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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Keep on learning

For something different I have had a bit on recently. With the juggling act I have been doing I wanted to increase my knowledge to be able to do it better and more efficiently! In the past few weeks I have attended a 2 day Umpire Seminar, Website and Marketing workshop, Child Safe Seminar, plus the usual work and conference calls that go on.

Big thanks to the Warringah Chamber of Commerce who put together some great training sessions.   Being part of the Chamber has certainly been worthwhile especially when it comes to growing knowledge for small businesses. It sometimes isn’t easy to find the money or funds to further your education so their support is very worthwhile!

It is great to stretch the mind and learn new things. The Child Safe Seminar was something I wanted to do with everything going on at the moment in my life.  It certainly was an eye opener and we are lucky to have a government department taking such great care to do these seminars.  It was emotionally draining as you can imagine but I am glad I have now done it.  If you are in a position that is responsible for the care of children I highly recommend taking the time to do this.

Yesterday after the Child Safe Seminar I had a meeting in the city for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation’s Australian Committee.  I decided after the slightly emotional morning that a ferry into the city would be the best option to destress and relax a little. How lucky are we in Sydney to have that option! Even though it was raining and South Head was barely visible as we came out of Manly it put me at ease. Being on the water does that.

Winter is certainly now here so this weekend I am going to try to relax and catch up on some cleaning and sorting myself out with work.  As next weekend I will be heading to QLD for the Australian School Teams Racing Championships followed by Queensland Youth Week! Time to get a bit more organised so I can keep up with everything going on. Lots of opportunities that have been amazing have crossed my path this past year and despite getting busier I just could not say no to such moments.


  

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!

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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It is the Sailing Season

Nath on GAC Pindar
Nath on GAC Pindar

I really am so lucky to be born in Sydney and into a Sailing Family. Last week the Extreme Sailing Series was in Australia taking place on our Beautiful Sydney Harbour. I spent three days on the headland cheering on my oldest friend Nathan Wilmot as he was steering GAC Pindar along with Tom Slingsby who we sponsor onboard Oman Air. I joke that Nath is my oldest friend as in he was born first and we have known each our whole lives. It is not that he is old hahahaha. Although the Saturday of the EXSS was his 35th Birthday which was mentioned regularly by the commentary team.

It was great to sit on the Hill with his Family and in particular his Mum (my mum’s best friend) who was back in Sydney to watch. Who would have thought growing up that we would find ourselves here. Two little kids who loved to sail and would play with little boats to test each other on rules while away on my grandfathers boats. Now Nath is a Gold Medallist and skipper of amazing boats and I am organising a Sailing Expo for our city! Sailing was always going to be a huge part of both our worlds growing up surrounded by sailors and Sydney Harbour. We have it good. Yes of course I have asked Nath to be involved in the Expo and like all those I have spoken to the answer is of course, if I am in Sydney I am there! Thanks guys it means a lot.

I do hope the Extreme Sailing Series comes back to Australia in the future. It was fantastic to watch especially with so many Aussies involved! We really are so strong as a nation when it comes to Sailing. To have such stadium racing in a location that allows for so many spectators is fantastic. We are lucky! Not to mention some pretty cool Sydney Icons in the back ground.

It has been such a busy time at work with the Sailing Season in full swing. Throw in the Sydney Sailboat Expo and all that needs to be done for that and I am certainly busy!

This morning I walked the CYCA dock to check out what was happening and have a look at a couple of the newer boats. Less then a week away from the start and once again I will be part of the Start Team for the second line. This year I expect to be BIG. The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge saw more spectators then ever before with so many Maxi’s Sailing. Boxing Day will no doubt be even bigger then ever and I don’t think the weather will scare away the spectators if it is overcast if the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge was anything to go by.

The big question is how many Helicopters will be above us this year?

Sail Sydney and Hail!

What a week! I wasn’t back in the office for long before I found myself at Sail Sydney supporting the sailors.  Making sure those we sponsor have stickers on their boats and catching up more importantly with the Moth Sailors to check where we are at leading up to the Worlds!

It was great to see Sail Sydney back on the Calendar.  The Finn Fleet in particular have been big supporters of DeckHardware and in particular Liros Rope.  Big thanks to them for being so friendly too!

Yesterday I manned the car park for a few hours to make sure everyone behaved and parked in the appropriate sections while trying to get people to park a certain way to optimize the space!  What a mission.  Thanks to those who stopped to chat and worked with us to make it happen.

Today I have spent the day working on the Sydney Sailboat Expo.  While busy working away I got more than a little distracted by yet another crazy storm.  This week has been all about storms here in Sydney.  I can only imagine the stress it added to the PRO and RO’s at Sail Sydney!  As I type this yet another one is about to come through… Amazing clouds all week as each storm has crossed over Sydney.  Today was different though as the Northern Beaches got hit with some serious Hail!  My Facebook feed is filled with Hail Shots and Video.  Just crazy weather.  Sydney is known for it’s afternoon Summer Storms but it isn’t normally every day and more than one!

Let’s Hope the weather plays nice for the Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday and the Extreme Sailing Series later in the week.  I can not wait to get out there and cheer on some friends of mine who are sailing.  #AussieSailorsRock

Back in Sydney and back on the water already

10389418_392947390860425_92243335414990299_nAfter just one day back in the office I was on the water Umpiring! Having only been back in Sydney for two days and with lots of work to do this was a little crazy but an event I really wanted to do.  The Jet Lag certainly was a struggle unlike when I got to Europe.  I think it was the heat when I got home as it was so humid and hot making it hard to adjust!

For the next four days I was Umpiring at the MUSTO International Youth Match Racing Championships.  I have now done this event a couple of times and the level of racing this year was fantastic! It makes it very enjoyable to umpire when the racing is so good.  The Umpire and RC Teams were fantastic as is the case each MUSTO.  The weather this year behaved with the round robins completed in a nice time which was very kind of huey!

NZ did manage once again to take the Win with Harry Price and his crew coming Second.  Great racing by both teams, a special mention has to go to Caitlin Tames on Mainsheet for Harry.  She well and truly was the shorty of the team as seen in this photo and did a fantastic job on mainsheet.

As you can imagine with being so busy and trying to get all the DeckHardware and Sydney Sailboat Expo work done there is a pretty long to do list in my head at the moment.  Yep it is in my head as I have not even sat down to write it down yet!  There is so much to do after METS and so many new products to put up on the website etc!

10428475_392590107562820_2385613362224578398_nTomorrow I am finally back at the Gym to do some Pilates and make sure my health continues to move forward in the way that is has.  A few months ago I honestly did not know if I would be able to handle the last few weeks physically, however it looks like I finally found a way to get the Hyper Mobility back under control.  Now to keep the forward progress happening so that I can keep up with this workload I have taken on!

New Zealander George Brasell was crowned Champion of the 2014 Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship, after defeating local Harry Price in a four-match thriller this afternoon.