Farewell Evo

An old sailing foe of mine sadly passed away last week. Simon Evans was a longtime sailor like myself [we are of the same vintage] and whilst we hadn’t done too much together, we had raced many a mile against each other.

Simon had done all the races you wanted to do, Asia, USA and of course Oz. I have fond memories of trimming a kite for an entire Hammilton Island race week on an Archambault35 against Simon who was trimming a kite aboard a Sydney36 in the same division.

We shared a common love for the sport of sailing and we were able to have the odd drink and tell many a tall tale. Today a group of us got together with Simons wife Katie to celebrate his life and tell some more tales.


Cheers Evo

January Tasmanian trip

This trip was arranged to coincide with the Australian Youth Sailing Championships held at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania [RYCT] which were sponsoring. As it turned out there were several other regattas on in the area around the same time. These included The International Cadet Dinghy World Championships, the 420 Australian Championships and the Optimist Australian Championships. Then there was the finish of the Rolex Sydney Hobart for which I have been the Race Official on the Southern Line for the last 6 years. The Farr40s also held their Championships with three Sydney boats making the trip down to Hobart. The Derwent River was the place to be in January.
In recent years I have been flying down, however with all that was happening, it was an opportunity to pack the van and do the trip on the ferry, Spirit of Tasmania with plenty of product. I also had a couple of tables and a marque for the youth champs, so the DeckHardware van was pretty full.
The first week was spent at the Derwent Sailing Club [DSS] supporting the 420s with the DeckHardware van. It was as it turned out, to be quite a busy week due to the conditions. For the greater majority of the time spent in Tasmania, it blew. More often than not over 30 knots! Whilst the competitors were on the water for the 420s, I was able to get around visiting the other events and seeing the chandleries in Hobart, Kettering and Franklin. Then it was back to the DSS in the afternoon to help the competitors with various bits and pieces. It made for some long days as I generally arrived at the club around 0730 and didn’t leave till 1800; this was to be the pattern for the two weeks there. I only had the opportunity to get out on the water to spectate on two occasions, my hosts in Hobart Roy and Dianne have a Jeaneau and were able to host me and a couple of the parents that are old friends and crew mates.
With the excellent support of Allen Brothers in England, DeckHardware were sponsors of the Youth Sailing Championships next door at the RYCT. All the skippers received an Allen backpack and DeckHardware stickers to apply to their booms upon registering at the RYCT. Several parents were noticed wearing the bags, they liked them so much. During the week, it was interesting to see the bags scattered beside the boat covers and dollies on the rigging grass, I think they were well received and put straight in to use. Allen also supplied a range of product to be presented along with the trophies at the presentation dinner, which DeckHardware added to with a range of other products including JDC, Liros, TBS and Protect tape.
Once again it was full days helping the competitors, I also had those from the Cadets come and see me as well, once the word was spread around that the DeckHardware van had a range of product available to suit.
Once the regattas were over it was the drive back to the north of Tasmania, where before returning home I saw another major Tasmanian chandlery in Launceston. Unfortunately the sparmaker next door was away on holidays at the time.
123It was a full couple of weeks and I took the time to do my first trip to the top of Mt Wellington [1270m/4000’] which dominates the skyline to the south west of Hobart. Many of my friends have told me that it can be cold and windy at the summit and windy it was. Once I got over the vertigo of the drive the view was spectacular. I was glad to do the drive up in summer as a couple of days later several others in town for the regattas went to the summit and just about froze as there was a little frost and ice! Some may have seen reports of the fires in Australia, Tasmania was not spared and a large area of the state was destroyed. Many of these fires were visible from the Hobart waterfront. I experienced the extremes of Hobart’s summer weather; I can claim to have been in Hobart on the hottest EVER day in history – 43.8c and then there was the day when the temperature didn’t rise much over 16c.
My thanks go to Roy and Dianne Barkas for hosting me for the couple of weeks in Hobart. As with all of my interstate trips, it was great to have the support of our friends.


I have posted photos of the events on the DeckHardware facebook page and in the coming weeks gradually add more.

Been a big few days down south

I’ve been in Hobart for a few days now and it’s been pretty much non stop. I’ve been between several regatttas, the International Cadet Worlds and the 420 and Laser Nationals and then there’s the finish of the other race that I started on Boxing Day, the Rolex Sydney Hobart. I’ve helped competitors re rig and rebuild their boats, on one day re splicing three jib halyards.

I’ve seen the Governor of Tasmania preside over 2 prizegivings, someone should however told him not to repeat the same line each time, I’m sure there are a few others who heard the same comments about the Volvo race being a festival as is the feeling in Hobart at this time of year.

I’ve also had the chance to catch up with old friends and made some new ones, one Launceston Hobart competitor made note last night – “you’re that Phil!” I had to remind him that should he come to MHYC, there’s four Phils to choose from. Hobart at this time of year is a festival with the Taste of Tassie food halls on the waterfront a big part of it. I’m yet to have a Scallop pie, one of the local delicacies, but there’s still time. It’s been good catching up with the likes of Ian and David Ross and Andrew Hunn, all of whom I’ve known for over 35 years.

In the coming days there’s the completion of the 420s and Cadets and then the Australian Youth Championships start. Also on this weekend is another round of the Australian Farr40 circuit with several Sydney boats in town including Estate Master and Transfusion. I’ll drop over the other side of the Derwent River to Bellerive to catch up with these guys in the coming days.

I’m in Hobart for another week or so and the way things are, I’ll need it. Normally a trip down here is around 4 days to see all the builders and chandleries, I’ve only had the chance to see two of those.