Supporting friends and sponsored sailors at the JJ’s

I have spent almost all of the past week and a bit out on the water taking photos, helping rig and more at the 18′ Skiff JJ Giltinan Championships.  Another JJ’s is over with 7 taking the win. We were there every day to support the teams we Sponsor and those who use our products. With our suppliers Allen Sailboat Performance Hardware along with Liros Ropes also sponsoring several boats from the UK and Europe there were plenty of teams we were following. What a tough series in some tricky conditions, well done to those who made the podium.

We are very proud to support the 18’s where we can and it is always funny when asked on the ferry which boat am I following.  Such a tricky answer that always ends in a few laughs.  Of course the main one we follow is our good friends onboard The Kitchen Maker.  Having known Mal Page for longer than I would like to let on, as well as Cam McDonald who is a friend and customer it is great to be able to support them and cheer them on.  This time around Darren stepped aside with a bad back and they got Will Philips a member of the Australian Sailing Squad to steer the boat.  Will is someone I have known of for a while through work and sponsorship commitments so it was great to be able to get to know Will better over the week.

Between friends and boats sponsored by DeckHardware and our suppliers we couldn’t count on one hand the boats that we were following and hoping would do well. Always good for the heart rate! With the UK boys on Haier finishing in 10th place which was a fantastic achievement after moving to Sydney for several months.  The Kitchen Maker had their moments during the regatta with their best result a 2nd place finishing just behind Haier, a brilliant result for a team who had not sailed together.  Thanks to Kim Wilmot for joining me on the back of the ferry to celebrate that 2nd place which was so close to a race win.  A definite highlight of the week!

There are plenty of photos if you head over to the DeckHardware facebook page.

Now to spend the week in the office before heading out on the water once more this weekend to do some umpiring.

The Kitchen Maker


So busy time flys past me

It has been an insane few weeks!  Two of them were spent out of the office at Match Racing Events on the water of Sydney Harbour and Pittwater.    This was followed with coming back to the office as Phil headed down to Sail Melbourne!  Which coincided with the busiest month of the year starting and it was BIG!  Then we get to this week and Monday Night I had the opportunity as a sponsor to attend a special function for the Australian Sailing Team – the “Road to Rio” Begins.  Then Tuesday was the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and I took the time to head down to the shore and take some photos and videos!  So where do I start…

I truly love this time of year.  Plenty of time on the water at different events as well as a business which is all about the sport of Sailing meaning we get extremely busy at this time of year!   The Match Racing saw some interesting conditions and I do not think I have ever been as wet as I was umpiring on Pittwater and it was not even raining!  The conditions and breeze saw waves breaking over the boat and the umpires!  It was however great fun with a great team.  The conditions at both events truly were all over the place making it really hard and some long exhausting days.   By the end of the 8 days I was looking forward to a bit of rest and that was never to come!

The good news is however that business has certainly hit the peak season.  With DeckHardware keeping us more than busy as we try to keep up with the demand!  A huge thanks to Cam McDonald who turned up just in time to help unpack the big Liros Shipment. Cam is well known in the 18′ skiff fleet in particular for his splicing. Thanks Cam! We all know he wanted first go at the new stock haha

The Road to Rio Launch was a fantastic event to be able to attend.  We have been involved with the team for a number of years now as well as some of the athletes and even some of the support team are friends so it was great to be included.  We were reminded that we are all a part of the journey and have our part to play.  To find out more about the Road to Rio Launch head over to the Australian Sailing Team’s Website.

Australian Sailing Team Embarks On Road To Rio

The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge was the very next day.  For the seventh consecutive year, the CYCA has decided to dedicate the event to raise awareness and funds for its SOLAS Trusts, which were established following the stormy 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when six lives were lost.  This is something that is extremely important for many of us.

Link to my photos


Up next is the Sail Middle Harbour Regatta which is going for the next three days out of two of my favourite clubs MHYC and MH16’SC. For those who remember my yacht Animus, I had both clubs written on the stern as my crew was often filled with skiffies.

To finish off I have a ThrowBackThursday moment from 2008, I stumbled across this great photo! One American Sailing Anarchist who wanted to see what it was like to sail with a chick crew hahaha.  Yes he flew to Aus!  What a great day! Most of the time I did not seek out an all female crew it just sometimes happened when none of the guys could make it.  Other times as the skipper I would be the only chick onboard.   #TBT

The Animus Crew
The Animus Crew

Heading out on the water again

Tomorrow is the last day in the office before two Match Racing events at RPAYC and CYCA.  It has been a busy few weeks and I have had the chance to go out and watch the 18′ Skiffs a couple of times to support friends and DeckHardware Ambassadors.  I even got to watch from the 18’s ferry an old friend out on a 12′ Skiff showing off some extreme skills and managing to keep the boat up whilst it turned 360 with a kite up!  There are plenty of photos on the DeckHardware facebook page.

Yesterday I was at MHYC for the Launch of the new 470 Happy Feet for Mat Belcher and Will Ryan.  Here is a photo album from in the rain.  I had the opportunity to be there along with other sponsors, supporters and team members.   It wasn’t the best day for sailing with pouring rain and strong breeze!  However we were all there to celebrate the success that Mat and Will have had the past year.


Mat and Will ready to go sailing on the new boat.

It has been an interesting start to the season weather wise and Ambassadors Fire Stopping Skiff Racing Team seem to be doing things a little different.  Check out their facebook page to read how their season is going and just why they may be looking for recipes!  Never a dull moment working with these guys that is for sure!  They have also been working hard on their Trailer program to ensure all their requirements are met when onshore.

Fire Stopping’s trailer has plenty of accessories!

18’s came to visit us at DeckHardware

Yesterday I headed over to the 18’s as Team Southern Cross launched their boat for the start of a new season after a massive refurb!   The boat spent two days at our warehouse along with skipper Ollie Hartas getting ready for the big day.  Ollie has been a DeckHardware Ambassador for a number of years and it is always great to be able to support someone who appreciates it!  The previous weekend we also had the UK Team visit the warehouse and spend more than a few hours working on their boat along with my radio co-host Nic aka Adventures of a Sailor Girl.  Nic and I had spent the morning on air with Sailing Chix with Nix before heading down to the warehouse to help the guys out.  Nic only planned on being there for a few hours but ended up staying for the day!

Photos from Yesterday as the teams rigged and got to go sailing!

Launching Celebrations

It is great to see a couple of 18’s with Liros, DeckHardware and Allen stickers on them in the fleet now!   A big thank you to Cam McDonald who does a lot of work for the skiffs and uses our products also.   Cam sails onboard the Kitchen Maker and was rigging alongside the two boats who have spent time at our warehouse recently.   You know you are supporting the right people when they greet you so warmly and are so glad that you are there to watch them launch their boats.  Being just a small family business we really feel like our Ambassadors and those who support us are a BIG part of the DeckHardware Team.

The UK Team and Team Southern Cross
The UK Team and Team Southern Cross

16 Nationals

Nath Wilmot on the Second Last Day

Yesterday I had the chance to head down to Manly to watch some old friends compete in the 16′ Skiff Nationals. Lee Knapton and the crew of Brydens had already taken out the championship. We actually talked to Lee that morning on Sailing Chix. In second place was my oldest friend Nath Wilmot who we also talked to that morning. He was sailing on Hubble with the skiff legend Peter Hubble.  Congratulations to both crews it is fantastic to see Lee and Nath still battling each other at the front of the Fleet!  Another title from Lee as this one just slipped out of Nath’s reach.  I am sure in the future he will get the chance to be the 16’s Champion.


The crew of Bryden’s had remarkable pace off the start line. They then ended up in the drink thanks to a broken shackle. The point of this story is massive. Even though they had won the series Lee was prepared as always and had a shackle in his life jacket. What do you carry? They were able to fix it and fight their way back through the fleet showing just how good they are.

Fire Stopping

It was great to catch up with so many of my old Flying 11 friends.  I grew up sailing as a teenager at Manly 16′ Skiff Club and I am still a member there so many years later.  This past season we at DeckHardware have supported the Fire Stopping team.  All very old friends of mine who despite this put together the best sponsorship proposal I have seen in years!  It wasn’t their regatta but it was great to see the three of them on the water together!

Link to the images I took on Facebook.


Check out the short video I took on the day!

Start Line Action

Sponsorship feels good

How good is it to be in the position to support sailors who are off on adventure and love the sport of Sailing.  Since sponsoring the Australian Youth Championships we have announced a number of new sailors to join the DeckHardware Ambassador Team.  Currently it stands at:  Nic DouglassTom Freeman,David GilmourLachy GilmourBrad GreenrodBen & Scott KingAlec Milligan, Michael Pfeffer, Dante Olivieri & Alex Marzano, Carrie Smith & Ella Clark and the Fire Stopping 16ft skiff team

We will be adding more names to this list over the coming days which is truly exciting!  At the moment the Fire Stopping Team are competing in their National Championships and we wish them the best of luck!  When looking for our Ambassadors we don’t just look at results, we look at their goals, personalities, love for the sport, sportsmanship and much more.

On another good note, last week I got the chance along with the Sailing Chix to head up to Wangi to watch the Moth Nationals.   Or was it the Worlds?  Talk about an incredible field!  We had the chance to interview Nath Outteridge,  Tom Slingsby and Iain Jensen.  A huge thanks to the guys for taking the time before a nationals race to talk to us along with a couple of others who we interviewed (Beau interviewed us).  I have been involved with their Olympic Campaigns as a sponsor and friend and it is great to see them jumping in a class they love and out on the water.   Head over to the Sailing Chix website where we will be loading the interviews for you to listen too.  The interview with Tom in particular who we had more time to talk to is fantastic.  Thanks Tom!  You really did sum up what sailing is all about and it was great to hear.  Congrats to Scott Babbage for taking out the Aus Title and Pete Burling the Overall Win.

The guys now leave Australia and head to San Francisco for the America’s Cup.  What an exciting year ahead for them.  Jumping straight out of Olympic campaigns which lead to Gold into campaigns in the oldest competition in sport the America’s Cup.  I can not wait to follow their journeys.

The Sailing Chix and I finally sat down last week to have a very long and overdue meeting.  Talk about big plans for the year ahead, do you think we can fit it all in?  Have you tuned in yet to listen to our show?  Stay tuned for big updates!  We are extremely excited to be on this adventure together.

Sail Sydney takes over

I am sitting here trying to figure out what to say.  Massive.  Huge.  Epic.  Is pretty much all I can come up with.  I spent 4 days at Sail Sydney on the Start / Finish boat for Course area B and I am exhausted.   We had all sorts of classes including: 470, 420, 49er and FX, Windsurfers, Access Classes, 2.4, 29er, Moths etc.  At times finishing boats of such varying speeds was a little interesting.   It was great to work with some other start teams to see how they do things.

It was great to see Tom Slingsby and Iain Jensen get out on their Moths and have some fun away from their Olympic Classes.  Starting and finishing the Moths was certainly interesting.  Although we did have some very light air on the last day which meant low ride starts for the Moths.  Old School!  Thanks to those who put some DeckHardware stickers on their boats.

Sail Sydney was a huge event with over 460 competitors.  Amazing turnout!

Saturday was a pretty big effort.  I did the Radio show in the morning then rushed to MHYC to jump on the start boat so Dad could take me around to get on the WSC start boat.  I jumped into a RIB to transfer in between.  Literally going from one side of the RIB to the other as it was easier than transferring between the bigger boats.   Thanks to Dad for the delivery!

sailing chixSailing Chix with Nix is going amazingly well and appeared on the front page of Sailing Anarchy last week as a show to listen too.  We are being received so well in the wider community and had the chance to talk to Mark Richards and Carl Crafoord on Saturday about their Hobart experiences.  We are looking forward to Boxing Day and talking to them before the race start along with many others.

Listen to our live show this Boxing Day from 9am for the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race!

You can listen live via radio, streaming online or via the Tune In app – details below!

Radio: 88.7 or 90.3 in Sydney

Stream: Northern Beaches Radio (streaming)

Apps: Tune In is one of the best ways for those to listen outside of Sydney!

You can also catch our past shows, or keep up to date on news during the week via our social media!

Past shows

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.

So much happening at the moment

Over the weekend I did the Powerboat Training course run by Yachting NSW.    Our instructor Kingsley, did a great job and I recommend the course to even those who have had their licence for a long time like I have.  Especially if you spend a bit of time in RIBS on the race course.    There were many things I did on instinct and had never really thought through why I do it that way, I just do.   It was great to spend a few hours each day on the water in different boats as well.    Every boat behaves differently so having the opportunity to drive some other boats was fantastic.   Practising laying marks and staying on location near a MOB (Man Over Board) was also an interesting exercise.  Plenty of theory thrown in too which was good and our instructor did a great job balancing it between the knowledge of those doing the course.

Here are the course details for those who are interested:

Powerboat Training

Yachting NSW runs two courses from the National Power boating Scheme, both of which can benefit clubs and instructors.

Training club members in the safe and effective use of powerboats will ensure that they can provide a safe sailing environment, perform basic maintenance and equipment care, and reduce potential damage to club and member equipment.

Yachting NSW offers the Power Boat Handling qualification to members and clubs. This is an essential qualification for completing their instructor qualifications, and is highly recommended for club officials.


The biggest news though is our new DeckHardware Ambassadors!

Fire Stopping 16ft Skiff Team

I’m extremely excited to announce that the Fire Stopping 16ft skiff team has joined the DeckHardware Ambassadors.  The entire crew of Fire Stopping are old friends from my years at MHYC and Manly 16′ Skiff Sailing Club in Flying Elevens.  The team have been using some of our products and recently sent us one of the best sponsorship proposals we have seen in a long time.  Plus James Bury went to the effort of changing his profile picture on facebook to be the DeckHardware logo for several days to make sure the deal was done.   The Fire Stopping 16ft skiff team is a fantastic addition to our Ambassadors and I can not wait to be involved in their winter maintenance before the big season ahead.

Ambassadors – Fire Stopping 16ft skiff team

Fire Stopping 16ft skiff team has been at the forefront of 16ft skiff sailing for over 10 years, sailing from the Manly 16ft Skiff sailing club, with most of our club races being held on the northern most part of Sydney Harbour, the skiff team has been successful in past seasons, winning the Australian 16ft skiff championship in both seasons 2007/2008 and again in 2008/2009, Fire Stopping 16ft skiff team has also won the 2009/2010 and the 2010/2011 NSW state championship.

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….