The future of sailing rocks with chix like these


Yesterday I had two young Teenage chix on the start boat with me at NLSC.  One has some knee trouble so couldn’t sail.  The other is her good friend and has recently asked me to spend some time with her so she can go get her powerboat licence.

I got to do the horn for the start sequence. Yep that was it! Didn’t do times, didn’t do flags, didn’t call the line, didn’t lay the line, didn’t drive the boat or pick up the marks. I just had a nice day on the start boat watching everyone enjoying a great breeze.   It was great to hear the girls talk about what sort of start line they wanted for the conditions they had.  Big shifting breeze they wanted a nice length line and tried for pin end bias.

Today one of them turns 14. Happy birthday Georgia!

The two girls are so awesome and our sports future is lucky to have young chix like them!  Not only could they run a start boat with out any problem but they were also watching competitors and discussing what they would do.  Along with directing rescue boats when we had our top Heron capsized.  It wasn’t easy conditions out there!  It certainly was a test when it was time to pick up the marks at the end of the day.


A weekend on the water

I truly am a lucky sailing chix.   Over the weekend I got to spend the entire two days on the water at two pretty awesome clubs.

The first one being Middle Harbour Yacht Club on Saturday.  Dad asked me to come out on the Start boat.  Not only to learn a little more watching him as the club PRO but also to take a million photos on a perfect blue sky day.  The Harbour really put on a show.  In Middle Harbour you could see the bottom as it was crystal clear water on a perfect 15 knot day.  I was so very lucky to be able to spend the day taking photos on a day like this.  Plus I got to see the first race of the season and where everyone was at.

Images from Saturday

I then got the chance to drive Hugh George again and learn how to pick up the marks after the race.   This was something new to me on such a large start boat.  It was great to have the clubs two RO’s onboard to help me learn this skill and how the boat likes to operate.  So big thanks to Dad and Steve for that one.

On the way back in the crew were letting me know to slow down as they had seen a windsurfer in a little distress.  I let Dad take the helm for this one as we got the poor shaking guy and his board onboard and delivered him back to Balmoral. Poor guy really was in a state and I am glad we saw him before he ended up in the main harbour.  He was already near Middle Head and heading his way out there.  When we got back to the club the preso was done and people were already heading home.   What a long day on the water!

Sunday I had to deliver some parts to friends of mine at Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club.  When I got there for their first Learn To Sail morning session there were kids EVERYWHERE!  I mean EVERYWHERE!  It could have been the amazing weather, the impact of the Olympics or the family atmosphere at that club.   It was an amazing day as the kids from the club took out a new kid each to give them a go and Rhys, Greg, Ian, Ian and I manned the Rescue boats also towing them out with out sails up to learn how to balance in a boat and steer.  What an amazing effort by everyone!   Pam and Andy could be seen taking people out in Herons at the same time!  EVERYONE from the club was busy and helping out somewhere.   Things then changed back to a bit of normal as we headed out for the junior sailing session.   Gee joined me in the RIB to do some coaching as Greg jumped in the start boat.  She did a fantastic job in particular coaching her little Junior States Crew around the course when the breeze kicked in a little.

In the afternoon I was leaning towards heading home to do some work on the website.  My friends informed me I could not go to work as I was in the RIB for that afternoon.  I must say I was not really going to say no on such a beautiful day.

CHS Sailing Regatta is over for another year

The 46th Combined High Schools Sailing Championships (CHS) in conjunction with 34th Australian Secondary Schools Sailing Championship and 37th NSW Secondary Schools Sailing Championships.   An event that tested all those in attendance, competitors and race officers alike.  What was with that weather!   Breeze, No Breeze, pouring rain and boiling hot!   From Freezing in the rain to crews going swimming and capsizing on purpose or being capsized by other competitors during the postponement!

Watching the sky above Lake Macquarie proved a tricky read for Race Officers and competitors resulting in several postponement’s and a day abandoned.    Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a Noreaster!

Watching the skill levels of some of the sailors out on the water was fantastic.  It was great to see so many different classes being sailed so well.  In particular the leading Flying Eleven sailors who I enjoyed watching sail extremely well.   Along with watching people sailing something new to them or giving a regatta a go.   I hope you all enjoyed the new experiences.

With the inclusion of Allen, TBS and PROtect Tape to our range of Liros Rope we are now in a position of being able to supply a support van to local Regattas.  Our first trial of this was the CHS at Belmont.  I could not have done it without the assistance of Rhys and Georgia Llewellyn, Goughy, Liz Gazzard, Greg and Emma Harris.   Thanks so much for your help in keeping the van company!  Special thanks to Rhys who helped re rig a couple of boats along with Georgia, Kate and Emma who took time to write and draw on my whiteboard to be displayed in the van.   I learnt a lot about how to manage the van at regatta’s in the future.   It was a fantastic experience and we will be doing it in future.   So keep an eye out for the newly stickered DeckHardware van!  Thanks Rhys for putting the stickers on.
Special Congrats go to Georgia for coming Third in the Laser Radial  plus Emma and Susie Milton coming Third in the Aust Girls Division. The Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club was represented by 6 fantastic young women who did so well!

Congratulations to all competitors and especially to the Division winners.  Year 6 and all High School Students make sure you put this in the Calendar for next year!   It is a great event to meet sailors from other classes and perhaps sail something you would not normally compete in.

Here are the links to all the photo albums on our facebook fan page.  I hope you enjoy all the photos.   There is video yet to come.  A huge thanks to our DeckHardware supporters / assistants Liz Gazzard and Rhys Llewellyn who assisted in getting so many photos from different locations during the regatta.

Race Results

Image Links:

CHS last Race from a second RIB   

Last Race of the CHS from the RIB

CHS Race 3 from Shore and Finish Boat

CHS Race 3 from RIB

CHS Race 2 from Shore

CHS Race 2 from the RIB

CHS Race 1 from shore

CHS Race 1 from the RIB

Three more sleeps

Just three more sleeps till I have a simply massive week ahead!  I am heading to a regatta for the first time with a van ready to go.   I will be onsite for the entire event as sponsor with hopefully enough product to help out the competitors should they need it.  The regatta I am headed to is the Combined High School Sailing Regatta.   Luckily a fair few friends will be at the event and there are a few I have not seen in a long time who will be their with their kids.

Setting this up has taken a lot of effort.  A huge thanks to Mum who has helped put together the Allen bins which have images, product codes and prices of all the parts in each bin on the front to make it easy.   Trying to work out what to take has been a mission.  It really is a guessing game being our first attempt at this.   I am looking forward to it.   Trying to decide what Liros Rope to take has been the biggest challenge with such a diverse entry list.  So a real assortment was the decision and occasionally there are colour choices too.

I will have my camera out for the week and post links to photos as soon as I get them all online.   With such a diverse fleet it should make for some great images.  As always I will be following DeckHardware Ambassador Georgia Llewellyn very closely as she competes in a Laser Radial for the first time.   No doubt she will do fantastically well and will enjoy this new experience.  The CHS is perfect for trying out a new boat and sailing something you don’t normally sail.

I am looking forward to a week on the water, talking Sailing, fun with friends and talking DeckHardware.  It should be a fantastic week!  If you are there make sure you come and say Hello!  I have all sorts of goodies with me!

For the love of sailing

This summer due to my Hyper Mobile I have not been sailing much.  But to keep myself on the water which is like a drug for me, I have turned to jumping in a Rescue Boat or Start boat at the Local Club.  In the mornings they coach the kids and some new adults wanting to get into the sport.   Then in the afternoons the racing for the older ones and adults goes ahead.   In the mornings you often have Sabots, Herons and Lasers.  In the afternoon there is always a good fleet of Herons and Lasers.

Not being able to sail has been interesting but I have found that I have really enjoyed the opportunity I have had this season to help out with some coaching and course laying.  Having not done a great deal of coaching I am happy to stand back and let the guys who have been doing it for years take control and help out where needed.   I have noticed a few of the wives coming to me as I stand quietly aside.   Realising I know a little they then start to ask questions.   With husbands or children into the sport it is great to see them wanting to learn and get involved.  It is even better when they start to ask even more questions as they start keeping up with the fleet.

ImageThere is nothing better then seeing a big smile on someones face as they simply enjoy their time on the water!

To those who started sailing this summer welcome to our awesome sport!  See you on the water soon!

Georgia Sailing past with a big smile!

Another birthday gone

Over the weekend I celebrated another birthday.   Not sure that celebrated is the word though.   I spent it with friends out on the water which was a nice way to do it.   I was lucky enough to be surprised by a friend who was over from WA as well!  Being the only day off last week it was a really nice way to spend the day.   How nice is the view at the end of the day!

The breeze from the South around 15 knots with some stronger gusts certainly had us on our toes with plenty of action on the water.   Plenty of capsizes and unfortunately one broken mast.  They almost managed to sail home as it was bending but we ended up towing them the last little bit when it completely broke.   Nice boat handling!

A few of the Heron Sailors were missing crew and decided to go out one-up which was fun to watch in that breeze!  They did an awesome job especially the young girls!   Nice work girls!  I am about to load the videos to our YouTube page.

I made myself a yummy cheesecake to celebrate and it went down very nicely for lunch with those who joined me.   There was a plain vanilla/lemon one and a cherry with chocolate base version.  Big thanks to Goughy, Liz, Kate and Ben who dropped in even though they weren’t sailing!!!

There is so much going on at DeckHardware at the moment.  I really need to duplicate myself I think!   Phil is back in the office for the week before he heads off yet again this time to Melbourne!   Then when he gets back he will be at the Access Worlds and I will be at the Combined High Schools Regatta.   So much to prepare to get ready!   Lots of signage and stock to pack.    Oh and yeah we are also still working on website as always.

Did I mention Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show is coming up?  Good friend Ben is coming up to stay in the house we have rented to help us out for the second year on the stand!  Thanks Ben!   There is a bit of work involved in getting ready for this one with sooooo many new brands to show off!  I can not wait!

ps.   Don’t mention the Manly game last night….

The Juniors show us how it’s done

There is no question when you look at the photo to the left that these young teenagers can sail.   As I said last week there were four boats fighting it out at the front of the fleet for the Junior Heron States.     All four of them took a race win with Georgia and Samuel taking two.   Jerome Watts and crew Katrina taking out First Place overall.   Georgia finished second with Emma and Matt close behind on equal points.  Proving that any of them could have won this event on their best day.   Georgia’s capsize last weekend no doubt cost her a great deal but these are the things that you learn from to make you better sailors and as she finished with two race wins there is no doubt she has learnt her lesson.  Sailing is something we do because we love it.   Forget about the pressure and stress just go out there and enjoy yourself and the results will follow!  Georgia is not only a good friend but one of our DeckHardware Ambassadors.

The weather certainly made it interesting for those of us setting the course.  Huge thanks to my good mate Goughy for keeping me company in the RIB.   The breeze on Saturday luckily held off changing from the east to the southeast just as the last boats finished the first race.  Meaning we had to do a course change in between races as well as making sure everyone had enough water to drink on the hot day.  With the southerly also came some breeze and there was one reach in particular that it was great to watch the little ones in the Junior / Senior fleet getting up on the plane.   Sunday was back to being a light easterly.

The smiles on the faces of everyone young and old was fantastic and there is no doubt as to how much this event is loved by these sailors.  A huge congratulations to all who competed!  Especially those who were skippering for the very first time!

Photos from the event that I took from the RIB:

Album 1

Album 2

Album 3