Our Aussie Sailing Community

Last night I attended the Australian Sailing Awards. I was able to take our DeckHardware Ambassador Lauren Gallaway as a thank you for all that she does. Lauren not only supports us in return for our support.  During the school holidays in the lead up to the Sydney Sailboat Expo she came into the office to assist in some of the work that needed doing.  Then on the weekend of the Sydney Sailboat Expo she assisted us with taking care of Instagram as well as doing interviews. It was nice to be able to say thank you.

The awards are a wonderful moment of celebrating sailing as well as catching up with friends old and new. It was wonderful to hear that the decision has been made to introduce an Australian Sailing Hall of Fame. I can think of so many names to be included in this list from the racing, cruising and exploring side of sailing.

It was incredible to see Liesl Tesch almost speechless as she received the President’s Award. So well deserved! Liesl is such an inspiration for so many of us. From her Charity work, who she is as a person, her competitive nature, I could go on.

One of the highlights though was seeing Alistair Murray take out the Lifetime achievement award. Alistair organises the International Sailing Summit which is I believe a fantastic chance for our sport and industry to discuss what matters.  Though a competitor in business through his role at Ronstan I am pleased to say we get on very well and I was so pleased to see him recognised for all he has done for Sailing and the Industry.

Male and Female Sailors of the Year Lisa Darmanin and Tom Burton are incredible role models for Sailing. They simply love being on the water no matter the type of boat and talk of how our sport means you can sail with family, friends, girlfriends and our sailing community. Tom’s speech in particular, was a highlight! To see Tom grow in the role of Olympic Gold Medallist and hear him express how he feels is fantastic. Knowing that when he gets the chance he will be able to inspire so many. Now he just has to figure out what he is sailing next!

Inspiration is an energiser

Sunset at the SpitGetting back into the swing of things has taken a little time after the Sydney Sailboat Expo and working out what is priority along with DeckHardware over winter. I have been back at the gym where my new favourite class is Drums Alive! Such a great way to start a Saturday with a bunch of energy and friends.

I managed to catch up with Liesl Tesch and Erica Kirby before Liesl headed to Europe to compete. A catch up in the park whilst talking sailing rules and pretending to be boats on land. I am sure anyone driving past the Spit that afternoon looking at the Sunset must have been amused and wondered what on earth we were doing. What better way to spend an afternoon in Autumn! Spending time with Liesl is always inspiring and a great deal of fun.

Sunset at the SpitLiesl is now with other members of the Australian Sailing Team in Medimblik about to take part in the Para Worlds which start Tuesday! Good Luck team! Check out the Aussie Sailors Rock group on Facebook where we cheer on Aussie sailors competing overseas.

It has been a big few months for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation as the planning for Bart’s Bash is now in full swing.  Here in Australia there are a number of clubs already signed up and more that have confirmed verbally.  Here is a link to the latest news on this year’s Bart’s Bash.  Last week whilst in QLD I caught up with the team at Southport Yacht Club where Aussie Ambassador Joel Turner will be supporting this year’s Bart’s Bash. It is great to hear that plans are underway with Ambassadors involved!

I have a few plans for here in Sydney for this year’s Bart’s Bash so stay tuned! So far there are clubs in VIC, NSW, QLD and WA! In 2016 Bart’s Bash will be raising awareness and funds to support grassroots disabled sailing globally. The 2016 edition of Bart’s Bash is scheduled for 17-18 September which is on at the same time as the 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition. The timing is incredible considering everything that is going on, with this being the last chance for Para Athletes to compete in Sailing for now.

Whilst in QLD on Thursday I dropped by the Gold Coast International Marine Expo and Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. It was great to catch up with so many from within the sailing industry for a chat. We have seen some big changes in the last few years and working together we can certainly be stronger for it. I finished the day catching up with Alistair Murray from Ronstan talking rules, sailing, friends, industry, women in sailing and more. There is always so much to talk about when it comes to our sport and industry. If you work in the Aussie Sailing Industry check out our Facebook Group and you ever want to catch up just send me a message.

Recovery and Reflection

It has now been a week since the 2016 Sydney Sailboat Expo wrapped up. I almost don’t know what to write, there is so much to say.

Firstly to my friends and DeckHardware Ambassadors – I am so proud of you as Ambassadors and so grateful to call you friends. You helped me get through the weekend with your support and willingness to do whatever was needed. Ensuring I ate and drank water especially on Saturday when we were stretched for volunteers. The Sydney Sailboat Expo would not have existed if it weren’t for you being our volunteers. To deliver such an event with just a small team shows the effort you all put in.

Thank you to Jordan Spencer who the week of the Expo stepped in to be the voice of the Expo doing Videos, announcements and more. Thank you to Melissa Williams-Brown Photography for the amazing photos you have taken so we can remember what can be done.

I saw online a number of posts where people asked why this didn’t happen in other states.  I guess the reason is my family decided it was needed after discussing it with a number of people in the sport and industry. We dedicated I would hate to think how many hours to ensuring it happened. Sydney as a location gives us access to so much of the Sailing Industry. We are just a family who love the sport of sailing and work in the Industry. All the posters you saw at clubs leading up to the event and the signs around the expo for instance, were all laminated by my Dad (Phil). We dedicated our time and money to the promotion of our sport and would like to thank in particular our DeckHardware competitors who supported what we were doing.

A huge thank you also to the high profile sailors who came to the Expo or shared that the Expo was on despite being overseas competing. Special thanks to Liesl Tesch and Tom Burton who took hours out of their weekend to come to the Sydney Sailboat Expo and were more than happy to talk to everyone.

The last week for us has been about unpacking, sorting out the DeckHardware Warehouse and getting back to normal work. I’ve looked back and wondered how we achieved it and wonder where we found the time and energy to do what needed doing. I am the first to admit the Sydney Sailboat Expo could be so much more than what it has been the first two years. Having said that I am proud of the fact that we have been able to bring so much of the industry together to work together in promoting and supporting sailing. The range of Associations this year was truly something I was excited and proud of.

As I recover I will do some thinking about where we go now. The effort involved was massive for this year and doing it within our little office whilst still running DeckHardware is difficult I will not lie.  I am exhausted but at the same time can see what the Sydney Sailboat Expo could be if we could continue to grow and for the entire community to get behind it. I look to the shows overseas and I have to admit I would love to achieve so much more.

To those who thanked me for the hours my Mum (Robyn) and I put in, Thank you. I was honestly shocked to receive the thank you gifts from a couple of the exhibitors. I received some wonderful messages of what some of our visitors experienced at the Expo, thank you. Hearing that we were mentioned on two commercial radio stations honestly was fantastic. An Expo about sailing got mentioned! Who would have thought sailing would be on the radio let alone this.

In a few weeks once I have given it some thought I will have a meeting with a few of the exhibitors to discuss what happens now.  The Sydney Sailboat Expo, all it was a few years ago was a dream concept of showcasing sailing after the success we had in London. To show that we are an accessible sport for everyone! I have dedicated so much of my time and energy to this project and still believe it could be so much more. To do it again in 2017 is a big ask of not only myself and my family but my amazing volunteers. So for now, I will rest, reflect and get back to work.

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Time has flown by

I can not believe how long it has been since I wrote a blog post! That is what happens when you are busy. You don’t realise just how fast time is moving.

Work has been extremely busy especially the last few weeks as I prepare for the upcoming Sydney Sailboat Expo.  It is on next weekend! I can not believe the second SSE is almost here. What a journey and I am so lucky to have such amazing support around me. Especially as we juggle the job that is already a full time one DeckHardware. DeckHardware itself has seen a busy summer which has kept us on our toes!

I have managed to spend a little time on the water however for the first time in years have missed the NSW Schools Teams Racing which was on this weekend! So strange to not be there and instead be sitting here working away on the laptop finishing maps, competitions, press releases and the never ending list.

If you have followed my blog for a while you will know I spend a fair amount of time at the Physio thanks to being Hyper Mobile.  I am extremely excited about the upcoming Expo and special guest speaker that is coming.

Donna White from Total Physiotherapy will be hosting a talk on “How to make your body go faster / perform better” at the Sydney Sailboat Expo on the 9th April 2016 at 1pm.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from the Australian Sailing Team’s Physiotherapist. When it comes to Sailing and your body Donna and the team at Total Physiotherapy have a wealth of knowledge and experience.” Find out more: www.sydneysailboatexpo.com.au/how-to-make-your-body-go-faster-perform-better 

There is so much hard work going on to make this event a reality so to be able to announce a talk by someone like Donna is wonderful. So if you are a sailor especially a dinghy sailor make sure you don’t miss it!

The Sydney Sailboat Expo is the place to go to find out how to get yourself or your kids involved in the sport of sailing! So if you love the great outdoors of Sydney come along and find out more about sailing and the many options available.

The Sydney Sailboat Expo will be held on the 9-10 April 2016 10am – 4pm at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) in Manly!

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

 

Life has got a little hectic

Nocka and Iain Percy on hand at the Sydney Sailboat Expo to promote the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in Australia.

The very first Sydney Sailboat Expo has been and gone.  Check out the news story on the very first Expo!  I still can not believe how fast this time has gone.  It is several weeks since the Expo and I am now looking toward next year!  The highlight for me was the support from friends and the industry for the event.  To have a surprise visit from Iain Percy to help spread the word of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in Australia was fantastic.  I am looking forward to the impact the Foundation will have not only on world wide sailing but Australian Sailing and am proud to be involved in this.

Now that the Expo has happened life has semi returned to normal! Well I am on catch up and recovery mode.  I managed to spend three days umpiring at the NSW Secondary Schools Teams Racing Championships this past week.  Always great to get out there and see the up and coming generation of sailors!  I love the tactics and rules in Teams Racing and Match Racing.  The thinking game of our sport is something I really enjoy.

Now don’t be too shocked.   I am actually thinking of taking a couple of days off to really recover from the hectic few months that have passed.  I am extremely lucky to have some amazing supporters behind the scenes.  Now it is time to recharge the batteries a little and stop to think about what has been achieved and is still yet to be achieved.

NSW Secondary Schools Teams Racing Championships

 

Women in Sailing talk at the Sydney Sailboat Expo

 

What an exciting time. 

10 days to go! Who would have thought this time would go so fast and that so much would happen!  There has been so much to do to make this what we had envisaged.  The seminars in particular are something we worked had on as we felt it a great benefit to all those who give back to the sport in particular!  We love all those volunteers! We see so many people at regattas and often it is familiar faces there each morning early and when the sun goes down.

Seminars at the Sydney Sailboat Expo:

Topics include: Yachting Australia Questions and Answers, Association Master Classes, School Sailing with Martin Pryor, Racing Rules with Jeremey Atkinson, Safety around Small Boats with Kingsley Forbes-Smith, Are you or your offspring Olympian Sailing Material with Ian Brown? Plus Using electronics / Internet / GPS / simulators to go the right way faster and learn on and off the water.

Saturday Timetable now available!

Sunday Timetable now available!

 Seminars by Sports Community

Social Media- Learn how to create effective social media strategies using the most appropriate social media tools to achieve club goals and objectives

Fundraising – Attendees will be introduced to the latest fundraising ideas for clubs, covering traditional fundraising favourites while looking at new and easy ways to raise significant funds for your club

The Importance of Goal Setting – In this session, participants will learn why planning and goal setting is important for clubs, how to assist clubs with simple goal setting processes and how to help clubs to ensure they deliver on their objectives

Club Culture – Learn about the power of a positive club culture and how to create the culture of volunteering at your club

Saturday

Sunday

Topic

10:30

10:00

Social Media

11:30

10:30

Fundraising

12:30

11:00

The Importance of Goal Setting

1:30

11:30

Club Culture

For more on Sports Community visit their website: sportscommunity.com.au

Workshops:

  • Visit the H2O Academy to get some feedback on your hiking style and wave technique. For the kids, jump in an Optimist and learn the basics of sailing on the H2O Optimist Sailing Simulator.
  • Splicing Workshop – brought to you byDeckHardware the Australian Distributor of Liros Ropes.
  • Middle Harbour Yacht Club Sailing Simulator will be in action throughout the Sydney Sailboat Expo.  Jump aboard and give it a go!
  • North Sails Clinic – Details coming soon!

I am so grateful to all those who have sent me messages of support and helped me out on this journey.  My mum Robyn and I have been working so hard to get to this point and we could not have done it without your encouragement particularly when it gets tough to balance the Sydney Sailboat Expo whilst still running DeckHardware.

Thank you to all those who have posed with the signs too!

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I have been trying hard to make sure despite being so busy that I still get out and go for a walk or do some pilates to recharge.  So important to keep the momentum going!  Views like this make it even better:

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Now let’s hope for some kind weather and a great time at the very first Sydney Sailboat Expo!  Don’t forget if you want to volunteer at the Sydney Sailboat Expo please let me know!

IMG_0603

Such exciting times

A HUGE thank you to Lisa for taking a moment out of her busy schedule to help promote the Sydney Sailboat Expo!

It certainly is becoming very real as we count down the days to the Sydney Sailboat Expo.  There is so much work to be done and it is amazing the support we are getting behind the scenes.

During the week for a little break I checked out the new trail at Narrabeen.  I did 10km walking around the entire lake, what a view! It was great to walk on the different surfaces as well for my joints. It was a great way to switch off the mind for a little and refresh to keep going with so much going on at the moment!

I managed to take a little time out yesterday to do some Umpiring.  It was so good to put the laptop, iPad, iPhone down for a few hours and play on the water! But now it is back to work as we look at the 30 day mark approaching to the very first Sydney Sailboat Expo.  I am so lucky to be able to spend my spare time having fun on Sydney Harbour.  It was a fantastic day with a great team of Volunteers who love our sport!

I have a MASSIVE week ahead with more meetings to do with the Sydney Sailboat Expo.  So watch this space!  I am so excited and yes a little exhausted but loving it!

Life of a Sponsor

As 2015 started many people were on holidays or taking it a bit slower than normal at work.  Not the DeckHardware team!  I was getting ready to head down to the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club in preparation for the Moth Worlds.   With being so busy organising the Sydney Sailboat Expo I could only afford to be there for just a few days.  The main reason for going is we support so many Moth sailors.  The thing with the Moth fleet is that they aren’t just Moth Sailors! So many of them we actually sponsor in other classes and of course also support them in the amazing Moth fleet.  Which is seeing some incredible developments in Technology along with being a class the so many of the Worlds Best Sailors are sailing.

So down I headed on the drive with a boot full of Liros Rope and PROtect Tapes in particular.  What the Moth fleet love!  I also had a bunch of stickers as I knew many of them would have new sails, boats or equipment needing new stickers!  I also knew some of the sailors we sponsor were in need of new mainsheets but just had not had the time to arrange it yet.  So this way I ensured that everyone we support was ready to go as much as we at DeckHardware could support them!  I stayed for a few days knowing some of the guys would not think of things till after I left.  As it was on the last day a couple of them realised they needed new stickers!  I managed to stay long enough to watch the Bangin the Corners Cup which was some fantastic action.  I can’t wait to see it online in the near future once Beau Outteridge Productions wraps his Worlds videos.  It really was a who’s who lineup!

Thanks to all who’ve put our different brands stickers on their boats. Especially those who put several! And especially the big Liros ones which look great! It’s greatly appreciated.  I really wish I could have stayed longer to watch some of the racing.  I left the first day of the Australian Championships and it was HOT HOT HOT and extremely frustrating as there was NO breeze.  Massive thanks to my hosts Sam and Carl who I did not see much of due to spending so much time at the club!  I am loving following all the action and really wish I could be there to watch some of the best sailors the world has to offer in action however the Sydney Sailboat Expo is now just 95 days to go! I better get some work done! Sailing – It’s not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.

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It is the Sailing Season

Nath on GAC Pindar
Nath on GAC Pindar

I really am so lucky to be born in Sydney and into a Sailing Family. Last week the Extreme Sailing Series was in Australia taking place on our Beautiful Sydney Harbour. I spent three days on the headland cheering on my oldest friend Nathan Wilmot as he was steering GAC Pindar along with Tom Slingsby who we sponsor onboard Oman Air. I joke that Nath is my oldest friend as in he was born first and we have known each our whole lives. It is not that he is old hahahaha. Although the Saturday of the EXSS was his 35th Birthday which was mentioned regularly by the commentary team.

It was great to sit on the Hill with his Family and in particular his Mum (my mum’s best friend) who was back in Sydney to watch. Who would have thought growing up that we would find ourselves here. Two little kids who loved to sail and would play with little boats to test each other on rules while away on my grandfathers boats. Now Nath is a Gold Medallist and skipper of amazing boats and I am organising a Sailing Expo for our city! Sailing was always going to be a huge part of both our worlds growing up surrounded by sailors and Sydney Harbour. We have it good. Yes of course I have asked Nath to be involved in the Expo and like all those I have spoken to the answer is of course, if I am in Sydney I am there! Thanks guys it means a lot.

I do hope the Extreme Sailing Series comes back to Australia in the future. It was fantastic to watch especially with so many Aussies involved! We really are so strong as a nation when it comes to Sailing. To have such stadium racing in a location that allows for so many spectators is fantastic. We are lucky! Not to mention some pretty cool Sydney Icons in the back ground.

It has been such a busy time at work with the Sailing Season in full swing. Throw in the Sydney Sailboat Expo and all that needs to be done for that and I am certainly busy!

This morning I walked the CYCA dock to check out what was happening and have a look at a couple of the newer boats. Less then a week away from the start and once again I will be part of the Start Team for the second line. This year I expect to be BIG. The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge saw more spectators then ever before with so many Maxi’s Sailing. Boxing Day will no doubt be even bigger then ever and I don’t think the weather will scare away the spectators if it is overcast if the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge was anything to go by.

The big question is how many Helicopters will be above us this year?