Aussie Skiffs competition is heating up

The Aussie Skiffs held there first round of NSW States over the weekend. So here is a quick run down of how I saw it focused on the 16’s due to those who work with us and long time DeckHardware Ambassadors competing.

The racing was awesome, I guess that is what happens when you have some serious skiff experience plus some big names dropping into the fleet.

The general recalls just added to the excitement along with the shipping movements… Clean air was king, especially off the line. With so many 16’s in a small waterway searching for a lane, that was a constant battle up the first work especially.

Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman with Warwick Rooklyn on River Wild certainly showed that they are quick in the light.

Nathan Wilmot back with his 470 crew Mal Page aboard Growthbuilt on Saturday showed even when your bow is on the centreboard you can still not swim. How they managed it with the fleet going around them I don’t know.

There are boats up the front that we all expected and some interesting movements in the fleet with some perhaps further back than expected. That is always going to happen when the top 10+ points are so tight.

Sail Racing is clearly quick with the new boat and a great skiff combo onboard. The battle at the front for the long race was awesome to watch. With Sail Racing, River Wild, Brydens Lawyers and Eric’s Storage battling it out at the end.

With three clubs represented in the Top 10 it certainly is shaping up to be a great season for the 16’s.

From a spectator perspective Port Hunter is amazing. Being able to watch the racing from shore there were plenty of sailors enjoying the racing. This is part of why when I would normally be at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam I decided to have a weekend away watching some great sailing up close instead.

Showcasing Allen to kickstart the new decade

Once again we finished the year on the Start Boat Boxing Day. It is always nice to spend such an intense day on the Harbour with a great team who make it feel smooth.

January 2020, you have kickstarted the new decade in style. With Allen sponsoring a heat at the Aussie Skiffs followed by being Title sponsor of the Flying 11 Nationals with LIROS Ropes also supporting both events.

This meant I am only just back in the office, I started with spending over a week at Soldiers Point. Massive thanks to my amazing host Cherylle who not only helped with somewhere to stay and taking care of me.

Big thanks to Jamie and the crew of Eric’s Storage who helped get the RIB out on the water, ensuring as much coverage as possible for the Skiffs. Whilst also trying to be there as a sponsor. It is a bit of a balance but I think we are getting there. After all content for them is good for us as a sponsor right!

Congratulations also to the crew of Eric’s Storage on the race win!

Aussie Skiff onshore action

Check out a bunch of content on our Facebook Page.

I think we are starting to settle into having the RIB and working out the best layout and way to do things. It is a work in progress but I certainly am happy with how it is going. Massive thanks to those who came out on the boat at the Skiffs to enable me to get some content of our own and to help with the media aspect especially Maddie, Kate and Jamie. There certainly were times and conditions when it helped to have skiff sailors aboard as second sets of eyes whilst driving.

Special mention also to Team Boatec who checked out the issues I was having with the backseat and check out how we should do the longer road trips. It was also awesome to see so many Allen shirts on back at the club for the Allen Race Sponsorship. Thanks to Eric’s Storage, Adco 16ft Skiff, Taylor and all who put them on. It means a lot.

Next up was to head to RQYS for the F11’s representing Allen which was extremely exciting to be going as the main sponsor. I had actually competed in a F11 Nationals at RQYS so it brought back a lot of memories.  Once again I had a former Adams 10m sailor who I had raced against offer to drive the RIB so I could focus on being a sponsor. I can not say thank you enough to Adam Rowlison.

You can check out all the images on our DeckHardware Facebook page. To see our flags flying at the F11’s is something special as was walking into the club house one day and seeing one of my old F11 friends who I had not seen in years! She was there to watch some family racing and we had a long overdue catch up.

Before heading back to the warehouse I had one more very important part of the trip to complete. A visit north to see my 2-handed crew / bow chick Kate who now lives a LONG way north. Not only was it amazing to catch up and spend some time together, it was also pretty special meeting for the first time her Son. Who is super cute and in need of a lifejacket before my next visit! Kate you have been told hahahaha. Luckily it was raining so we didn’t get around to taking him out on the water. I know Kate is itching to get out there and looking at where she is living I can see some attempts at kitesurfing in her future.

What’s next? I have no idea as so much of the last few months has been building up to all this. Bring on the rest of the year though.

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