October 16, 2020
In this podcast we bring you a special edition on New Zealand’s great race. The Coastal Classic was first contested in 1982 and now attracts more than 150 boats for the annual blast up the coast from Auckland to the Bay of Islands.
Matthew Flynn took part in the very first race and was also on the organising committee that brought it all together and he's still doing both all these years later. Matthew talks about the race’s origins, some of the changes over the time and what makes it so special, and also explains why he's taken to doing the Coastal Classic single-handedly in recent times.
We then catch up with Bianca Cook who will tackle the race on the Volvo 65 she hopes will feature in the next Ocean Race. The Coastal Classic will actually be the first outing in a race for the boat as plans for the New Zealand Ocean Race team step up a gear. We talk to her about the significance of hitting the race track next week and also get an update on her campaign to put together an all-Kiwi team in the next Ocean Race starting in 2022.
Our final interview is with Simon Hull, who has done the race more than 30 times, including claiming line honours 10 times, and he also held the race record until last year. Simon talks about chasing race records, the social element and the time he choppered in America’s Cup skipper Jimmy Spithill to join his crew.
September 18, 2020
Nathan Outteridge is one of the world's top sailors, having been an Olympic 49er champion and four-time world champion, skipper of two America’s Cup campaigns and now skipper and chief executive of the Japan SailGP team. He talks about his journey in this podcast, from training with a young Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and having three America’s Cup syndicates all chasing him at the same time to his superstitions and why he is seemingly so calm on a boat.
But he also reflects on the low moments, like the time he was involved in a serious car crash and didn’t know if he would ever be able to sail again, the trauma of seeing an America's Cup teammate killed when out training and the devastation of capsizing with Olympic gold in his sights. Those experiences have shaped Nathan as a sailor and a person and allow him to provide a rich insight into a hugely successful sailing career.
September 4, 2020
Graeme Sinclair is a boatie who has been the face of the television show Gone Fishing for 27 years, presented various documentaries, been involved in environmental and charity work and written a number of books. He even had a stint as a weatherman. But he’s also done a lot of it living with multiple sclerosis.
Graeme talks about his relationship with the ocean and how that has evolved over time. He also traces the background to Gone Fishing, why it has proved so popular both here and overseas and how he, a salesman, ended up presenting the show. Graeme also shares his experiences with MS, the day he received the devastating news, the impact it’s had on his life and why he now talks about it as a gift.
August 21, 2020
Sally Garrett is best known for her exploits in short-handed sailing, being the only woman to have competed in two Round New Zealand races, and she’s also sailed in three Round North Island races. On top of that, she’s the reigning women’s national keelboat champion, been involved in leading clubs and organising offshore races and was the leading female helm at the last Flying 15 world championships. But Sally also works as an environmental scientist with the defence technology agency and studies the waves, tides and weather in the Southern Ocean in order to make it safer for people to go there.
Sally talks about her experiences in short-handed sailing, both good and bad - the rough weather, injuries, sleep deprivation and mental game - and also the rewards of the sport and how to get more women involved. Sally also delves into her work as an environmental scientist and what a whopping 23.8m wave really looks like and what impact this has on her keelboat and dinghy sailing.
August 7, 2020
Alistair Moore is probably best described as a sailing adventurer. He's amassed over 300,000 nautical miles at sea and was a member of Blake Expeditions for two years before the ill-fated trip to the Amazon in 2001 when Sir Peter Blake was killed by pirates.
Alistair talks about how he was invited to join Blake Expeditions and the joy of working with his childhood hero as well as what happened in the Amazon. He also talks about his determination to try to continue Peter Blake's work after his death and how it brought him to work with the NZ Sailing Trust onboard Blake’s old boats Lion New Zealand and Steinlager 2, and explores similarities he sees in Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
Alistair likes, as he says, playing boats, having worked at anything from the America’s Cup to coaching in Oman. He was supposed to be setting off this year on a journey to sail around the world with his wife Sarah-Jane – who happens to be Peter Blake’s daughter – but that’s now on hold due to Covid-19.
July 24, 2020
Barbara Kendall is the rainbow girl of New Zealand sailing, collecting the full range of Olympic medals during an illustrious career, and she's also the only Kiwi woman to win medals at three consecutive Olympics and only New Zealand female to go to five Olympic Games. On top of that, Barbara won 11 windsurfing world championships medals, four of them gold, and 25 national titles. For most of the past 15 years she’s been heavily involved with the International Olympic Committee, and more latterly has been a vice president of the International Surfing Federation, playing a key role in surfing’s inclusion onto the programme for the Olympic Games.
Barbara talks about what influence her brother Bruce had on her, the time she was told she would never windsurf again, how her success changed her life, how she managed to juggle being an elite athlete with motherhood and the moment she knew it was time to retire. She also delves into her work with the IOC as well as her experiences on Dancing With the Stars and Celebrity Treasure Island.
July 10, 2020
Harold Bennett is best known for being the principal race officer for five America’s Cup between 2000 and 2013. He was front and centre for Team New Zealand’s first defence of the Cup and also their dramatic loss in San Francisco more than a decade later meaning he oversaw racing as it transformed from monohulls to foliling catamarans. But there’s a lot more to Harold than the America’s Cup. He was this country’s first professional sailing coach, is credited with establishing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s youth training programme, coached at five Olympic Games and more latterly has been heavily involved with the Manly Sailing Club and Russell Coutts Sailing Foundation.
Harold talks about some of his experiences at the America’s Cup, including the controversy, conflict and craftiness. He delves into the time when race officers he was working with refused to go into a start sequence, swearing on live TV and the pressure he came under with so much at stake. He also details his experience of taking the Pakistan sailing team to the Olympics, how he became involved in race management and how he got roped into working with Russell Coutts. And, of course, like all guests, he tells the story of his worst wipeout ever.
July 3, 2020
Hamish Willcox has achieved incredible success in the sport as both a sailor and coach. He won three 470 world titles with David Barnes in the early 1980s, was involved with four America’s Cups campaigns and even sailed in the Round the World Race. Since moving into coaching, he’s been to seven Olympic Games and helped his athletes win multiple world championships titles, including Peter Burling and Blair Tuke who have dominated the 49er class for most of the last decade. He talks about his phenomenal success as a sailor but frustrations at never going to an Olympics as an athlete, the 470 scene in New Zealand when this country dominated the class, four-and-a-half hour time limits and wearing water jackets. Hamish also opens up about his transition into coaching and issues with the New Zealand set up, seeing his two children compete at the Olympics and his return to New Zealand and teaming up with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
June 26, 2020
Jenny Armstrong competed at two Olympic Games, one for New Zealand and another for Australia. She went to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics under the New Zealand flag and finished fourth in the Europe dinghy. Eight years later she was sailing at 'home' in Sydney for Australia and winning gold in the women’s 470 with Belinda Stowell. The pair are now members of Australia Sailing’s Hall of Fame. Armstrong’s decision to switch allegiance is one that still irks her but she says it’s one she would still make today if facing the same circumstances.
She goes into the background behind that decision, being written off by legendary coach Victor Kovalenko, winning Australia’s first gold medal in sailing in 28 years, trying to learn the Australian national anthem right up until the moment she stepped onto the dais and her recent return home to Dunedin and move into the world of coaching.
June 19, 2020
Nick Egnot-Johnson has been second in the world match racing rankings since October 2019, something he achieved when he was still 21. But Nick rather fell into match racing because of an unfortunate set of circumstances. He talks about his earlier days, what influence his mother Leslie Egnot had on him, his Olympic ambitions and how he got into match racing. He also delves into how he found himself racing, and often beating, some of the world’s best at the Congressional Cup when a relative unknown, the times he’s felt like a salesman trying to get into events and the amusing story behind how his team, Knots Racing, came up with their name.