But for Daniel, Silver wasn’t quite enough. “Being on the podium (in Beijing) was awesome, seeing the Australian flag was great but hearing the American anthem was terrible,” he said. “It was an empty feeling and just wasn’t our moment, that feeling has spurred me on to make London our moment.”
With a performance gain needed for London, Daniel paired with an unlikely crewmate – six-time Paralympian and wheelchair basketball champion Liesl Tesch. Impressed with her qualities shown on a 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race documentary, Daniel contacted Liesl about a possible sport swap and the pair began training in early 2011. Less than a month later, they went on to win their first ever competition together at the Sailing World Cups in Miami and Weymouth and two World Championship bronze medals. The foundation was there and the pair trained and devoted their lives to ultimate success in London.
In London Daniel masterminded the regatta of his life. Despite the tragic passing of Liesl's mother on day one of the Games, the pair steeled themselves for the dogfight with the UK and US teams and came out on top. Not only did they win Australia's first gold medal in the event, they did it with a day to spare with a record low score. The victory allowed Daniel to release his demons of 2008 and live his dream of watching the Australian flag being raised and hearing Advance Australia Fair over the backdrop of England's Portland Harbor.
Following the Games their amazing achievements have been recognized with many prestigious awards. These include the 2012 Paralympic Team of the Year, 2012 Australian Sailor of the Year with a Disability award and the 2012 Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) Yachtsman of the Year award. On Australia Day 2014 Daniel was recognized for his services to sailing with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for this he is immensely proud. Daniel and Liesl have gone from strength to strength since London remaining undefeated in their class winning both the 2014 and 2015 Para Sailing World Championships as well as numerous Sailing World Cup Events.
Today Daniel is working with the RPAYC on their innovative “INTEGRATED disAbled SAILING” (IdS) program. The aim of this program is to integrate people with a disability into the normal sporting and social events of the club. Daniel believes that Integration not separation is the next step for disabled sailing and is working hard towards this goal. Daniel is a current member of the Australian Sailing Team and the Australian Paralympic Team.