris never anticipated he would be heading to his first Paralympic Games at London 2012. But the time spent gracing the waters of Sydney’s Sutherland Shire was used to great effect and Jonathan was delighted when asked to join the three person keelboat team for the 2012 IFDS World Championships in Florida. With team mates Colin Harrison and Stephen Churm, Jonathan placed fourth in Florida and finished only two points off a silver medal.

After an unstable jar of chemicals exploded in front of him when he was 16, Jonathan sustained injuries to both hands. But his love of sailing never ceased and he continued sailing many different dinghy and keelboat classes throughout his life. In 1983 and 1985 he raced in the Sydney Hobart and later in 2002 he made his debut in the Sonar keelboat for Australia at the 2002 World Championships in Holland. His training and development has intensified in the meantime to bring Jonathan up to world beating speed.

As the owner of an IT company which sells intranet software, Jonathan is able to successfully juggle his commitments according to his training schedule. With team mate Stephen Churm, also from the Sutherland Shire, and with both Harrison and the team’s coach, Grant Alderson residing in Perth, this truly Australian-wide team shows ingenuity and flexibility in training programs leading up to competitions.

Having always lived on the coast, Jonathan has developed a sustained attachment for all forms of sailing as well as an interest in cycling and skiing.

While he is often accused of having high expectations, it hasn’t stopped him setting his sights on winning a medal at London 2012. Finishing so close to the podium at the 2012 World Championships has only steeled Jonathan for his first Games experience and the New South Welshman is training the house down in preparation.