Aussie Skiffs competition is heating up

The Aussie Skiffs held there first round of NSW States over the weekend. So here is a quick run down of how I saw it focused on the 16’s due to those who work with us and long time DeckHardware Ambassadors competing.

The racing was awesome, I guess that is what happens when you have some serious skiff experience plus some big names dropping into the fleet.

The general recalls just added to the excitement along with the shipping movements… Clean air was king, especially off the line. With so many 16’s in a small waterway searching for a lane, that was a constant battle up the first work especially.

Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman with Warwick Rooklyn on River Wild certainly showed that they are quick in the light.

Nathan Wilmot back with his 470 crew Mal Page aboard Growthbuilt on Saturday showed even when your bow is on the centreboard you can still not swim. How they managed it with the fleet going around them I don’t know.

There are boats up the front that we all expected and some interesting movements in the fleet with some perhaps further back than expected. That is always going to happen when the top 10+ points are so tight.

Sail Racing is clearly quick with the new boat and a great skiff combo onboard. The battle at the front for the long race was awesome to watch. With Sail Racing, River Wild, Brydens Lawyers and Eric’s Storage battling it out at the end.

With three clubs represented in the Top 10 it certainly is shaping up to be a great season for the 16’s.

From a spectator perspective Port Hunter is amazing. Being able to watch the racing from shore there were plenty of sailors enjoying the racing. This is part of why when I would normally be at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam I decided to have a weekend away watching some great sailing up close instead.


Showcasing Allen to kickstart the new decade

Once again we finished the year on the Start Boat Boxing Day. It is always nice to spend such an intense day on the Harbour with a great team who make it feel smooth.


January 2020, you have kickstarted the new decade in style. With Allen sponsoring a heat at the Aussie Skiffs followed by being Title sponsor of the Flying 11 Nationals with LIROS Ropes also supporting both events.

This meant I am only just back in the office, I started with spending over a week at Soldiers Point. Massive thanks to my amazing host Cherylle who not only helped with somewhere to stay and taking care of me.

Big thanks to Jamie and the crew of Eric’s Storage who helped get the RIB out on the water, ensuring as much coverage as possible for the Skiffs. Whilst also trying to be there as a sponsor. It is a bit of a balance but I think we are getting there. After all content for them is good for us as a sponsor right!

Congratulations also to the crew of Eric’s Storage on the race win!

Aussie Skiff onshore action

Check out a bunch of content on our Facebook Page.

I think we are starting to settle into having the RIB and working out the best layout and way to do things. It is a work in progress but I certainly am happy with how it is going. Massive thanks to those who came out on the boat at the Skiffs to enable me to get some content of our own and to help with the media aspect especially Maddie, Kate and Jamie. There certainly were times and conditions when it helped to have skiff sailors aboard as second sets of eyes whilst driving.

Special mention also to Team Boatec who checked out the issues I was having with the backseat and check out how we should do the longer road trips. It was also awesome to see so many Allen shirts on back at the club for the Allen Race Sponsorship. Thanks to Eric’s Storage, Adco 16ft Skiff, Taylor and all who put them on. It means a lot.

Next up was to head to RQYS for the F11’s representing Allen which was extremely exciting to be going as the main sponsor. I had actually competed in a F11 Nationals at RQYS so it brought back a lot of memories.  Once again I had a former Adams 10m sailor who I had raced against offer to drive the RIB so I could focus on being a sponsor. I can not say thank you enough to Adam Rowlison.

You can check out all the images on our DeckHardware Facebook page. To see our flags flying at the F11’s is something special as was walking into the club house one day and seeing one of my old F11 friends who I had not seen in years! She was there to watch some family racing and we had a long overdue catch up.

Before heading back to the warehouse I had one more very important part of the trip to complete. A visit north to see my 2-handed crew / bow chick Kate who now lives a LONG way north. Not only was it amazing to catch up and spend some time together, it was also pretty special meeting for the first time her Son. Who is super cute and in need of a lifejacket before my next visit! Kate you have been told hahahaha. Luckily it was raining so we didn’t get around to taking him out on the water. I know Kate is itching to get out there and looking at where she is living I can see some attempts at kitesurfing in her future.

What’s next? I have no idea as so much of the last few months has been building up to all this. Bring on the rest of the year though.

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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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!

 

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.

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 🙂

 

 

Women who Sail

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!

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50 years for the Flying 11

Dolly our MC

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.

The crowd, with plenty more outside.

 

Lisa inspiring the next generation!