Hallberg-Rassy has appointed Gold Coast Sailing Academy as a new importer for the Australian market. Mr Drew Hulton-Smith with Gold Coast Sailing Academy is located in Queensland and has a vast
experience from the marine industry.
Drew began sailing in the International Optimist Dinghy Class at the age of 8 and has been involved in all aspects of the sailing industry throughout his professional career spanning over 30 years. As a youth he progressed through the dinghy classes, competing at national and international levels in the Laser, 420, 470 and 505 classes. Simultaneously, as a teenager he became involved in coastal and offshore keelboat racing, taking command of a ¼ Ton IOR boat at age 16. While yacht racing was, and remains, a key point of focus in the sport, it was the opportunity to undertake his first ocean crossing at the age of 17 that revealed a new and appealing facet of sailing – the art of bluewater cruising.
“That passage, from the Maldives to Sri Lanka and Singapore was a turning point in my formative teenage years as an evolving yachtsman”, Drew remarked. “In the middle of the Indian Ocean, in the middle of the night, by myself on deck, the infinite scope of knowledge required and the endless possibility for travel and potential for experience offered by a cruising yacht became very real. From then on I was driven to learn and understand everything I possibly could about the industry.”
Tens of thousands of Miles were to follow, and a career as a professional sailor working with some of the most prestigious Clubs, Training Centres and Organisations has earned Drew a reputation of professionalism, expertise, honesty and reliability. He has fulfilled roles including Yacht Rigging Supervisor, Yachting Administrator, Event Director, Development Manager, Training Centre Principal, Charter Yacht Skipper, Coach and Trainer, and reserve Skipper for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Drew’s extensive qualifications include Ship Master Class V and Marine Engineer Class III. He is a Royal Yachting Association Offshore Yachtmaster Instructor, Marine Diesel Engine Instructor, Cruising Instructor Trainer and one of the few appointed Yachtmaster Examiners in Australia.
“First and foremost, I consider myself to be an Instructor. I identify the weaknesses that an individual doesn’t know they have. I answer questions they never thought to ask, I slowly colour in the rough outlines of a fantasy they haven’t yet fully formed.” Drew states, “When the time came to consider association with a brand that meets my own standards and expectations, Hallberg-Rassy was a clear and obvious choice.”
“I am very excited and optimistic about the opportunity to represent Hallberg-Rassy in Australia. Maintaining the reputation and respect that these boats have earned is a responsibility that I welcome; I eagerly anticipate the chance to provide the highest standards of service in delivering the most desirable bluewater cruising boats available”, Drew added.
Gold Coast Sailing Academy is ideally positioned to service the pre-purchase, delivery, commissioning, handover, after-sales support and of course, crew training and qualification demands for all Hallberg-Rassy clients In Australia and the region.
Contact details for Gold Coast Sailing Academy:
Tel: +61 (04) 5550 0988