Excited about 2017

2016 was an interesting year for me both personally and professionally. DeckHardware celebrated 10 years of our family owning the Business which was a big milestone. We also organised the 2nd Sydney Sailboat Expo which had an incredible number of sailing boats on display. 2016 was once again a great time for our Aussie Sailors in Rio. Then there was the new Website for DeckHardware and a trip to METSTRADE followed by adding DrSails to our range of brands! Phew what a year!

It was certainly a testing one with a quiet winter followed up by a pretty epic start to summer, more so than normal.

We witnessed some of the young sailors we have supported for a number of years head to the Youth Worlds with Finn bringing home a Gold and John a Bronze. It is so nice to watch these youngs sailors grow up and continue to not only love our sport but also see the results. As a family and via our company we do love to support sailing as much as we can and it can be so rewarding personally.

To finish off 2016 we were once again on the MHYC Start Boat for Boxing Day on the middle line. Helicopter numbers seemed down on previous years but the spectator fleet certainly turned up with the good weather! Watching the boats in pre-start is always enjoyable.

From a personal perspective, my Hypermobility became my main priority. I have learnt over the past two years about the pain management side of things and trying to get my muscles to relax where required and stay strong where needed at the same time. This has not been easy and taken its toll, but it is nice to have tested the waters (hahaha) and now I have a better idea of how to move forward.

As a result, I feel stronger than I have in years. I am booked in at the gym to do some weights classes to gradually get the joints used to those movements again. In 2016 I was able to get back on a bike and not create major issues which was a HUGE breakthrough for me. Pilates Reformer will remain for the rest of my life something that I have to ensure I do as often as possible. The difference it has made has been fantastic even though sometimes it has felt like I was going backwards overall I was moving forwards.

2017, I am looking forward to you.

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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Perfect evening for a Twilight Sail

Nights like last night remind me why I work so hard to show others how amazing Sailing can be.  A Thursday night sail on Sydney Harbour = magic. A couple of friends, a nice breeze and a great boat. It does not get much better than that!

I am lucky to be in the position that I can borrow a friends boat to go for a sail.  I know I am biased but the Adams 10 class really is something special. Easy to sail, enjoyable to drive and perfect for a twilight.  Since selling my Adams 10 whenever I have wanted to get out sailing I have been able to borrow Sirius and I am very thankful for that. Sirius beat me overall the year we tied for the Gunboat Trophy so it is nice to sail a boat that is quick and set up a little different to how Animus was.  Even if the pole setup did confuse my bow for a moment haha.

Enjoy the photos and remember how lucky we are to be able to go Twilight sailing on Sydney Harbour.  If you haven’t done it I recommend you do! It is easy as all you need to do is head down to a Yacht Club on their twilight racing night and put your name down for a sail.  MHYC where I sailed last night often have Phil C manning the whiteboard hooking people up with a boat to sail on.  Why not head down and give it a try one Thursday night during the Summer Season?

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Happiness in a new trail

My physio a week ago told me I had to take it easy on the hills and try walking more flat trails. So here started the mission to find flat trails on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Preferably of course with water views hahaha. I have now done a couple and so far the new ones being put in by Warringah Council are hands down my favourites!

When working so much it truly is the little things like these moments that make the day great. Thank you Warringah Council!

So much is going on with the Sydney Sailboat Expo. The days are disappearing so fast as I count down to our very first day. It really is such an exciting time. Getting out for a quiet walk to regather my thoughts is so important to be able to start fresh the next day. Lots to do! If you are going to dream you may as well dream big. Someone once told me to reach for the biggest dream I could imagine, you never know it might just exceed your dreams when it happens!

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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.

Manly Dam in the Morning

How lucky am I. Growing up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with Manly Dam on my doorstep almost! I take it for granted. I used to get out on it when I was a kid and realise I need to do something about that. The last few weeks I have started trying to get there at least once a week for a walk. Instead of hitting the gym for Body Combat, Aqua and Pilates. It gets me out in the fresh air with some pretty amazing scenery. This morning was no different.

If you have never done any of the trails around Manly Dam you are missing out. It certainly is a bit of hidden gem in the middle of the suburbs. There are different length trails with so much to see. I highly recommend it as a great way to recharge and get out and stretch those legs. What a great way to start the day.

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Life of a Sponsor

As 2015 started many people were on holidays or taking it a bit slower than normal at work.  Not the DeckHardware team!  I was getting ready to head down to the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club in preparation for the Moth Worlds.   With being so busy organising the Sydney Sailboat Expo I could only afford to be there for just a few days.  The main reason for going is we support so many Moth sailors.  The thing with the Moth fleet is that they aren’t just Moth Sailors! So many of them we actually sponsor in other classes and of course also support them in the amazing Moth fleet.  Which is seeing some incredible developments in Technology along with being a class the so many of the Worlds Best Sailors are sailing.

So down I headed on the drive with a boot full of Liros Rope and PROtect Tapes in particular.  What the Moth fleet love!  I also had a bunch of stickers as I knew many of them would have new sails, boats or equipment needing new stickers!  I also knew some of the sailors we sponsor were in need of new mainsheets but just had not had the time to arrange it yet.  So this way I ensured that everyone we support was ready to go as much as we at DeckHardware could support them!  I stayed for a few days knowing some of the guys would not think of things till after I left.  As it was on the last day a couple of them realised they needed new stickers!  I managed to stay long enough to watch the Bangin the Corners Cup which was some fantastic action.  I can’t wait to see it online in the near future once Beau Outteridge Productions wraps his Worlds videos.  It really was a who’s who lineup!

Thanks to all who’ve put our different brands stickers on their boats. Especially those who put several! And especially the big Liros ones which look great! It’s greatly appreciated.  I really wish I could have stayed longer to watch some of the racing.  I left the first day of the Australian Championships and it was HOT HOT HOT and extremely frustrating as there was NO breeze.  Massive thanks to my hosts Sam and Carl who I did not see much of due to spending so much time at the club!  I am loving following all the action and really wish I could be there to watch some of the best sailors the world has to offer in action however the Sydney Sailboat Expo is now just 95 days to go! I better get some work done! Sailing – It’s not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.

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Blast from the past to finish 2014

The last week of 2014 was very much a blast from the past as DeckHardware sponsored the Manly Junior National Titles.  I also volunteered my time to be on the Protest Committee for the regatta.  It was fantastic to see so many young sailors on the water enjoying a class that teaches Spinnaker work at such a young age.

I first sailed a Manly Junior on Narrabeen Lake with Nathan Wilmot as my skipper.  I was 5 and he was 6 apparently, I don’t remember that but do remember sailing with him hahaha.  We were way too small but both of us came from Sailing families and had already done a fair bit of sailing so it was time to give it a go.  Once we got the hang of things our parents took us to our club that has remained a big part of our Sailing lives: Middle Harbour Yacht Club.  We managed it a few times however when it got too windy and Nathan’s Dad James had to jump in and hike to sail home with Nathan as crew it was decided we really were too small to sail together.  It was a start of so much for us.  I still have friends from those early Manly Junior days and fantastic memories.  This years Nationals was held on the waters where I spent my early years sailing and it was great to see the MJ fleet out on the Sound sailing in the tricky conditions that grow and nurture amazing sailors.

Congratulations to all involved in the Manly Junior Nationals.  I was so impressed by your setup and organisation as well as the attitudes of everyone there.  Such a fantastic atmosphere.

What a year 2014 has been, DeckHardware has had an incredible year.  We would like to thank you all for a fantastic 2014. It has been an extremely busy year for the DeckHardware Team both on and off the water. The Sydney Sailboat Expo is looking to make 2015 an even more exciting year for us and we look forward to seeing you all in April.  We wish you all a wonderful 2015 and look forward to following all the Regatta action over the next few weeks in particular.

As most people are taking holidays over this time I find myself working harder than ever on DeckHardware and the Sydney Sailboat Expo. Such exciting times ahead for sure!

Well that was 2014. I over committed and started on a bigger journey than I had ever dreamed. It tested me more than I would have liked and at times was very unkind. Yet at the same time it challenged my way of thinking and what to believe, pushing me to open doors and take a leap of faith. So here’s to a 2015 full of fun, adventure, excitement, success and new directions. Most importantly let 2015 be a year of better health and laughter. No more liver issues, joints under control so I can bring back the tough sailor chick I used to be and get back out on the water for some fun and laughs.

Happy New Year Everyone and thank you for being part of the journey and the great sport of sailing.

Boxing Day on Sydney Harbour is Amazing

I know I am extremely lucky to be brought up Sailing on Sydney Harbour.  For a number of years now I have had the privilege of being part of the second line start team for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.  Sydney Harbour is such a special place and Boxing Day sees it at its best each year.  I started the day with an early morning drive up to Middle Head to see the Harbour showing off looking spectacular in the morning sun.  No sign really of what was to come in the hours ahead.

On board the Middle Harbour Yacht Club Start Boat was a close group of friends who we trust to get the job done.  Dad is the RO on the second line so we like to ensure we have plenty of people who know what they are doing that won’t get distracted by the excitement of it all.  So not only are we a tight start team but it also is an enjoyable day out with a great group of friends to celebrate the Holiday period.   This years start I must say was one of the best we have seen.  Not only was the Harbour packed with spectators because of so many big boats taking part but our start line was hectic especially at the boat end!  We actually run two start teams, one upstairs and one down just to make sure we can see across the long line towards our pin end boat.

Check out the Sydney Sailboat Expo Instagram page for all the action as well as Facebook.

This year we had no boats over early so once those starting on the third line had past us we were able to pick up anchor and follow them all out into the big seaway.  Offshore as always at this point is pretty hectic with spectators and competitors heading around South Head.

Each year we have a tradition of once we see the boats leave the Harbour we head back to our place with our team to watch the TV Coverage of the front line and have a big feast of Christmas Day leftovers.  Such a great way to finish up the day with good friends.

Boxing Day is just an incredible experience.  I recommend to everyone experiencing it from the water at least once as it is something you won’t forget.  Sydney Harbour on Boxing day is an iconic event featuring the sport I love on the Harbour I love.  It does not get much better than that.

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