Today is the last day of January 2022, as always this month goes fast. Starting the month with a few days off thanks to Christmas and New Year is always a nice break from work. As a small business owner I tend not to switch off very often, social media is always on.
Then it was back into our busiest time, supporting events that we were Sponsoring. Starting off with the Aussie Skiffs at Belmont, one of my favourite places was a great way to start the year. Although it felt like we had gone straight into Summer and hiding from the sun was a priority. Thanks to the Eric’s Storage trailer for having shade near the car! As well as being easy to find should any of the fleet need any of the stock I had with me.
Once again I was on the water every day driving our RIB as one of the Media boats for the regatta. Never an easy job and as anyone who has joined me in the past will likely agree, it can be exhausting! Having said that though the thanks we get from the sailors when the Media Team get their shots means we know it is appreciated.
Next up was the Flying 11’s which once again Allen was the Title Sponsor for. Walking in the Gosford boat park the first day it almost felt like being back at Belmont. So many familiar faces although the boats were smaller and so were the sailors haha.
Those first couple of weeks were epic, the heat did not help! I don’t think I have ever taken so few photos on land. Shade and keeping a bottle of water on me at all times was key.
If you want to check out any of the photos and stories from the event check out our Facebook or website.
I am incredibly lucky that I love what I do and love spending time near and on the water. I honestly can not believe tomorrow is February already.
With the weather warming up again it was great to hit the water and check out some sailing action on the weekend. It was such a nice reminder of how lucky I am to live so close to Sydney Harbour.
A couple of photos from the weekend.
Normally at this time of year whilst getting ready for all the regattas, I am also getting ready to get on a plane and head to Europe. This year I once again won’t be catching up with suppliers at METS or heading to a country where one of them is based.
With everything changing here in Sydney, NSW and around the Country this is the focus for now. I can not wait however to get on a plane and head to Europe some day soon to catch up with suppliers in person about their future plans.
There is plenty happening here with DeckHardware and our Suppliers working together on some sponsorship this Summer.
For now, I will have to settle with looking back at all the side trips around METS. I can not wait to hear all about it and find out all that is new from afar.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.