Thanks for the memories

The time has come to return to normal sleeping patterns. What an incredible result with Two Gold and a Silver it has been for our Paralympian’s in Rio. Not only incredible results but the way they handled the pressure and the way they spoke about Sailing not being in the 2020 Paralympics. Congratulations Dan, Liesl, Colin, Jonathan, Russell and Matt.

Dan and Liesl what an amazing scorecard. You both are incredible role models for the sport of sailing not just Paralympic sailing. The way you spoke of the course area and the respect you showed it and your competitors speaks volumes. Back to back Gold had never been done in Paralympic Sailing, what an achievement. Let’s face it you are all fantastic role models and I hope we hear more of you in the coming years.

To your Coaches and support crew congratulations also! Following you all on Social Media you could see the passion and energy that went into making this event something to remember as well as being a success for the team.

I would like to thank the Australian Sailing Team and World Sailing for their Twitter feeds, it certainly helped to understand what was happening on the race course. It made the early mornings easier!

The team has now headed home after arriving back in Australia yesterday. Australian Sailing hosted a function at the CYCA to welcome them home that was full of emotion celebrating the success that for some time will not be beaten.

On a personal note it was wonderful to catch up with the team yesterday. Being Official Suppliers to the team means we have got to know the sailors over the years, especially with Rope choice being such a personalised decision.

We often say that we are more than just a sponsor and I do hope the sailors feel that way also. Over the years it has been fantastic to get involved in more than just rope selection.

Thank you for the amazing journey we have all been on with you. As much as we love the Titles you now hold, I hope you don’t hold them forever. Leaving the CYCA yesterday with Liesl and Mark (her partner who I sailed with years ago) was something that will stay with me forever. The car all loaded up and a couple of blokes recognise her, so Liesl jumps out of the car and asks if they want a photo with Goldie. I wish I was fast enough with my phone to film the reaction. What a nice reminder of how special it is.

If you get the opportunity to hear one of our Paralympians or Olympians speak it is well worth taking the time to do so. I hope you all get to hear their stories.

Thank you to the Daily Telegraph for this article. The welcome home was wonderful for our Sailors.

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This is it

Photo by Liesl Tesch
Photo thanks to Liesl Tesch as they prepared to enter the Stadium

This is it. The Paralympics’ sailing starts Tuesday at 2am AEST and our Aussie Sailors featured this morning in the coverage of the Opening Ceremony. Liesl Tesch as always front and centre, the life of the party. You can see what this means for the athletes including our sailors and their support crew.

We woke in the early hours to cheer on our Olympians, we headed to club houses for the Medal Races. Aussie Sailors I call on you to get behind OUR TEAM! Dan and Liesl (Skud18), Matt (2.4), Colin, Jonathan and Russell (Sonar).This is it, there is no option of 2020. Our Aussie Sailors and Sailing Internationally needs us to get behind them. The effort they have put in is incredible, as someone who knows them, I can vouch for this.

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The Australian Sailing Team. Photo Liesl Tesch

Good Luck Team! You have done the training and now it is time to go sailing and enjoy it.

I am so proud to be entered in this year’s Bart’s Bash which falls on the final weekend of racing in Rio. This year Bart’s Bash is raising funds for Disabled Sailing Internationally which needs our support. Let’s Reinstate Sailing! Doing so will give others World Wide the opportunity to participate in competitive sailing no matter their disability.

Because of the Paralympics the design of the boats available to disabled sailors has seen some incredible changes. When you look at a Skud 18 and how someone like Dan or Ame skipper, it’s remarkable. It is my hope that the Legacy of the Paralympics will not be lost. That in 2024 Sailing will once again return to the Paralympics.

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Aussie Sailors Rock

I often joke that my life is all about sailing. Working in the industry, going to boat shows, umpiring or just trying to find time to actually go sailing. The past few weeks it stepped up a gear with the Aussie Sailors competing in Rio. Waking each morning to follow the tracker, whatever course area was live on the 7app or more importantly the AST Twitter feed. I wasn’t alone with many other sailors online in the early hours of the morning.

With two of our DeckHardware brands Official Suppliers there is the obvious business connection for supporting the sailors. To be honest though we support them most importantly because of friendships. I like to think we are more than a sponsor as for many we were friends first. The support we give the team is a lot more than Product and that is something we are proud of.

The Aussie Sailing community is such a tight group with so many of us knowing each other thanks to regatta’s across the country. This showed up especially during the medal races with RPAYC, Manly 16’s and Wangi RSL opening their doors for supporters to cheer on the Aussie’s together.

I can not thank enough the amazing people who woke up early despite no racing to be at MHYC for the Sunrise Weather cross.  Pulling together with just a few hours notice we managed to not only find a crowd for 0530 but also a Laser to take Sam Mac out on. A big thanks to Lauren for remembering her sailing gear! With Olivia there as the special guest sailing commentator, we managed to pull it off.

Heading to Manly 16’s one of the clubs I spent my junior years to watch the Laser and Nacra Medal races will stay with me a long time. If you have never had the chance to watch a medal race in a room full of sailors make sure you clear the diary for 4 years time! It is something that stays with you. I still tell stories of watching Nath Wilmot and Mal Page at MHYC all those years ago.  Now I feel old!

Finishing off the games at Wangi was fitting. Being part of #TeamWangi and supporting Nath and Goobs, I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. To Jody and everyone at Wangi who went above and beyond you are amazing! The main street was decorated, the RSL had a road sign out the front wishing them luck! The RSL was not only decorated but had lights outside to match all the green and gold. I think the live crosses with Sunrise Weather will be talked about for a long time. As will the special cross to Nath and Goobs!

Yesterday the team arrived home and the first two I saw as I walked up the stairs were Nath and Goobs. I couldn’t be prouder of these two, of supporting them as a friend and sponsor. After all they are the reason we became a sponsor! Getting to see these two come home with another medal was worth the lack of sleep and more. Especially as they are home for such a limited time before heading back to the America’s Cup and Artemis.

It is fantastic to see the Aussie Sailors come home with a Gold and three Silvers. Once again Sailing has been in the media which is so good for our sport! I hope every club out there is able to take advantage of this to help grow this fantastic sport! Let’s make sure we as a sport make the most of the increased interest.

A huge thanks to the entire team who took the time to sign the Bart’s Bash flag. Now the focus shifts to promoting this great event and the Paralympic Sailors who are so deserving of our support and a place at future Paralympics.

Head over to the DeckHardware Facebook to read our business post.

New experiences and journeys

July has been HUGE.  I had the opportunity to drive to Goolwa South Australia for the Australian Schools Team Racing Championship where DeckHardware was a sponsor and I was an umpire.  I had never driven to South Australia before so it was a bit of an adventurous two days!

I could not believe after hearing so much about the Sturt Highway it was raining for a fair percentage of my drive.  Water everywhere and some green fields! So this is outback Australia? It was fantastic to see them getting some rain even though it did make the drive a little more stressful.  I stopped overnight in Hay but unfortunately only had a limited amount of daylight to wander around. What an experience to be able to see so much of Australia, even if only from the view of the Van.

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Heading to Goolwa in Winter meant ensuring I had my fair share of Thermals packed. Staying warm in a RIB can be tricky as you don’t move around a great deal.  The event was fantastic and if you are interested check out the Down Under Sail Facebook page where you will find some video of the on water action.  To see 24 teams from around the Country participating in some brilliant racing was fantastic.Lucky enough I did not have to drive back, Phil aka Dad took over in South Australia with the van to see some of our DeckHardware customers.  Flying back was certainly much faster!

Just a little rain when I arrived in Goolwa!

The next month is a busy one as an Aussie Sailing Fan. I would like to wish everyone on the Team a MASSIVE Good Luck. I can see increased coffee consumption in my future.

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Good days and the not so good days

The past year has not been the greatest for me. Since being diagnosed with Hypermobility it has been a bit of hit and miss action to figure out how to move forward. For the past year I have been on a muscle relaxant to try to counteract the tight muscles so that I could spend more time at the gym and just doing things in general.  Unfortunately this lead to other issues along with some trouble from when I fractured my foot a few years ago.  My muscles often transfer the tight spots, which means the treatment moves week by week.

The irony now being that I actually ended up doing less at the gym whilst I tried to get my muscles activating as they should to even walk let alone up and down stairs. I basically lost all strength in my left leg as it transferred the issue between the glute, knee, ankle and foot.  Taping up the foot and knee weekly with acupuncture has been a massive help to re-train it all.

So the decision to come off the muscle relaxants has been a tough one. With so many pros and cons. It has now been almost two months off them and even though some days have been hard I have been able to retrain muscle groups with the help of Physio, Pilates and Weights.

I must admit I am now trialling on the bad days a more healthy option of Turmeric. I do like the idea of not permanently being on something so fingers crossed.

Unfortunately the timing has not been great on this road to health and fitness as I head off to Goolwa in South Australia next week for some umpiring.  I just hope the work I have done in the last two months means I hold together.  I feel at the moment my core strength is almost the best it has been despite the lack of overall fitness.  Which hopefully means I can work on that when I get back.  In the last two weeks I have managed to jump on the bike and do some interval and resistance training which has been AMAZING! Last time I tried that over a year ago I ended up barely able to stand up straight as my Hip Flexors just reacted so badly.

Enough about the journey of trying to manage HMS. Bring on the road trip and driving to Goolwa! Two days on the road followed by umpiring some great sailing at the 2016 DeckHardware Australian Secondary Schools Team Sailing Nationals.

Inspiration is an energiser

Sunset at the SpitGetting back into the swing of things has taken a little time after the Sydney Sailboat Expo and working out what is priority along with DeckHardware over winter. I have been back at the gym where my new favourite class is Drums Alive! Such a great way to start a Saturday with a bunch of energy and friends.

I managed to catch up with Liesl Tesch and Erica Kirby before Liesl headed to Europe to compete. A catch up in the park whilst talking sailing rules and pretending to be boats on land. I am sure anyone driving past the Spit that afternoon looking at the Sunset must have been amused and wondered what on earth we were doing. What better way to spend an afternoon in Autumn! Spending time with Liesl is always inspiring and a great deal of fun.

Sunset at the SpitLiesl is now with other members of the Australian Sailing Team in Medimblik about to take part in the Para Worlds which start Tuesday! Good Luck team! Check out the Aussie Sailors Rock group on Facebook where we cheer on Aussie sailors competing overseas.

It has been a big few months for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation as the planning for Bart’s Bash is now in full swing.  Here in Australia there are a number of clubs already signed up and more that have confirmed verbally.  Here is a link to the latest news on this year’s Bart’s Bash.  Last week whilst in QLD I caught up with the team at Southport Yacht Club where Aussie Ambassador Joel Turner will be supporting this year’s Bart’s Bash. It is great to hear that plans are underway with Ambassadors involved!

I have a few plans for here in Sydney for this year’s Bart’s Bash so stay tuned! So far there are clubs in VIC, NSW, QLD and WA! In 2016 Bart’s Bash will be raising awareness and funds to support grassroots disabled sailing globally. The 2016 edition of Bart’s Bash is scheduled for 17-18 September which is on at the same time as the 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition. The timing is incredible considering everything that is going on, with this being the last chance for Para Athletes to compete in Sailing for now.

Whilst in QLD on Thursday I dropped by the Gold Coast International Marine Expo and Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. It was great to catch up with so many from within the sailing industry for a chat. We have seen some big changes in the last few years and working together we can certainly be stronger for it. I finished the day catching up with Alistair Murray from Ronstan talking rules, sailing, friends, industry, women in sailing and more. There is always so much to talk about when it comes to our sport and industry. If you work in the Aussie Sailing Industry check out our Facebook Group and you ever want to catch up just send me a message.

Recovery and Reflection

It has now been a week since the 2016 Sydney Sailboat Expo wrapped up. I almost don’t know what to write, there is so much to say.

Firstly to my friends and DeckHardware Ambassadors – I am so proud of you as Ambassadors and so grateful to call you friends. You helped me get through the weekend with your support and willingness to do whatever was needed. Ensuring I ate and drank water especially on Saturday when we were stretched for volunteers. The Sydney Sailboat Expo would not have existed if it weren’t for you being our volunteers. To deliver such an event with just a small team shows the effort you all put in.

Thank you to Jordan Spencer who the week of the Expo stepped in to be the voice of the Expo doing Videos, announcements and more. Thank you to Melissa Williams-Brown Photography for the amazing photos you have taken so we can remember what can be done.

I saw online a number of posts where people asked why this didn’t happen in other states.  I guess the reason is my family decided it was needed after discussing it with a number of people in the sport and industry. We dedicated I would hate to think how many hours to ensuring it happened. Sydney as a location gives us access to so much of the Sailing Industry. We are just a family who love the sport of sailing and work in the Industry. All the posters you saw at clubs leading up to the event and the signs around the expo for instance, were all laminated by my Dad (Phil). We dedicated our time and money to the promotion of our sport and would like to thank in particular our DeckHardware competitors who supported what we were doing.

A huge thank you also to the high profile sailors who came to the Expo or shared that the Expo was on despite being overseas competing. Special thanks to Liesl Tesch and Tom Burton who took hours out of their weekend to come to the Sydney Sailboat Expo and were more than happy to talk to everyone.

The last week for us has been about unpacking, sorting out the DeckHardware Warehouse and getting back to normal work. I’ve looked back and wondered how we achieved it and wonder where we found the time and energy to do what needed doing. I am the first to admit the Sydney Sailboat Expo could be so much more than what it has been the first two years. Having said that I am proud of the fact that we have been able to bring so much of the industry together to work together in promoting and supporting sailing. The range of Associations this year was truly something I was excited and proud of.

As I recover I will do some thinking about where we go now. The effort involved was massive for this year and doing it within our little office whilst still running DeckHardware is difficult I will not lie.  I am exhausted but at the same time can see what the Sydney Sailboat Expo could be if we could continue to grow and for the entire community to get behind it. I look to the shows overseas and I have to admit I would love to achieve so much more.

To those who thanked me for the hours my Mum (Robyn) and I put in, Thank you. I was honestly shocked to receive the thank you gifts from a couple of the exhibitors. I received some wonderful messages of what some of our visitors experienced at the Expo, thank you. Hearing that we were mentioned on two commercial radio stations honestly was fantastic. An Expo about sailing got mentioned! Who would have thought sailing would be on the radio let alone this.

In a few weeks once I have given it some thought I will have a meeting with a few of the exhibitors to discuss what happens now.  The Sydney Sailboat Expo, all it was a few years ago was a dream concept of showcasing sailing after the success we had in London. To show that we are an accessible sport for everyone! I have dedicated so much of my time and energy to this project and still believe it could be so much more. To do it again in 2017 is a big ask of not only myself and my family but my amazing volunteers. So for now, I will rest, reflect and get back to work.

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Time has flown by

I can not believe how long it has been since I wrote a blog post! That is what happens when you are busy. You don’t realise just how fast time is moving.

Work has been extremely busy especially the last few weeks as I prepare for the upcoming Sydney Sailboat Expo.  It is on next weekend! I can not believe the second SSE is almost here. What a journey and I am so lucky to have such amazing support around me. Especially as we juggle the job that is already a full time one DeckHardware. DeckHardware itself has seen a busy summer which has kept us on our toes!

I have managed to spend a little time on the water however for the first time in years have missed the NSW Schools Teams Racing which was on this weekend! So strange to not be there and instead be sitting here working away on the laptop finishing maps, competitions, press releases and the never ending list.

If you have followed my blog for a while you will know I spend a fair amount of time at the Physio thanks to being Hyper Mobile.  I am extremely excited about the upcoming Expo and special guest speaker that is coming.

Donna White from Total Physiotherapy will be hosting a talk on “How to make your body go faster / perform better” at the Sydney Sailboat Expo on the 9th April 2016 at 1pm.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from the Australian Sailing Team’s Physiotherapist. When it comes to Sailing and your body Donna and the team at Total Physiotherapy have a wealth of knowledge and experience.” Find out more: www.sydneysailboatexpo.com.au/how-to-make-your-body-go-faster-perform-better 

There is so much hard work going on to make this event a reality so to be able to announce a talk by someone like Donna is wonderful. So if you are a sailor especially a dinghy sailor make sure you don’t miss it!

The Sydney Sailboat Expo is the place to go to find out how to get yourself or your kids involved in the sport of sailing! So if you love the great outdoors of Sydney come along and find out more about sailing and the many options available.

The Sydney Sailboat Expo will be held on the 9-10 April 2016 10am – 4pm at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) in Manly!

10 years with DeckHardware

Nathan Outteridge Sailing Team
Nathan Outteridge Sailing Team on the front of the van

Today I was going to sit down and write about the regatta’s I have been volunteering at to kick start 2016.  The Opti Nationals and Australian Youths, however LinkedIn had other ideas.

It has now been over 10 years that I have worked for DeckHardware.  I had done the marketing for the company for several years prior to coming onboard full time in 2006.  In the early days before my family purchased the business we shared a warehouse with the owner’s other business and my friends at Musto.  My road rep for a while there was Nathan Outteridge with the special DeckHardware van with logos and his name on the front hahaha.

Those were the days when we had four brands to distribute. We could see the potential as the four brands were great brands to work with. In December 2006 with both my Mum (Robyn who has been with the company even longer) and I knowing the company inside out we purchased DeckHardware and Dad (Phil) came to work for the company. I think we might have to do something in December to celebrate that!

Loved that kite!
Loved that kite!

There certainly has been some huge changes during that time both at DeckHardware and for the Australian Marine Industry. What a journey it has been for us.

We are extremely proud of the hard work we have put in and to be able to say we are the distributors of:

Allen Sailboat Performance Hardware, Billy Bung, Blue Performance, CC Marine, Forespar, Houdini, JDC, Liros Rope, Man Ship Marine, Peter G’s, PROtect Tapes, Sanol, Schaefer Marine, SpliceRight, Splicing Nut, TBS by Passage and Walder.

During this time I have been on an incredible journey.  I have worked strange hours, multiple other casual jobs at one point at the same time to help fund the growth. I had to sell my beautiful yacht Animus for the extra funds and because there was just not the time to sail her enough let alone 5 days a week like I had been.

Germany in Winter
Germany in Winter

I have travelled around Australia to the different Boat Shows as an exhibitor and a visitor, to the Annapolis Boat Show, Dusseldorf Boat Show, London Boat Show, Auckland Boat Show and of course METSTRADE several times in Amsterdam to grow the business. For a while there I felt like I lived at boat shows hahaha. I have spent time in Los Angeles working in the Forespar office, I have experienced the Liros Factory in Germany in the snow. What an incredible experience this has been and one that led me to creating the Sydney Sailboat Expo.

It has not been an easy journey and certainly been a challenge learning so many new skills along the way. Who would have thought studying music I would end up here? At least the course for musicians taught what you needed to know to run your own business and the basics of HTML, Poster design etc etc.

Amsterdam is beautiful
Amsterdam is beautiful

I am grateful to my friends and family who have stuck by me through the long odd hours.

To our DeckHardware suppliers thank you so much for all your support and friendship over the years. I am looking forward to November when I will once again be travelling to Europe to visit suppliers and METSTRADE. Of course one of the best things about heading to Europe is seeing two of my old crew Marty, Marlene and their family who now live in Frankfurt. After all, Sailing is what got me here.

What will the next 10 years bring!

The METSTRADE IBI article where I was featured.
The METSTRADE IBI article where I was featured

 

Sydney Sailing features and so it should!

The last few weeks have been amazing and at the same time it feels like months haha.  The first Olympic Sailing Team Members were announced for Rio with Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen announced as our 49er Team. Mat Belcher and Will Ryan on the 470 and Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse on the Nacra. It is an exciting time to be involved with the team as a sponsor as well as seeing people like Nath and Goobs who I have known for so long get the call up to another Olympics.

The Extreme Sailing Series hit my home waters of Sydney Harbour and old friends Katie Spithill and Stacey Jackson were in the thick of it competing onboard 33 South Racing. I should say that they are not old, we have just known each other longer than we probably would care to admit. As a result I offered myself as a mini cheer squad, Social media advisor and whatever else I could help with. For many reasons I was more than happy to help, including the fact that we are old friends and crewmates as well as how well they represent sailing and female sailors especially.

What an experience it was. An amazing opportunity for Katie in particular to show she can mix it with the more experienced Extreme Sailing Series skippers. It didn’t all go to plan thanks to a Port and Starboard setting back the weekend however I think the determination and attitude the crew showed to come out the other side proved their was a lot of promise and competitive nature backed with skill.  To say the crew were itching to get back out on the water would be an understatement whilst waiting for the repairs.

A year earlier I had been cheering on Nath Wilmot and crew on GAC Pindar and this time around it was another crew from our youth. I think I have mentioned before that Aussie Sailors Rock!  There is something special about where we have come from that has created a really inspirational group of sailors on and off the water.  I am so proud to be connected with so many friends from the past and doing what I can via both the Sydney Sailboat Expo and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to promote Sailing.  I hope the next generation of young sailors can be just as lucky to create great friends and memories.

Speaking of the next generation, Sail Sydney was on over the past weekend with a brilliant turnout! As one of the MANY volunteers it was wonderful to see so many course areas and classes competing on the Harbour. There were also some amazing photos of the Super Maxi’s out training sailing past the Sail Sydney Competitors.

Now comes Christmas but there is no slowing down! Boxing Day is a pretty big day in Sydney Sailing and there is no need to guess where I will be! On Sydney Harbour of course! Once again volunteering on the second line Start Boat.  Being able to do so is something special for all of us and a reward for all the hours of volunteering we do throughout the year and the effort we go to as volunteers to ensure we have the skills to back it up.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart brings many Aussie Sailors Home. Yesterday morning it meant catching up with Nocka (Anthony Nossiter) for a long breakfast, it has been a big year.  So it was nice to sit down and chat about all sorts of topics including of course plans moving forward for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and how we felt about how the year had unfolded.  It has been quite the journey.

In the end it is all about friendships. Nocka’s friendship with Bart, Nocka and My friendship, My friendship with Katie and Stacey. I think you get it, sailing isn’t just something we do competitively. We do it because we love it and that is why I hope to introduce many more to this great sport and will continue to put up my hand to support friends should the opportunity be there.

See you on the water!

 

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