Jordan and Holly - 1998
Employed by good friends Craig and Kerrie Flanagan at C. and K.A. Flanagan Sailmakers Pty Ltd T/a Shade to Order. The business specialises in design, fabrication and installation of Tensioned Membrane Fabric Shade Structures of the highest quality. Check them out at www.shade-to-order.com.au
Tony has worked for Craig and Kerrie since January 1997 fulfilling the role of Sales Manager.
Tony is indebted to his employers for the unquestioned support they provide to him whilst he pursues his dream that is Solo Globe Challenge 2000.
If you grow up in Belmont you cannot escape the water.
To the West (at your backdoor) is Lake Macquarie and to the East (your front door) is that great expanse of water, the Pacific Ocean. Fishing, sailing and just about any other sort of water sport you care to mention are actively pursued in the area.
At the age of 13 Tony started a lifelong friendship with his mentor Bob Snape who did, and still does own a beautiful timber hulled 26 foot Swallow Class yacht, "Odin". "Odin " was raced very competitively at Lake Macquarie Yacht Club by Bob, Tony and various other crew throughout Tony's early teenage years before he had a season or two with Jack Morgan "The Legend of Lake Macquarie" on "Pleasure II".
1973, at age 18, he competed in his first Sydney to Hobart yacht race on board the 30 foot Carmen class "Cardinal Puff", owned and skippered by another of Tony's teachers, Peter Rundle. A motto of Peter's is "Never Ever Give Up!"
1974 and 1975 saw another two Hobart races for Tony and confirmation in his mind that being on or around the water was to be a lifelong calling.
In early 1976 Tony arrived in Cairns in Far North Queensland on a yacht called "Sir Henry Merkin" whilst on a delivery trip from Auckland N.Z. to Perth in Western Australia. At the time his worldly possessions consisted of two sailing bags of clothes and $200.
He liked the look of Cairns and the friendly relaxed lifestyle right alongside that great wonder of the world "The Great Barrier Reef".
Whilst in Cairns he worked in the Real Estate industry and established his own small business manufacturing and installing insect screens. Tony was an inaugural member of the Cairns Yacht Club (formed in 1977 memb # 98) and whilst in Cairns raced Laser Dinghies with Queensland, Nth Queensland and Papua New Guinea titles coming his way. He also maintained his bigger boat activity by regularly sailing in yacht races conducted out of Cairns and Far North Queensland.
Tony (second from left - Abe Lincoln's look-a-like) with Queensland Laser trophy. Late 1970's.
He did have hair once - and check out that beard!
After 7 great years he awoke one day, looked at the bedroom ceiling, and decided it was time to go back home.
A short pit stop in Brisbane for 18 months delayed his return to his family with him eventually back at "The Lake" in 1984.
From 1984 to early 1994 Tony was involved in 3 different companies (simultaneously for a number of years) He had shareholdings in, and was a director of all 3 whilst being the managing director of 2.
The crew of OzFire at the finish of the
Sydney to Hobart '91 (Tony: Middle upper back)
All 3 entities were aligned to the communications and services sector.
More demanding ocean races became his focus throughout the eighties and early nineties with the "Hobart" beckoning him ten more times from 1983 to 1994 along with a host of other blue water races up and down the East Coast of Australia. He also managed to squeeze in a couple of seasons on an Etchells 22.
Marathon running grabbed his fancy in the late eighties with the 1988 & 89 Gold Coast Races having him as a competitor as well as the Canberra Marathon of 1989. Triathlons caught his attention in the early nineties with Tony "making up the numbers" from 1990 through to late 1993.
Tony - 1989
See the look of pain on his face!
Readers should be very aware that his athletic days saw him win nothing more than a "kind smile" or the "lucky door prize".
Early 1994 saw the Hunter Life Ausail '94 project come to fruition just as he divested himself of the last of his business worries and saw him leave to sail around Australia, non-stop whilst officially unemployed.
OH WHAT A FEELING!!
Upon his return (but not straight away) Tony went to work for his long time friend, sailing mate and business partner, Doug Coulter as National Sales Manager in Doug's Wholesale Distribution Business for 2½ years before joining Craig Flanagan at Flanagan Sailmakers T/A Shade To Order in January 1997.
Tony - 1995
A comprehensive description of Tony's history from 1993 to date appears on the other pages of this web site and I hope you enjoy reading about them.
Thank you for your interest.