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Windcraft Yachts welcomes Gavin Ward back to the team

by Windcraft Yachts 5 May 2023 01:37 PDT
Gavin Ward re-joins Windcraft Yachts © Windcraft Yachts

After more than four decades of sailing and 2,000 races Gavin Ward could be forgiven for scaling back his boating endeavours - but the opposite is true.

Ward is re-joining well-known brand Windcraft Yachts as the Sales Manager for Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia. It's effectively a labour of love for the long-time sailor and boat owner who bought his first boat, a Hood 23, back in the mid 1980's in a pre-destined moment, as the broker was Ric Hawkins, now Windcraft's Manager for the southern states and Tasmania.

For Ward, who was previously working in the marine sector in Queensland but also has a long and impressive corporate resume, the opportunity to share his extensive knowledge and experience about boating was a key reason for his decision.

"I came back to Windcraft to re-connect with the customers who share my passion," he explains. "To me it feels like coming home. I have only just returned, but I am loving it," he says.

His role will see Ward re-familarising himself with all of Windcraft's stable of premium sail and power yachts, (Hanse, Dehler, Solaris Moody and Privilège for sail, along with the Fjord, Ryck and Sealine power brands), guiding customers into the best boat for their budget, lifestyle, needs and tastes. He got to know the Hanse brand of family cruisers well by sailing on a Hanse 505.

"I got a chance to do some regular racing on a Hanse 505 Reflection which is part of the Yachtshare fleet at RQYS (Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron) in Brisbane," he recalls. "I learnt to appreciate how easy these boats were to sail short-handed and how they performed really well, particularly in a stronger breeze," he recounts.

Those familiar with the Sydney sailing scene will recognise some of Ward's former well-campaigned charges - Eye Candy, a Sydney 38 and the Tripp 47 Abracadabra, which he rates as among his memorable sailing experiences.

"Our first Pittwater to Coffs Harbour regatta was amazing, "he relates. "We won every race in Sydney, the main race to Coffs and every race in Coffs. It was an excellent crew of friends and we not only raced well but had a great time. That camaraderie remained with our crew for the following 20 plus years," Ward says.

That extensive racing pedigree gives Ward an extra insight into matching customers' requirements to each Windcraft brand. "For pure stye and great performance, I would have the Solaris 50," he reveals. "As a high-performance club racer with extended cruising capability, the Dehler has that extra race dimension and layout to optimise performance with a crew," he continues.

"But I suppose in terms cost performance, ease of sailing and maximum utilisation, it really has to be the new Hanse 460. Along with huge volume and sensational styling, everything is structured in such a way that you can easily sail the boat short or two-handed. You don't have to rely on a crew to be able to cruise the coast. That is your ticket to freedom," Ward says with a smile.

Having sailed and cruised extensively on Pittwater and Sydney Harbour, Ward and his wife Maryann have been discovering some of the best boating destinations close to the Gold Coast where they are now based. He rates the new Ryck 280 sports day boat with a top speed approaching 40 knots as the perfect way to enjoy the region's diverse boating attractions.

The Ryck is incredibly versatile," he says. "Whether it's the Broadwater, or visiting beaches here or out on Moreton Bay, it's so easy to manoeuvre and yet it has all the features you would want like comfortable seating, BBQ, sunbed, overnight double cabin, head, and bathroom. You can fish, ski or just relax and it's small enough to get in anywhere and easy to maintain."

Even though it's ostensibly his job Ward admits his leisure time is usually boat-related and he can't but help talk boats with most people he meets. "There is no doubt that sailing and boats have been a lifelong passion," he agrees. "Getting to talk with people about what they want to do with their boats is just an absolute natural for me."

Gavin will be doing just that along with the remainder of the Windcraft team heading to this year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show from 25-28 May where both the new Hanse 460 and the Ryck 280 will be on display.

For more information or AU: +61 7 2111 4044 | Mob: +61 418 402 809.

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