Born: 29 April 1970
I learned to windsurf when I was 12 and I’ve been hooked ever since. As a teenager growing up in Sydney I did a lot of course racing in the Windsurfer class which was dominating the racing scene. When I was 15, in 1985, I came 3rd in Freestyle at the Australian Windsurfer Class Nationals and was second overall in the youth division behind Scotty McKercher. The following year when I was 16 at the 1986 Nationals, I won the youth overall, Scotty wasn’t there, and I won the men’s slalom. In 1987 when I was 17 and had just finished high school, I came 10th in the Mistral Worlds when they came to Manly, Sydney.
My windsurfing buddy Jessica Crisp and I had grown up together, learned to sail and windsurf together, and had a lot of fun at all the Australian competitions. At the end of school I went to university to study science and architecture while Jess flew off to take on the world in professional windsurfing. I was jealous! But I wasn’t as good as she was on the international scene so I focused on my studies and a career in architecture.
Between my science degree in Sydney and my architecture degree in Perth, I took 3 years off to race again with Jess. This time full speed slalom on the then thriving Western Australia scene that had attracted a bit of an international scene. I sailed a lot with Anders Bringdal who had a house just north of Perth. He’s seriously fast and a great guy. I had my first trips to Maui during that 3 year break. Tropical paradise, trade winds, that was heaven. But I was there doing slalom trying to get myself going as fast as the big guys. A fools errand for a scrawny 69kg kid from Oz but I had a lot of great times blasting around. I should have known better and started wavesailing then! Ha ha!
After getting back to my studies and finishing my degrees, I lectured at The University of Sydney, was put in charge of the Communications undergraduate degree, then used the prize money from a National War Memorial design competition to start my design practice in the late 90’s, focused on sustainability. I was lucky enough to design and build public buildings right from the start and won a National sustainable design award for one of the Fire Stations I design for the NSW government. That led to work as the lead urban design consultant for sustainability for the Sheikh of Dubai’s 15 billion dollar Dubai Creek Project in the UAE – long story. That was followed up with consulting work for the Australian Federal Environment Minister and later Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, that focused on residential solar power design solutions and legislation that helped turn Australia into a the leading nation in residential solar uptake. Amongst all this I married and had a very cool daughter. Life was busy.
After Jess finished her 5th Olympic campaign at London’s 2012 Olympics, she said to me, “I’ve had enough of racing, let’s just go wavesailing and have some fun.” So I bought one board and one sail and started riding waves with my world champion buddy. She was awesome, I was hilariously bad but I was loving it after so many years of working and stress, this was just what I needed. I went to the 2014 Aloha Classic as her caddy, but I was so bad at ho’okipa that someone had to do it for her! Since then I’ve been back to Maui more and more, sailed better and bigger waves and become completely addicted to Wavessiling. I started competing in the Amateur and Masters divisions of the Aloha Classic and the IWT. I got better slowly but was quickly having fun and loving it all. I wound down my design business commitments in 2017, and went close to full time sailing.
After 2 years as Head Judge on the IWT, wins in the IWT Amateur and Masters fleets, and steadily improving results at the Grand Final Aloha Classic, I’ve ended up buying the IWT. I now run that full time with my mates Russ Faurot, Jessica Crisp and increasingly with my daughter who supports media and marketing. I’m doing what I love with people I love and a great community all around the world. Life could hardly be better.
My best Windsurfing results:
1st Men’s Slalom Windsurfing Nationals
1st Youth Overall Windsurfing Nationals
2nd Men’s Funboard Nationals
10th Men’s Course Racing Mistral Worlds
1st IWT Masters Overall
1st IWT Amateur Overall
3rd Amateur Aloha Classic
1st IWT Masters Overall