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Get out your Sailing Gear; Connect with new Crew and Sail More in 2018

by Deborah Dalziel 21 Dec 2017 18:12 PST
All smiles as MySail Founder Deborah Dalziel completes the 2016 Sydney to Southport Yacht Race on Khaleesi © MySail

As the 2017 working year is drawing to a close, sailors have been getting all geared up for one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated months in the Australian sailing season. With preparations for Sydney to Hobart there have been lots more yachts on Sydney Harbour, shaking out their sails and getting race ready. We’re entering one of the most thrilling times in the sailing season, filled with nervous excitement along with accompanying media attention on our sport. As has been noted in the press, it’s just fantastic to see such a diverse line up of crew and boats taking part this year.

At MySail, we’re pretty chuffed and excited to have been involved in the lead up, but in a slightly different way. As a new sailing app in operation for just over 12 months, the team at MySail are honoured and excited to have helped connect some of the participating skippers with their experienced crew for this year’s Sydney to Hobart race. Founded by avid Sydney sailor, Deborah Dalziel (who is also competing in the Sydney to Hobart for the second time), MySail helps yacht owners find and organise their race crew, and helps experienced and aspiring sailors find new sailing opportunities all around Australia.

Be it large races like the Hobart, or small weekend events, Deborah has seen first-hand the challenges skippers face in organising a reliable race team, “I’ve spoken to a lot of skippers who at various times have put it in the ‘too-hard’ basket. For many of these skippers, getting out on the water to race actually becomes more of a chore than an adrenaline rush. Sailing is such a fantastic sport and it shouldn’t have to be so hard to organise your crew - that’s why I started MySail.”

The MySail Advantage

The MySail promise is simple - it makes crew organisation quick and easy. The MySail platform stores existing crew details and their availability in the one place and presents a faster way for skippers to find and connect to experienced sailors when they need to fill a position. The platform is also free to use for both yacht owners and crew, making it even easier to get started.

Whether you’re an experienced yachtie looking for similarly experienced offshore racing crew, or you’re keen to get out for a competitive twilight sail, Deborah’s confident you’ll find a crew member who’ll work well with your team.

Just looking at the hundreds of crew profiles reveals a diverse mix of experience, age and gender. As Deb says, “We’ve really worked hard to bring people to the platform who want to be involved in racing and advancing their sailing skills. It’s not about sipping champagne on a boat – it’s about getting your hands dirty and being part of the crew.”

A combination of Deb’s passion and leadership, and strong club support has helped the MySail community experience fantastic growth in 2017. A quick glance at the MySail statistics reveals almost 2,000 registered yachts owners and crew and hundreds of experienced sailors who are looking to join a team, with a combined experience of a whopping 5,000 years, which is an average of over 7 years per crew member.

Yacht Owners and Crew have their say on MySail

Philip Grove owns the Sydney 39CR Huntress, which he races regularly at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and Balmain Sailing Club. He’s had a lot of success with MySail this season, “I have used MySail several times over the past year to fill crew gaps on Huntress. The crew that have come through MySail have all brought additional skills and experience to our team, are great team players and are genuinely interested in joining a race program.”

Sailor, Andrew Pamflett, is currently participating in his first Sydney to Hobart on the Sydney 3,8 TSA Management, thanks to finding a spot through MySail. "One of my goals for 2017 was to increase my offshore racing experience. Through connections I made with MySail, I have been able to find a spot for a few of the Blue Water Pointscore races. Most excitingly, I am about to set off on my first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which is the main goal I have been working towards over the past couple of years."

New technology makes it easier to match a boat with the right crew

While MySail is great for connecting experienced crew such as Andrew, the stats on registered users of the platform reveal that crew typically have three motivations for joining, these are:

1. People who are new to sailing and looking to join their first yachting team;

2. Sailors who have relocated and looking to join a team in their new location; and

3. Sailors who want to skill up or participate in a particular event or type of race.

In light of this and to cater for the varying needs and desires of sailors and yacht owners, MySail has been exploring ways to make it easier for yacht owners and crew to find their perfect match. “We have researched the best indicators for creating a positive match between a crew member and a yacht,” explained Deborah. “Like hiring an employee, skippers need to find someone who will fit their team culture, have the required skills and experience and have similarly aligned goals. We are continually improving the technology to make it easier and quicker to find not just a crew member, but the right crew member for your team.”

While 2017 was MySail’s first full year in operation, a quick look at the statistics indicates that their research and technological development is already working. Yacht owners used MySail to fill over 650 crew positions in races across Australia, with many new crew sailing multiple races with their selected yacht and becoming a regular part of the crew.

Khaleesi wins the 2017 Bird Island race leading up to Sydney to Hobart; <a target=MySail Founder Deborah Dalziel is a regular crew member on Khaleesi. - photo © Benjamin Williams">
Khaleesi wins the 2017 Bird Island race leading up to Sydney to Hobart; MySail Founder Deborah Dalziel is a regular crew member on Khaleesi. - photo © Benjamin Williams

Getting more sailors on the water in 2018

And 2018 promises to be even bigger, with Deborah excited to take the MySail platform to greater heights next year. “As anyone who has founded or built a business will attest, it is a hard and long road to go from nothing and create a service that adds value to a community. However, one of the things I love most about what I do, is to hear the feedback and meet yacht owners and sailors who have used MySail to build their team or get out on the water- especially those who have not been very actively racing before getting on the platform.”

“That is very rewarding, and keeps me motivated to continue pushing ahead and building technology that helps engage, connect and inform sailors.”

If you are a yacht owner or sailor and you want a simpler and easier way to get out on the water and sail more in 2018, go to MySail to create your free account.

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