In the latest episode of Aussie Sailors Podcast, I am joined by Andrew “Dolly” Divola and Lisa Darmanin. We talk about the Kiwi’s taking out the JJ’s, Superfoilers, Lisa’s Nacra Campaign and more.
I didn’t do a single blog post! Well, that is not like me at all…
So what has been happening, Boxing Day was once again spent on the second line start boat with a great group of people who knew when to have fun and when to switch to work mode. It was pretty funny in the 10 minutes to go when I filmed us on Instagram in silence.
Up next was the 16 and 13 ft Skiff Nationals which we were supporting as DeckHardware. I spent each day at MH16’s with the van setup. On one of the days our DeckHardware Ambassadors, Harry and Nathan went above and beyond assisting Dante with his boat setup.
Almost 5 hours later and we were hearing that Nathan wasn’t done yet! It was great to see that the knowledge and experience they have from sailing in a larger fleet at MH was being shared with the Guys from Illawarra.
Next up was the Flying 11 Nationals at Manly where we setup up on a few of the days and were there if needed on others.
As always I tend to spend a bit of my time at the Lake and this year was no different with a visit with the 18′ Skiffs and not long after the 16’s had their sprint series up there.
I caught up with my old boat when it visited MHYC for the Adams 10m Nationals!
Then once again was out of the office for the JJ Giltinan Championships for the 18′ Skiffs. Supporting our Ambassadors and those who use our products. What an incredible event from big breeze to the Kiwi’s coming 1st and 2nd. It is worth checking out all their social media to watch some of the racing and check out the great action photos.
What is next? Who knows! There is plenty on and lots to do in the office.
I might leave it up to our DeckHardware Ambassadors to decide where I go next hahaha.
Some photos from the last few months.
I honestly can not believe it is almost Summer! How did that happen?
The last month has been HECTIC! It is our busiest time of year at work plus my car decided it was time to go and had to be replaced. Already my new car has visited sailors at Wangi and Lake Illawarra and clocked up over 1200km which is crazy. Naturally the day after picking it up I had to take it to Wangi, it’ll get to know that journey well.
We also had the Australian Sailing Awards which was a fun night. We decided to give Nathan Edwards access to DeckHardware’s social media in conjunction with coming to the Awards. So all of a sudden even more posts about 16’s and 18’s appeared plus some time studying at Uni hahaha.
Handing over the social media was an interesting exercise. Not only was it worthwhile from a business perspective but it was also a lot of fun. It was an idea we got from following other sports on Social Media and sailing two different types of boats we knew Nath would have some fun with it. Having been a DeckHardware Ambassador for a number of years and someone we have been aware of a lot longer we had an idea of what he may do. Even then we were surprised and grateful for the thought and effort behind the posts.
So big thanks to Nath for taking it on and having some fun with it. The trust involved and letting go was interesting, especially when he was sending hints of what he was thinking of doing next!
It was fantastic to see the Hall of Fame Inductees take place for the first time at the Awards including an old Animus crew member Dick Sargeant. Dick was a part of the very first crew to win Sailing Gold for Australia. When I first bought Animus he joined us for my first Nationals as skipper.
There were so many familiar faces that night from Australia II who were also inducted and our Sailing community.
We often say the DeckHardware Ambassadors are more like a DeckHardware Family. I think these photos from the end of the night with Clare and Finn Alexander, as well as Nathan and myself, say it all.
On the weekend I headed to the 18’s again, this time to support and thank Nina Curtis who filled in for Nath onboard the 18 whilst he was out racing on the 16. It was fantastic to see Nina not only jump at the chance but love it. It was also wonderful to continue our support of her after so many years supporting her Olympic Campaigns. A solid noreaster on Sydney Harbour, what more could you ask for!
With the season well underway it is fantastic to see what our DeckHardware Ambassadors are up to this year! Aimee has stepped up to drive a Nacra 15 which is fantastic and her updates are certainly keeping us entertained. Jody is sailing my old boat! Will is sailing a 13′ skiff, Brad is back sailing 12’s and so much more happening. As well as welcoming some new faces.
As far as the Hypermobility goes this month has proven frustrating. I managed to almost dislocate a kneecap which set me back a bit but also showed me in some ways how far I have come. I started the month walking most mornings at Dawn and spending time at the gym, fingers crossed it won’t take much to get that back this time around. Overall I seem to cope better when I do push the muscles too far as I am stronger than I was a year ago. Still finding my limits and learning how to tell when my muscles are pulling the joints out of place is tricky.
Let’s face it, I love this time of year. Does it get any better than walking along the beachfront in Manly early in the morning in short sleeves! I am not the only one with this idea as it is busy and I managed to see three people I knew just in a short time this morning.
It is heating up and the Jazz festival is being set up for the long weekend. How did we get to this time of year already? It is nice to see my old High School’s band involved this weekend. I was lucky enough to be a part of the Big Band and Stage Band during my High School years.
Just before the season started I managed a short break with two friends to the Hunter Valley. So dangerous hahaha. But worth it. There was some backburning happening in the area which made for an incredible sunset although hard to capture on the phone.
I attended the recent NSW Sailing Awards where it was great to catch up with a number of our DeckHardware Ambassadors and friends. It is always so nice to catch up with so much to say!
I have also put together something for the METS Online Community. You can read it here.
How good is this time of year.
So is anyone else confused with this crazy weather? Yesterday was AMAZING here in Sydney. Today sitting here at my desk it is bucketing rain and cool again… Any thoughts on what I should plant in the garden? Winter or Summer produce haha.
On Saturday I escaped for a few hours heading out on the MHYC Start boat to watch the Sydney Gold Coast race start. So much sunshine and a light breeze that filled in just after the start. What a magic way to spend a few hours, and wave Hi to plenty of people I have not seen in a while.
It has been a busy few weeks with lots of time spent at the Physio playing with orthotics and doing some Pilates rehab work. Which can be interesting as my muscles are so bad at releasing themselves. Winter is all about finding time to get things done before the summer season hits. It almost has felt like I have been busier with extra gym visits, Dentists, Doctors etc. But it is not long now till the sun will be out for longer each day and the warehouse will be boiling instead of freezing 🙂
The last few months I have been pretty quiet for a number of reasons. Actually, it is really since November last year when we launched the new DeckHardware website. We always knew this was going to be a lot of work but it seems the further we get the more we realise we can do and there is still to do!
As a distributor, it is important for us to get up as many of the products as possible with as much technical data as possible. This takes time and research and I would like to take a moment to thank those who have visited the new website and understood it a work in progress.
I am loving the new look and hope you are all finding it easy to navigate. Trust me when I say there are plenty more features to come! It is actually pretty exciting what we will be able to do in the future. We have also installed a new Chat program which means all three of us can access it to talk to customers and share links or Tech Sheets which is fantastic.
On top of this, we have re-signed our contract as an Official Supplier of Australian Sailing with the support of LIROS in Germany. We have worked with LIROS longer than we have owned DeckHardware and it is exciting to continue this partnership.
Whilst working hard I have switched up my Gym routine which has been very exciting! I have moved away from the Aqua classes and whilst still focusing on Pilates Reformer I am now able to do some weights and get back on the bike and even a rower! This has been a big step in managing the Hyper Mobility. It is still a lot of guessing as to how far I can push but it is nice to be able to change it up.
The last few weeks have involved just a few 3am wake-ups to watch the America’s Cup. Congratulations Emirates Team New Zealand. Firstly I am so excited that I won’t have to wake up at 3am. It is going to be really interesting to follow what they do as no doubt there will be a few changes especially given where the boats will be sailing next time around. Waking up to watch so many Aussie’s participating was amazing. There were some incredible moments and some great racing in particular between Artemis and Team NZ.
It was so nice this morning to not have to wake up so early! What is next for Aussie Sailing Fans?
In a world full of competition for sporting coverage I have to say that Supercars are doing a pretty awesome job when it comes to updates for Fans and Sponsors alike. Supercars themselves with things like Supercars Life which is a great series on Foxtel along with all their social media is great to follow. The drivers are also doing a fantastic job remembering to thank sponsors, do live feeds on social media about their race day, ensuring logos are seen in videos or photos, entertaining posts to keep followers engaged etc.
I think a lot of other sports could learn a thing or two from following other sports like this whether you like car racing or not. I follow a lot of different sports to get ideas (plus I just love to follow sports) and see what is happening and this is seriously impressive at the moment.
Behind the scenes and showing that it is a family affair in many cases is a great idea.
Where did March go? All of a sudden it was April and time to head to the Women Who Sail Australia Gathering on the Bay. After missing out last year this event had been in the Calendar for some time and one I was looking forward to.
Hanging out with 100+ like-minded sailing women is an experience that cannot be described. I think Jackie Parry has summed it up pretty well so I will leave you with her words on that.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to talk about rope care and choice as part of the talks. Trying to do this in just over 30mins certainly is a mission let alone finding time to mention maintenance tips and tricks on everything else we do! I hope I was able to shed a little light on the topic for those in the room. With technology constantly changing I find Rope a fascinating topic at the moment.
On the Saturday night I had the pleasure of asking the Panel questions at the Dinner. The panel consisted of Lauren Gallaway, Jackie Parry and Lin Pardey. How fun it was to ask them about superstitions, places they never expected to go and their best tips!
For me the best part was finding out just a little about those in the room. You just never know till you open the cover what you will find!
On the weekend we celebrated 50 years of the Flying 11. Wondering what exactly that is? Here are the facts. For me personally, it is the class I sailed as a teenager and where I made so many friends. It is a class that has had a huge impact on Australian Sailing.
For a bit of fun and research for the night I looked into who had sailed the Flying 11 that has gone onto International Success, Work in the Industry or are an Official. What an incredible list I was able to hand over to the organisers and MC. Also thanks to Manly Yacht Club who were a last minute venue due to wet weather!
There were a number of past champions present along with special guests Lisa Darmanin, Olivia Price and Josh McKnight who were lead through some questions by MC Dolly.
I also managed to get some quotes from past Flying 11 sailors Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Malcolm Page to read out on the night.
I have great memories of Sailing a Flying 11 and the friendships from those years are still strong. The best memories though have to be a tight reach in a noreaster on the sound.
Lisa inspiring the next generation!
2016 was an interesting year for me both personally and professionally. DeckHardware celebrated 10 years of our family owning the Business which was a big milestone. We also organised the 2nd Sydney Sailboat Expo which had an incredible number of sailing boats on display. 2016 was once again a great time for our Aussie Sailors in Rio. Then there was the new Website for DeckHardware and a trip to METSTRADE followed by adding DrSails to our range of brands! Phew what a year!
It was certainly a testing one with a quiet winter followed up by a pretty epic start to summer, more so than normal.
We witnessed some of the young sailors we have supported for a number of years head to the Youth Worlds with Finn bringing home a Gold and John a Bronze. It is so nice to watch these youngs sailors grow up and continue to not only love our sport but also see the results. As a family and via our company we do love to support sailing as much as we can and it can be so rewarding personally.
To finish off 2016 we were once again on the MHYC Start Boat for Boxing Day on the middle line. Helicopter numbers seemed down on previous years but the spectator fleet certainly turned up with the good weather! Watching the boats in pre-start is always enjoyable.
From a personal perspective, my Hypermobility became my main priority. I have learnt over the past two years about the pain management side of things and trying to get my muscles to relax where required and stay strong where needed at the same time. This has not been easy and taken its toll, but it is nice to have tested the waters (hahaha) and now I have a better idea of how to move forward.
As a result, I feel stronger than I have in years. I am booked in at the gym to do some weights classes to gradually get the joints used to those movements again. In 2016 I was able to get back on a bike and not create major issues which was a HUGE breakthrough for me. Pilates Reformer will remain for the rest of my life something that I have to ensure I do as often as possible. The difference it has made has been fantastic even though sometimes it has felt like I was going backwards overall I was moving forwards.
2017, I am looking forward to you.