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.

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!

 

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.

 

Following to learn

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.

Excited about 2017

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.

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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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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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