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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This is it

Photo by Liesl Tesch
Photo thanks to Liesl Tesch as they prepared to enter the Stadium

This is it. The Paralympics’ sailing starts Tuesday at 2am AEST and our Aussie Sailors featured this morning in the coverage of the Opening Ceremony. Liesl Tesch as always front and centre, the life of the party. You can see what this means for the athletes including our sailors and their support crew.

We woke in the early hours to cheer on our Olympians, we headed to club houses for the Medal Races. Aussie Sailors I call on you to get behind OUR TEAM! Dan and Liesl (Skud18), Matt (2.4), Colin, Jonathan and Russell (Sonar).This is it, there is no option of 2020. Our Aussie Sailors and Sailing Internationally needs us to get behind them. The effort they have put in is incredible, as someone who knows them, I can vouch for this.

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The Australian Sailing Team. Photo Liesl Tesch

Good Luck Team! You have done the training and now it is time to go sailing and enjoy it.

I am so proud to be entered in this year’s Bart’s Bash which falls on the final weekend of racing in Rio. This year Bart’s Bash is raising funds for Disabled Sailing Internationally which needs our support. Let’s Reinstate Sailing! Doing so will give others World Wide the opportunity to participate in competitive sailing no matter their disability.

Because of the Paralympics the design of the boats available to disabled sailors has seen some incredible changes. When you look at a Skud 18 and how someone like Dan or Ame skipper, it’s remarkable. It is my hope that the Legacy of the Paralympics will not be lost. That in 2024 Sailing will once again return to the Paralympics.

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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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Good days and the not so good days

The past year has not been the greatest for me. Since being diagnosed with Hypermobility it has been a bit of hit and miss action to figure out how to move forward. For the past year I have been on a muscle relaxant to try to counteract the tight muscles so that I could spend more time at the gym and just doing things in general.  Unfortunately this lead to other issues along with some trouble from when I fractured my foot a few years ago.  My muscles often transfer the tight spots, which means the treatment moves week by week.

The irony now being that I actually ended up doing less at the gym whilst I tried to get my muscles activating as they should to even walk let alone up and down stairs. I basically lost all strength in my left leg as it transferred the issue between the glute, knee, ankle and foot.  Taping up the foot and knee weekly with acupuncture has been a massive help to re-train it all.

So the decision to come off the muscle relaxants has been a tough one. With so many pros and cons. It has now been almost two months off them and even though some days have been hard I have been able to retrain muscle groups with the help of Physio, Pilates and Weights.

I must admit I am now trialling on the bad days a more healthy option of Turmeric. I do like the idea of not permanently being on something so fingers crossed.

Unfortunately the timing has not been great on this road to health and fitness as I head off to Goolwa in South Australia next week for some umpiring.  I just hope the work I have done in the last two months means I hold together.  I feel at the moment my core strength is almost the best it has been despite the lack of overall fitness.  Which hopefully means I can work on that when I get back.  In the last two weeks I have managed to jump on the bike and do some interval and resistance training which has been AMAZING! Last time I tried that over a year ago I ended up barely able to stand up straight as my Hip Flexors just reacted so badly.

Enough about the journey of trying to manage HMS. Bring on the road trip and driving to Goolwa! Two days on the road followed by umpiring some great sailing at the 2016 DeckHardware Australian Secondary Schools Team Sailing Nationals.

Sydney Sailing features and so it should!

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.

See you on the water!

 

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I am a volunteer

Over the last two weeks I have done 3 events, 10 days out of 11 on the water volunteering.  It often surprises me how many people ask if I get paid for what I do. I am not sure if this is asked because I work in the Sailing industry or because of the number of events I volunteer at which means being out of the office.  Lunches are usually supplied and sometimes breakfast for the early starts. Depending on the event you may get a regatta shirt or a small thank you gift. The three events I just volunteered at were two Match Racing Events at RPAYC and CYCA and the third was Fleet Racing being umpired at RMYC.

Many of the events I do I see the same volunteers, whether it be RO’s, Umpires, Judges or the onshore team. Many of the faces have now become good friends as a result of how much time we do spend with each other.

So I guess the question we should be asked is why we do it. We love our sport, we love talking tactics and rules.  We get to spend huge amounts of time on our beautiful waterways that people pay to spend time on.  But most of all we love our sport and seeing people enjoying it too.  So next time you see the same familiar faces on a start boat or RIB make sure you say hi. If you have ever thought about getting more involved do talk to us as it can be great fun. Of course it can sometimes be hard work and very long hours on the water or back in the protest room.

It comes down to loving the sport, the friends and the time on the water.  The next time you go sailing have a look at how many people it takes to run that racing. Do you see those faces on a regular basis?

I am a volunteer and this is why:

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Sailing Season has taken over

The 2015 Sailing Season has certainly taken over my world.  With Match Racing and Youth Events taking over my weekends and some weekdays! It certainly is all keeping me extremely busy as well as meaning I get to enjoy the great outdoors that we have to offer here in Sydney. I just worked on my Calendar up to Christmas and realized at one point I am doing three events back to back! That is not even at the peak Regatta time over Christmas!

Last weekend was the Australian Women’s Match Racing Championships and this weekend the NSW Youth Champs just as an example of how busy it is.  Then throw in the fact there has been a big announcement in my life –  Global sailing charity establishes new committee in Australia! The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation now has a committee and ambassadors set up in Australia.

The Australian Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation Team: I will chair the committee alongside Anthony Nossiter, Freddy Blencke, Marita Wilmot and Beau Outteridge. Ambassadors are Olympic Gold Medalists, Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen, Tom Slingsby and Nathan Wilmot and Sailors Lisa Darmanin, Luke Parkinson, Haylee Outteridge, Joel Turner, Dave Gimour, Laura Baldwin and writer Blue Robinson. With more names yet to be added.

Those who have followed my blog for some time will note that Anthony Nossiter a good friend of Bart’s is on the committee with me and that I have mentioned that surname before when talking about my sailing and sailing on Sirius the Adams 10m. I have often said Sailing is one big family and a lifestyle we live. Putting together the team for Australia certainly showed this. Besides the fact that there are two families with more than one person involved, many of us have known each other for 20+ years and have a strong connection with Bart who was from another country that is a Long – Haul flight away. Sailing can be pretty special at times and being involved in something like this reminds me how much so.

I might be busy but it certainly is an enjoyable busy.  Here are some photos from Bart’s Bash that happened a few weeks ago around the world. I spent the day at Woollahra Sailing Club having a fantastic time with great people.

Harry Price attempting a tack in an Opti
Briefing underway with special guest Lisa Darmanin from the Australian Sailing Team
The bigger Opti Sailors at WSC for Bart’s Bash

Plenty of thinking time on a road trip north

IMG_1255I recently spent some time at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for the Australian Schools Teams Racing Championships and Queensland Youth Week. I decided after looking at Flight Options and talking to the DeckHardware customers that I would drive up instead of flying. No packing restrictions and I could take extra product should it be needed. Of course there is also the fact that I enjoy a road trip and had not done the Journey to Brisbane and back for some time. Talk about some road work changes particularly south of Coffs!

I must say one of the biggest debates I had was where to stop along the way. I love stopping by some of the smaller towns and even saw a poster for the Nabiac Caravan, Boat and Fishing Show. I think that might have to be something we check out some time. It is great to see some of the smaller regions supporting the outdoor lifestyle and putting on a community event.

IMG_1269Two of us were talking on one of the days at RQYS about how successful these events were and how great it was to see so many types of boats heading out in decent numbers at Youth Week!

We started talking about how perhaps the sport is changing to be more focused on events rather than club racing? Are you seeing this in your area? If people are more focused on events where does that leave our clubs and how do the youth in particular learn and improve and get the social side to play a big part in the sailing culture they grow up with?

IMG_1264Is it because a days sailing literally does take up the majority of the day compared with other sports?

It feels like Teams Racing in Schools is growing in Sydney as well, school sailing in general which is fantastic especially with what Yachting Australia has been able to be involved in. Passed around at the presentation night for the Teams Racing was a flyer for School Match Racing! What a great idea! It is fantastic to watch the boat handling and skills in these formats of sailing as well as the knowledge of our sport these young sailors have.

There certainly is a lot happening in our sport at the moment. Let’s hope we can keep up the momentum and continue to receive growing media coverage for the success of Australian Sailing. With this will come increased interest and participation in our sport. It is up to all of us to help spread the word about how good sailing is!  After all, what better way to spend a day than out on the water.

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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!

Umpiring and a day in Hobart

It has been an extremely busy time. Two weekends ago I had the opportunity to Umpire at RPAYC for the David Lukins Match Racing Regatta. It is always great to find some time to dust of the cobwebs and do some umpiring to kick start the year. If I thought I was dusting off cobwebs after a few months off there were competitors back for the event in memory of David Lukins who had not match raced since the previous year. Great effort guys and so good to see you out there enjoying the sport pushing the younger generation who have the opportunity to do so many more events.

There need to be more events for the “retired” match racers out there! Just because they have aged out of the youth events doesn’t mean it should be time to stop. They all did a great job despite starting the weekend a little out of practice.

After a busy week of work I then headed down to Hobart for a day on the weekend. I wanted to check out the MyState Wooden Boat Festival for the first time. I have heard so much about this show and one of our Customers Brierley had a great range of DeckHardware product on show. I was so impressed! I honestly feel this is one of the best shows in the world. For atmosphere, number of great boats to check out, variety you name it. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and could have spent the weekend checking out all the boats. Next time for sure.

Of course one of the highlights was the food stalls! Amazing food! This of course comes as no surprise when in Tasmania. I definitely will be putting it in the calendar as a must attend for next time.

Flying in and out the same day certainly made it a long day. Especially with a slight delay on the flight home. I was so glad to finally sit and stop after a very full and exhausting day. There was just so much to see and look at. Check out this album of just a few of the shots I took. “Classics” “Stunners” there really was so much to see.