We know testimonials are supposed to be brief and to the point but every time we ask one of our customers to write a few words for us - they have so much to say that we can't possibly trim it down. Here's just a few:
The first time I’ve been sailing was when I did a one week sailing trip on Eureka 2 with Whitsunday Sailing School in 2011. I really enjoyed it and decided that I wanted to learn how to sail.
I started doing a Crew Certificate and then I also continued towards the International Certificate of Competence. After some training I got the International Bare-boat License, which now even allows me to charter yachts on my own.
This year, in 2015 I was able to do a mile building trip from Hobart, Tasmania to Airlie Beach in Queensland. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot. From how to plan a longer passage up to helming in heavy weather during the night.
Malcolm and his crew have a very friendly and patient way of teaching and it was always a pleasure to profit from their experience. The atmosphere on board was always very welcoming and I enjoyed each day out sailing. Eureka 2 is a very nice, competitive yacht. With her good cockpit line-out it was even for me as a beginner ideal to learn how to sail.
I can highly recomend Mal and Whitsunday Sailing School and I am already planning to come back for some more sailing.”
A few words about Mal .. A person of great interest who loves teaching his knowledge of sailing . Mal has taught me how to sail and sail correctly as he would say ” let’s do this by the numbers “. Sailing is great fun and also a great occupation . I have sailed with Mal down the entire East Coast , raced the 2014 Sydney to Hobart race and Hobart to Sydney . All done safely. I am now doing a paid delivery from Melbourne to Sydney and have my IYT Yachtmasters certification . All this through Mals expert tutoring . Working with charts and old school navigation as well as modern GPS plotters . Reading weather and passage planing. . Thanks Mal , looking forward to sailing with you again
In September 2013 i stepped onboard the sailing yacht Eureka II in Airlie Beach to do a 1 week sailing course with Whitsunday Sailing School & Captain Mal or better known as Captain Quality around the Whitsundays.
At this stage I had no idea about boats or what sailing is (i thought you have to be rocket scientist to become a sailor).
I knew that there are things on the water called boats that float but that’s about it. Considering i haven’t done any sailing before, being half way around the globe and that english is not my first language it was a tough challenge. I had to start of with the basics what is a winch, headsail, mainsail.. What’s the function of a sheet and what does a halyard. What is the difference between a gybe and a tack… I learnt everyday something new and to be honest now almost two years later i still learn new stuff. It is amazing patient Mal is towards his students. He doesn’t hassle to explain things again and again. Even if it the tenth time. After a while I started to get my head around wind-angels and figured out that sailing is actually not that hard. Everyone can learn it and if you are serious enough with it you can get work with it. I ended up working on overnight charter boats in the Whitsundays for over 1 year. As Mal is an IYT (International Yacht Training) instructor he got me involved in his training and we started to work towards my IYT qualifications and here i’m now with my Yachtmaster.
8 months after my first sailing lesson it was time do some racing with Mal. Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week. It was again new stuff for me. Hoisting spinnakers and changing headsails through a tack.
When i look back now the biggest adventure in my life started in October 2014, a 1300nm delivery from Airlie Beach to Sydney. Getting a Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht down to Sydney was just the beginning. An intense crew training started and getting the boat itself ready for one of the biggest and hardest offshore races in the world.
Who would have expected that i’m now 18 months after i did my first sailing course with Mal i’m still sailing. With his help I sailed up and down the east coast of Australia, sailed around Tasmania and crossed the bass strait. Currently i’m on my first paid delivery from Melbourne to Sydney to deliver a 50foot racing yacht.
I’ll leave Australia shortly and make my way into the Mediterranean to get a job on one of the superyachts.
When I first came to Whitsunday Sailing School & stepped on Eureka II in August 2013 I did not even know how a sailing yacht looks like. I was just keen to learn something completely new. On the first morning we went straight out and pulled the sails up. Me, being a greenhorn, I had no idea what to do but the experienced crew made it so easy for me and the other students. They pulled us aside and explained everything step by step to make sure we understand it. They would explain it over and over again making sure everybody is on the pace. Especially Malcolm Robertson’s patience is the most valuable gift for each student. With his 35 years of experience he always has a good answer and always a laugh with you. During the days we sailed around the islands whilst visiting pristine spots which you can enjoy next to the program. The program itself involved more than I could have asked for. From setting up the boat for a sail, to plugging in different headsails and setting up the mainsail for a full hoist. Once the sails are up you even get to helm this 16 ton racing beauty. Through the program you also get to several drills like man over board or sailing maneuvers including tacking and gybing. Everybody is set up with a workplace i.e. one of the headsail sheets. The crew makes once more sure you know what you have to do so you can fulfill your job with confidence. But it’s not only that you learn how to sail, it’s more like: learn how to boat. Next to all the sailing you learn how to anchor properly, how the bilge pumps work, flare kits, EPIRBS and the rest of the safety equipment. It is really full on. After each trip you also get involved in parking the boat.
After my time on the boat Mal recommended me to another company. I did a couple of training trips with them and they decided to employ me, which was great news for me at this stage, as I just learned how to sail a couple of weeks ago. I worked for half a year and had an incredible time, having lots of fun and earning good money. Later I joined Mal on getting ready for the Sydney to Hobart Race in December 2014. By working on all the boats you get to know all different types of backpackers. They tell you their story and I am really happy that I hadn’t had to do the work they did. The most common thing I heard of all these people was always the same: “You can work here and get paid for it? If I would have known that before…” Working in the Whitsundays is just beyond and after.
By October 2014 my time in the Whitsundays was over as I was part of the delivery crew from Airlie Beach to Sydney. Sailing offshore was a whole new world for me, not seeing the coast for a few days, sailing at night time, doing sail changes, everything was so new but actually not new. Basically you just keep sailing instead of dropping the sails for the night anchorage. Having sailed nonstop for a whole year definitely helped me a lot, but I felt like my skill level exploded during this voyage. During our trip we had all different conditions, from no wind to galeforce winds, calm seas to very sloppy ones and even sail changes at night time. It was just amazing, making it not the last passage for me.