2019 is proving itself to be memorable

This year certainly is flying past quicker than I would like. From a personal and business perspective there is a LOT happening. Some of which has been very exhausting and some extremely rewarding. I guess you could go with the cliche of Highs and Lows.

With DeckHardware continuing to grow and change shape we are looking at reinvesting some more of our funds into the company. This includes the purchase of a RIB that we will then use for Marketing activities to provide amazing content moving forward. Of course, being a boat owner again will be a fantastic change.

Although admittedly if I was buying a boat for myself the RIB would not be the first choice. I do miss owning Animus, not just the racing side but also the maintenance and social things we used to do. Whilst I have had to step away from being an Umpire and Judge due to work commitments, I am looking forward to this change in direction for me personally and DeckHardware.

It is a big few months ahead with a visit to METSTRADE in just 26 days. A long way to fly for three days of meetings and catchups. It will be well worth it after the big METS I had last year.

Once I get back to Australia it will be full-on with the leadup to the big regatta season coming up and the events and sailors we will be supporting.

A quick update on the Hypermobility side, lifting weights has increased and now to do the same for Cardio. I seriously love being back in the gym lifting weights and not breaking myself! What a mission it has been to find the balance.

 

We are proud to be sponsoring the upcoming Flying 11 Nationals!

Talking Rope and Fittings – It’s what I do

Two years ago I attended the Women Who Sail Gathering, spending the weekend with a fantastic group of Women who wanted to share the knowledge they had learnt from time on the water.  I did a short talk and hosted the evening’s panel which was a lot of fun!

This time around with everything going on I was only able to escape for a few hours for a talk on “Knowing your DeckHardware“. A fast pace crash course… Luckily I had fantastic support from Nathan Edwards and Jamie Bulman. Days like these remind me how much of a difference it can make to a business owner when they have the support of those around them.

Nathan and I can talk for hours on this so the bigger issue is keeping us on topic and making sense of what we are saying. It was a great opportunity to share the knowledge we have with those wanting to understand how to look after their boats better and how to know what to look for when purchasing for their boats.

Nathan wrapped up the session with some splicing tips which were shown on the big screen thanks to a camera in front of his hands. With Jamie making sure everyone had what they needed in order to follow what was on screen as well as making sure the Antal Clutches, Allen Blocks and LIROS Rope whips were passed around all the rows. Giving everyone a chance to have a good look rather than just up on the big screen.

It was great to be asked questions and entertaining when Nathan attempted to do a splice in minutes rather than half an hour. Just as a quick example of how to understand the rope construction better.

The journey we are on certainly is incredible when I take a moment to think about it.

Nathan Edwards showing some LIROS Dyneema
Nathan showing some LIROS Dyneema on the big screen

A new Brand, a Holiday and Summer

It is incredible to think about how much has happened over the last few months. Sometimes things happen that you least expect to change things rapidly.

At METS I mentioned having drinks with suppliers, this often meant being introduced to some of their other Distributors and Friends in the Industry. One of these people I then bumped into at a later stage and they introduced me to someone else…. You get the idea and all the while having great chats about what we all do.  A few weeks later and the unexpected happens. We find ourselves with a new brand!

Why am I so excited about this? As a kid I was taught to service winches by the legend Pat Carroll. I can’t remember exactly how old I was but I used to love doing it on his Adams 10m and spending time with him learning how to look after your boat. Pat was also the first person to let me steer the boat into the old marina without a motor and I had to stand up on the side so I could see where I was going I was so little.

Years later when I owned Animus I was doing just that and had someone advise me that it was not the job of a young female. It is a story I often tell as I am proud of the fact that I shook it off and responded that I hoped it was the job of a boat owner. I loved that time working on the boat, listening to music and spending the day chilling out on the boat. It wasn’t all about the one design racing and twilights.

So taking on a brand like Antal not only makes sense for DeckHardware but I am looking forward to what that also means for me and the type of products I get to play with aka work with.

A few weeks after this all happened we were sponsoring the 13 and 16 foot Skiff Nationals. So it was decided after a little encouragement from Nathan, that I head to QLD with the sailors for a bit of a Holiday.

It was awesome to be able to clear my mind, recharge a bit and have some fun on the water. It meant I was able to get photos to use for the coming year in my marketing as well as having fun with the Eric’s Storage and Sheerline crews back where we were staying. No doubt many of you saw the Instagram action…

Whilst in QLD I was able to visit the first boat I ever sailed on when I was apparently just days old. She looks so beautiful but a bit smaller to me now. I am so very happy to see her looking so amazing. My Grandpa would be so very very very happy, I am. Animus was named after Defiance and why I had blue shirts and spinnaker.

Eric’s Storage over the weekend managed a 2nd place in the Summer Bright Lager Australian 16ft Skiff Sprint Championships! It has been fantastic working with the team on their fitout and working closely with Allen on what 16ft skiff uses and how we can develop on this.

Summer has been awesome and whilst I am busier than ever I am excited about the direction everything is heading in.

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Where has this year gone

How did we get to December? I think I skipped Spring! I last mentioned my Winter Jobs list, well that is still a work in progress…

I have already been to METS which also included a visit to the LIROS Ropes factory. It was fantastic to visit having not been to their new factory. The comparison was amazing and this time I managed to get to see the region with blue sky and no snow. Thank you so much to the Team at LIROS for once again making me feel so welcome and for spending time showing me the new setup. There is always more to learn and new lines of LIROS Rope being announced some of which will be perfect for the 13ft and 16ft Skiff Nationals which we are sponsoring over Summer.

Whilst in Europe I managed a little escape to Nuremburg. What a place, I absolutely loved being a tourist for the weekend. I forgot to have a little rest having gone straight to LIROS when I arrived in Germany. Who needs rest right? Just fight through the jetlag and keep moving.

METS in Amsterdam was EPIC as always with so many of our Suppliers coming out with new products and catalogues. I had a fantastic time personally as well, it is so nice to call so many of our suppliers friends and to catch up on not only work but also how they are going over a drink or two at the end of the day.

As always it was tricky to catch up with everyone and there was so much to see. There were plenty of other Aussies that I knew were over there that I did not even see.

So much of what happens at METS I can often not talk about straight away and I know some of my friends are wondering what is to come. Me too! In the meantime enjoy the photos from the weekend in Nuremburg.

What next? there are new products to add to the website, catalogues to review and a Summer of action to come.

Winter time job lists

Now that the major regattas are over until next season it is time to work out my winter job list and to try to tick it all off before September. Working out where we will be as DeckHardware next season and what events we will attend or sponsor is a priority so Dad aka Phil and I can plan ourselves.

The big thing I have to schedule in this year is Metstrade in November, as I will once again be heading to Europe. This time I am planning a visit to one of our long-term suppliers as well as the trade show. It is not the easiest time of year to escape the Aussie Sailing season but a trip well worth it to see the majority of our suppliers from around the World in Amsterdam over a couple of days.  I have been racking up the Qantas points to book this soon!

The last few weeks have been hectic as we celebrated Mum’s BIG (Shhhh) Birthday! It was great to catch up with a close group of friends and family to celebrate. We headed to Middle Harbour 16’s for a great lunch as you can see in the photo! We ensured it was a lovely but quiet day for a number of reasons especially as her mum has been in the hospital.

Being self-employed I often have to remind myself to stop and have some fun outside of sailing and it was nice to be at the club for a non-sailing reason!

We have also hosted our very first DeckHardware Ambassador workshop! It was great to spend a few hours on a Sunday with a number of our Ambassadors talking all things sailing. It was great to see how many of them are good friends with Nathan rocking up early to get the coffee machine going plus Scott and a few of the others turning up early for a chat. Watching everyone share their knowledge and experience really made being at work on a Sunday worth it. I look forward to supporting them all next season with so many of them now sailing Skiffs. Who knew this would happen as so many of them have come from other classes when we started supporting them years ago. I have no doubt the next time we do it everyone will have a job list for the Splicing hahahaha.

What else is on the Winter Job List? New Orthotics, getting back into the gym now they have settled in, plenty of work to do on the website, a TAFE Course and more!

 

How can you tell a busy Summer?

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.

 

What a great time Spring has been

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.

Nathan Edwards takes over DeckHardware social media
Our cover image during the takeover.

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.

DeckHardware Ambassadors

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.

Springtime exploring

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.

Confusing weather and a race start

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 🙂