Recovery and Reflection

It has now been a week since the 2016 Sydney Sailboat Expo wrapped up. I almost don’t know what to write, there is so much to say.

Firstly to my friends and DeckHardware Ambassadors – I am so proud of you as Ambassadors and so grateful to call you friends. You helped me get through the weekend with your support and willingness to do whatever was needed. Ensuring I ate and drank water especially on Saturday when we were stretched for volunteers. The Sydney Sailboat Expo would not have existed if it weren’t for you being our volunteers. To deliver such an event with just a small team shows the effort you all put in.

Thank you to Jordan Spencer who the week of the Expo stepped in to be the voice of the Expo doing Videos, announcements and more. Thank you to Melissa Williams-Brown Photography for the amazing photos you have taken so we can remember what can be done.

I saw online a number of posts where people asked why this didn’t happen in other states.  I guess the reason is my family decided it was needed after discussing it with a number of people in the sport and industry. We dedicated I would hate to think how many hours to ensuring it happened. Sydney as a location gives us access to so much of the Sailing Industry. We are just a family who love the sport of sailing and work in the Industry. All the posters you saw at clubs leading up to the event and the signs around the expo for instance, were all laminated by my Dad (Phil). We dedicated our time and money to the promotion of our sport and would like to thank in particular our DeckHardware competitors who supported what we were doing.

A huge thank you also to the high profile sailors who came to the Expo or shared that the Expo was on despite being overseas competing. Special thanks to Liesl Tesch and Tom Burton who took hours out of their weekend to come to the Sydney Sailboat Expo and were more than happy to talk to everyone.

The last week for us has been about unpacking, sorting out the DeckHardware Warehouse and getting back to normal work. I’ve looked back and wondered how we achieved it and wonder where we found the time and energy to do what needed doing. I am the first to admit the Sydney Sailboat Expo could be so much more than what it has been the first two years. Having said that I am proud of the fact that we have been able to bring so much of the industry together to work together in promoting and supporting sailing. The range of Associations this year was truly something I was excited and proud of.

As I recover I will do some thinking about where we go now. The effort involved was massive for this year and doing it within our little office whilst still running DeckHardware is difficult I will not lie.  I am exhausted but at the same time can see what the Sydney Sailboat Expo could be if we could continue to grow and for the entire community to get behind it. I look to the shows overseas and I have to admit I would love to achieve so much more.

To those who thanked me for the hours my Mum (Robyn) and I put in, Thank you. I was honestly shocked to receive the thank you gifts from a couple of the exhibitors. I received some wonderful messages of what some of our visitors experienced at the Expo, thank you. Hearing that we were mentioned on two commercial radio stations honestly was fantastic. An Expo about sailing got mentioned! Who would have thought sailing would be on the radio let alone this.

In a few weeks once I have given it some thought I will have a meeting with a few of the exhibitors to discuss what happens now.  The Sydney Sailboat Expo, all it was a few years ago was a dream concept of showcasing sailing after the success we had in London. To show that we are an accessible sport for everyone! I have dedicated so much of my time and energy to this project and still believe it could be so much more. To do it again in 2017 is a big ask of not only myself and my family but my amazing volunteers. So for now, I will rest, reflect and get back to work.

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I love Sydney Harbour

Today I had the opportunity to duck out of the DeckHardware Warehouse and play with a new product.  The Windoo.  Breeze was on the forecast which was perfect to play with this new wind speed device that plugs into a phone or iPad etc.  Being a westerly I quickly grabbed my camera knowing that Sydney Harbour would be likely showing off.  I don’t claim to be a photographer by any means but I do love taking photos and am trying to learn more about it.  Sadly today I didn’t have the time I would have liked to play with the camera settings on such a BLUE day.  After all I was there to play with a new product and get some readings to show up online!  Mission accomplished and just a few quick photos at the same time.  How good does a Sydney Winters Day look!

When I headed to Clontarf to take the last readings and feel the force of the westerly it certainly was cold.  Well worth getting sand blasted to record 30+knots though!  Check out how the new Windoo logs the breeze here with one of the posts I logged on twitter!  What a great looking day to escape the warehouse for a little while to play with something new.

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What a time


Last week we had the Sydney International Boat Show.  It was a fantastic event and I am truly grateful to some amazing people who helped man the DeckHardware stand.   This year we were on a major walkway and opposite the main stage which really made a difference to our show.  To all those who helped me out thank you so very much you are amazing!  Young Emma Harris experienced her first boat show on a stand.   She had young kids in and out of the Heron showing them all about our sport.  It was fantastic to see!
Once again Georgia Llewellyn showed off just how much knowledge she has and how good she is on a boat show stand.   On several of the days she made the first sale of the day.  Georgia has now done two shows and is a very useful addition to the DeckHardware Team.  Her enthusiasm and experience makes a big difference to our boat show experience.   We hope everyone who came to the stand had a fantastic time.

GOLD  Need I say more!  Or perhaps Green and Gold!

How awesome it is right now to be an Australian Sailor! As I write this Tom has won the first individual gold medal for Australia at London 2012.  Nath and Goobs have gold medal in the hands and just have the medal race to sail with a lead that they can not lose.   Then we have Mat and Mal!  They are in the lead with a Medal race to sail and already have at the very least a silver medal!  So Proud!  So excited to be a part of this games experience.   The Match Racing Girls were unbeaten which is simple incredible in the first stages and now enter the quarter finals etc.

Between late nights watching sailing until 3:30am along with working long hours at the boat show I am exhausted!

But wait there is more!  This morning I got up to join the Nix and Johnny Show which can be heard on 88.7 or 90.3 FM if you’re a local or stream on to talk sailing.  As you can imagine I was more than happy to do that!!!  Especially with such exciting news to talk about.

Celebrations for Good Luck

I am lucky to not just sponsor members of the Australian Sailing Team with our Liros Rope but to call some of them friends.   Last night was the Good Luck Farewell for Nath and Goobs or awesome 49er duo.  Yes it meant heading up to Wangi for the night but it was well worth it.  Nath and I for a while before we bought the business were the sole employees.  Goobs and his big brother and I sailed against each other when we were like 12.  Which is how Matt introduced me to people last night haha.

It truly is something special to be able to support friends in the way I am able.  Nath and Goobs also put together the PROtect Tape kit for 49ers for us.

They were no doubt surprised we made the effort but it was well worth it as they are only here for a few days before heading off to compete at London 2012.

Last night the boys were celebrated in style with a poem, some heckling and just a lot of proud friends and family.  Many of their family in fact are already over in Europe getting ready to support them over there.  Due to the Sydney International Boat Show I will be in Sydney and cheering as loudly as possible. I know I won’t be alone in this.

Two guys I have known for a long time.  Two great down to earth blokes.

Go you good things!  And yes Nath – #AussieSailorsRock

Staying the night in Wangi I got to wake up to this view…  Awesome.   No wonder these guys love our sport so much!  Look at their home ground!

The Poem:

Last nights version was slightly modified to suit Nath and Goobs. It was well read. Here is the original:

Green and Gold Malaria
by Rupert McCall

The day would soon arrive when I could not ignore the rash.
I was obviously ill and so I called on Doctor Nash.
This standard consultation would adjudicate my fate.
I walked into his surgery and gave it to him straight:
`Doc, I wonder if you might explain this allergy of mine,
I get these pins and needles running up and down my spine.
From there, across my body, I will suddenly extend –
My neck will feel a shiver and the hairs will stand on end.
And then there is the symptom that only a man can fear –
A choking in the throat, and the crying of a tear.’
Well, the Doctor scratched his melon with a rather worried look.
His furrowed brow suggested that the news to come was crook.
`What is it Doc?’ I motioned. `Have I got a rare disease?
I’m man enough to cop it sweet, so give it to me, please.’
`I’m not too sure,’ he answered, in a puzzled kind of way.
`You’ve got some kind of fever, but it’s hard for me to say.
When is it that you feel this most peculiar condition?’
I thought for just a moment, then I gave him my position:
`I get it when I’m standing in an Anzac Day parade,
And I get it when the anthem of our native land is played,
And I get it when Meninga makes a Kiwi-crunching run,
And when Border grits his teeth to score a really gutsy ton.
I got it back in ’91 when Farr-Jones held the Cup,
And I got it when Japan was stormed by Better Loosen Up.
I get it when Banjo takes me down the Snowy River,
And Matilda sends me waltzing with a billy-boiling shiver.
It hit me hard when Sydney was awarded the Games,
And I get it when I see our farmers fighting for their names.
It flattened me when Bertrand raised the boxing kangaroo,
And when Perkins smashed the record, well, the rashes were true blue.
So tell me, Doc,’ I questioned. `Am I really gonna die?’
He broke into a smile before he looked me in the eye.
As he fumbled with his stethoscope and pushed it out of reach,
He wiped away a tear and then he gave me this stirring speech:
`From the beaches here in Queensland to the sweeping shores of Broome,
On the Harbour banks of Sydney where the waratah’s in bloom.
From Uluru at sunset to the Mighty Tasman Sea,
In the Adelaide cathedrals, at the roaring MCG.
From the Great Australian Blight up to the Gulf of Carpentaria,
The medical profession call it “green and gold malaria”.
But forget about the text books, son, the truth I shouldn’t hide.
The rash that you’ve contracted here is “good old Aussie pride”.
I’m afraid that you were born with it and one thing is for sure –
You’ll die with it, young man, because there isn’t and cure.’


Huge weekend on and near the Harbour

Friday started off with a First Aid course run at Middle Harbour Yacht Club run by Splint-All.  Fantastic course with references to sailing throughout.   So good to do and I recommend it to everyone as it was very hands on and not all theory.   With real fake blood and needles sticking it of people in mock scenarios and more!  This is something I have been meaning to do for a long time and I am glad to have finally ticked it off my list.

Saturday saw me heading out on the water for the first day of  The Captain John Piper Match Racing Regatta out of the CYCA.  This time I had my own whistle!  In the morning there were three of us onboard so for the first time I got to hear Umpires talking to each other which was extremely helpful.  In the afternoon it was just Erica Kirby and I which was fantastic as I got to step into the role properly and have a great time doing so.  The sunshine and awesome Sydney Harbour Winter weather certainly helped make it such an awesome day out there.
Sunday I ended up at my favourite club, Middle Harbour Yacht Club.  Phil Clinton the club Vice Commodore, Phil Yeomans aka Dad the club PRO and myself took out the club start boat Hugh George.   Dad was giving us lessons on how to drive the boat so that we will be able to in future.   It meant we got to head our of Middle Harbour and down the Main Harbour round Shark Island and back.   We ducked into Rose Bay to watch one of the sailors we sponsor Nic Douglass who was out training with her Dad in the Taser as their Nationals get close.

Sydney Harbour certainly put on a show for us.  What a perfect winters day!   Awesome clear blue sky, crystal clear water and a greats breeze.  How lucky were all those out there today!!!

The CYCA fleet was out in force and looked fantastic packing the Harbour and looking amazing.   They gave me so many chances to take photos as we headed down the Harbour towards the CYCA start boat to say Hi.

As we packed up the boat to head home one of our other Ambassadors Georgia was heading out in the 420 with her skipper for a spot of training as well!   You are all awesome!

A busy week is in my sights as we get into boat show preparation mode for the big Sydney International Boat Show which is sneaking up on us.   Plus I will be heading out again next Saturday to learn even more about umpiring!

Check out the photos and videos from today at the DeckHardware Fan Page on Facebook.

I also took some video of Nic and her Dad Rob out on the Taser heading out for their training session.

A big night in Sailing

The Australian Sailing Team last night proved they are well on their way to Gold at London 2012.  4 Golds, 1 Silver and a Bronze in Weymouth!  What a fantastic effort by the team!   Check out who they are on the Australian Sailing Team website.

A huge thanks and congratulations to the folks on Sail For Gold Radio who did a fantastic job on the Commentary!   Following it on Twitter whilst listening to their great commentary was almost as good as watching live video!

Sponsoring the Australian Sailing Team with our Liros Rope has been a huge commitment by us at DeckHardware.   It is great to see them getting such fantastic results and it makes the hard work to be able to afford to sponsor them more worth while.  We are also extremely thankful to Pietro from PROtect Tapes who has also been supplying members of the team with what they need.  It truly has been such a fantastic support of not only us but the Australian Sailing Team.  Thank you Pietro!   For those who have not seen it yet check out the PROtect Tapes 49er Kit put together by the PROtect Tapes team and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.

As the London Olympics get closer I realise I will need a lot of coffee to join the online twitter cheer squad each night.  A huge shout out to @mainsheetmeda, @nic_douglass, @soueaster on a fantastic effort last night!  #goaussies #AussieSailorsRock

Join us on twitter!  @deckhardware

Also a big thanks to @craigheydon and @AusSailingTeam

I have some big days and nights in my future with the Sydney International Boat Show happening at the same time as the London Olympics.   I hope you will join me in the late nights cheering on our Olympic Sailors in their quests for Gold!  We all should be so proud of the efforts and sacrifices that they, their coaches, managers, physios, sponsors, family, friends and all who support them in their quest to do the best they can.

I hope the Australian Media realise how big this could be for Australian Sailing and that they show more support for our fantastic sport and our amazing representatives.   They do us proud and deserve more recognition.

I don’t want a repeat of last time.  Being promised by the networks that the medal race would be shown live only to have to find a way to watch it online whilst several news crews watched the family and friends of Nathan Wilmot cram around a laptop to enjoy the moment that they too were all a part of.

It takes many people to climb a mountain.   It truly is a team effort so thank you to those sailors who have also recognised our contribution to their goals.  We are just a small company trying to do what we can for people we believe in.   A special thanks to Nath and Goobs for keeping us all hanging in the Medal race.   I could not ask for more from two people we sponsor.  You always do your best to ensure your sponsors are acknowledged so thank you.   It makes a big difference.

#goaussies   #AussieSailorsRock

Who am I?

It has been a while…

I have been a part of DeckHardware for over 6 years.  Growing up sailing on family and friends yachts as well as competing in Manly Juniors and Flying 11’s out of Middle Harbour Yacht Club.  At 22 I purchased my first yacht Animus an Adams 10m.

I plan on talking about my life of  boat shows and sailing regattas which can be a little different.  The main boat shows I attend are the Sydney International Boat Show and the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.   I also get the chance to attend overseas boat shows and have been to Annapolis, Dusseldorf and London.   The main show I attend as often as possible is METS which stands for Marine Equipment Trade Show which is in Amsterdam.

METS gives me the opportunity to see the majority of our suppliers at DeckHardware in the one place at the one time.  Along with meeting prospective future suppliers.

Unfortunately I do not do as much sailing as I would like to as I have Hyper Mobile disorder which makes it a little tricky.   I still try to spend as much time on or near the water as possible.