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


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!

Sydney Harbour turns it on

On Sunday I was on the water for the NSW High Schools Teams Racing Championships.   It is days like this that make me well aware of how lucky I am to be able to spend time on Sydney Harbour. It was a very long day but views like this make it worth while!   I am extremely lucky to live in a city with such an amazing Harbour full of sailors enjoying the beautiful sunshine.  To think this is the CYCA Winter Series sailing past?  So lucky.

The photos were taken with my iphone using a waterproof casing for on the water and not the best for photography.

What an amazing view
What more can I say? I had a little play in Instagram
Spectacular view from the WSC balcony
The fog starts to clear to show Shark Island
CYCA fleet action
CYCA Winter Series comes past
More of the CYCA fleet

CHS Sailing

The CHS is an amazing event that I did for many years as a teenager.  One that attracts a huge variety of classes each year.

Here is a little story on the special event that was put together during the CHS by the DeckHardware team.   When I competed in the CHS there were several different functions during the week and I decided this year to put one together.  It was a great deal of work but something that was well worth it as the night was well received by everyone.  I can not thank those enough who helped me out with the function.  I especially wish to thank those who attended as special guests:  Liesl Tesch, Karyn Gojnich, Lindsay Stead, James Burman and the Sailing Chix – Nix and Nic.  I couldn’t have put together the night without your support and enthusiasm along with those who could not attend but wished me good luck telling me to go for it.

Series results

For a bunch of photos head over to the DeckHardware Facebook page.

The Special Guests on stage
The Van setup at the CHS

Pittwater High Schools Teams Racing

Over the weekend I umpired over 60 teams races.   On Saturday we were lucky to have Arthur Spithill and Ian Humphries along with Murray Gordon and myself.  Sunday Murray and I were back and we threw Oscar Stranack into the deep end for the full day and he did a great job!  He even got to umpire two lots of Finals as we had a tie for 1st and 4th after two round robins.

Saturday we had to wait for the breeze to fill in and that was with a late start.  I guess I should not give the PRO a hard time as it was my father haha.   It was tricky conditions over the weekend with East to South East breeze flicking around a lot.  Sunday was fairly similar with more than a few course changes to make things interesting.

Breeze coming in – at Pittwater

The winning team came down to a best of three finals with Mater Maria and Pittwater High fighting it out and even though Mater Maria won Pittwater were in it till the finish.  It was great to see several Girls Schools out there competing as well!  There was even mention of a competitor helping out those new to the sport whilst racing against each other.  Fantastic!  There were several teams that had a few people completely new to the sport out there giving it a go.  And what a great looking weekend to do it.

Pre Start Chat among the team

I didn’t get the chance to take a photo but I must comment on the Jellyfish.  They were MASSIVE!!!

This week is a big week yet again with both my Co-Hosts from Sailing Chix with Nix having their birthdays!

Happy Birthday Chix!

I am also hoping to head over to the 18’s who are competing at the JJ’s with my good camera to watch for a day or two.   Then Sunday sees me back umpiring some Teams Racing again.  This time it is the Opti’s for just the one day.  For now I am in the office catching up on some work, designing some advertising for DeckHardware and catching up on the America’s Cup action from over the weekend that I missed.

YNSW Youth Championships

On the long weekend I volunteered at the NSW Youth Sailing Championships.  Our start team was Dad, Dave, Rhys and I.  With almost we think 60 starts due to the number of recalls I was simply exhausted at the end of it and did not want to do any more maths for a while.

I can’t say enough about the team we worked with on Course Area B.  Our Finish Team, our Mark Layers and our on shore contact Donna.  Donna gave us the chance to breathe knowing we had someone on shore should one of the girls we were supporting need us.  Emma Harris, Georgia Llewellyn and Jaime Swavley had a full support team out on the start boat but not on shore.  So thank you Donna!!!

Because of who we had on the start boat it was great to have someone on shore to call when young Emma Harris had to go in to fix her bung.  At least I had someone to call and make sure she was ok and to let her know she was going to make the next race in time.  I also had good friend and on water judge Ian Humphries make sure she made it in safely whilst we were in postponement.

It was a big step for Emma jumping into a Laser Radial.  To see her mixing it with the fleet on the last day was AWESOME!

It was great to watch the J and G team in the 420 Wings.  The girls are growing into the boat and continue to boost not only confidence but skill as well.  Having seen them out training it was great to be able to watch them compete in the 420 fleet.

What a fantastic three days with some fantastic people.  I hope the competitors and their parents and coaches appreciate the hard effort we put in to ensure all the racing happened.  It was not the easiest of weather conditions and at times was very frustrating as we waited for the breeze to work with us not against.

To Dave our Driver!  You are awesome!  Thanks for being a part of a great weekend and providing the wildlife sanctuary to keep us entertained during the postponements.

I could write so many pages on the event there are just so many stories.  So check out the photos I managed to take in between being super busy on the water.

check out for a few photos I took during the event.

Open & Secondary Schools Team Racing Championship 2012

On the weekend I experienced an Umpire boat for the first time. I have done plenty of time on RIBS for Rescue boats and also as Race Management. This was different altogether and a great experience. On Saturday it was a wonderful surprise to see Adventures of a Sailor Girl (Nic Douglass) suddenly appear on the Start Boat.

Saturday saw not much wind which was great from my perspective as I got a handle of how to do things and when driving how and where to position the RIB. This was a false sense of security though as the breeze well and truly kicked in for Sunday and saw all the umpires on their toes. WOW is all I can really say! How to digest what I experienced is the current question.

Sunday was amazing. Watching the skill of the competitors in the breeze was fantastic.

I’d like to thank all the Umpires and those on the race course for welcoming me and allowing me to tag along and learn. Looks like I will be doing a little more of this in the future!

A big thanks to Kingsley Forbes-Smith for suggesting I give this a go.  A big thanks to my close friends and family who have supported me trying something new as well. Thanks for all your positive words of encouragement!

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!