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Our Australian team

Mark Elkington, Managing Director

They say the key to a successful career is doing something you love. Mark took this advice early in his life after learning to sail dinghies as a boy in Western Australia. He completed studies at the Fremantle Maritime College, bought his first cruising boat at the age of 20, was appointed Safety Officer for the America’s Cup in 1987, moved east to Hamilton Island to manage a fleet of luxury vessels, and was inaugural President of the Hamilton Island Cruising Yacht Club.

As one of the founding directors of Sunsail Yacht Charters in Australia in 1994, Mark was responsible for the development of the Hamilton Island base and its fleets, overseeing the highly successfully importation of Fountaine Pajot Catamarans into Australia. He imported the first Lagoon Catamarans, worked on the interior redesign of the Perry 43, and assisted the growth of Catana in the region.

In his spare time, Mark kayaked over 2500kms to raise money for childhood leukaemia, and sailed more than 10,000nm in various offshore races including the Sydney to Hobart. In between, when the wind dropped, he ducked ashore to get married and have three children.

Patrick Gilot, General Manager

Born in France, Patrick studied and lived in Europe as well as South America and USA, and is subsequently fluent in French,Spanish, English and German.

He started sailing Lasers when he was young in his hometown of Marseilles, then later cruised the Mediterranean on various catamarans. Prestigious catamaran manufacturer Catana recognised his value when he worked as one of the company’s agents in Florida, and soon appointed him as the company’s Export Sales Manager in 2003. In this role, he travelled the world attending boat shows and played an integral role in the launch of the new range, as well as managing after-sales service and brokerage issues.

He then became Catana’s Australian agent, representing the company with his outstanding product knowledge and experience with the international multihull market. His sales skills, technical knowledge, industry experience and multilingual talents strengthen the Multihull Solutions’ team immeasurably.

When he’s not working, Patrick is a volunteer surf life saver at Mooloolaba.

Michael (Nod) Crook, Services Manager

Nod’s been taking things apart and putting them back together from a young age. Fortunately he discovered the engineering industry early, and now brings over twelve years of specialist marine engineering experience to Multihull Solutions. Originally an aircraft engineer in his homeland of England, Nod moved into superyachts, completing two seasons in the Med and US maintaining the spectacular 50m MY Michaela Rose.

Since moving to Australia, he has taken apart and reassembled most of the east coast, commissioning a large variety of imported and domestic production boats. And from a glance at his sailing history, it’s clear he knows what he’s doing – Nod has completed several Atlantic and Pacific Ocean crossings, is an AYF Offshore Yacht Master and sailed on the PHS Division-winning yacht in the 2008 Sydney to Hobart.

An integral member and company shareholder of the Multihull Solutions team, Nod always enjoys helping clients take ownership of their new catamaran, assisting with the initial commissioning, right through to final handover.  He has just taken delivery of his first baby and is already working out how to make him go faster.

Rachel Haynes, Sales & Marketing Consultant

Fortunately for Multihull Solutions, Rachel was on dry land when they were seeking someone to handle their Client Services division. If they’d left it another week or so, she probably would have been out on the water setting a course to some tropical destination. Rachel had just returned to the Sunshine Coast after four years as Sunsail’s reservation consultant on Hamilton Island. During this time, she’d exhausted all of the 74 stunning islands by yacht in her spare time, and had completed some enviable adventures including sailing from Tonga, Greece and Thailand during her annual holidays.

Rachel was born in New Zealand but quickly discovered she was not designed for the cold. Although she moved to Australia as a young child, she gave the land of the long white cloud another shot in her high school years.  No luck.  It wasn’t long before she was back in the balmy temperatures of Queensland, gaining her Competent Crew qualifications and perfecting her beach cricket techniques. Unsurprisingly, when Rachel isn’t assisting clients with their multihull queries, you can find her on the beach with her dog Zulu, out sailing, camping in the great outdoors or bushwalking in one of the Sunshine Coast’s national parks.

Kim McKee, Marketing Manager

Few people would prefer to be working than having fun on the water. Kim McKee figured out early that it might just be possible to have it both ways. Born and bred on the Sunshine Coast, she decided to carve a career out of having a good time. After studying Recreation at Griffith University, she spent a couple of years learning the marketing ropes with a top Queensland firm, then marketing the delights of the Whitsundays to agents and guests.

A chance meeting with Mark Elkington started her illustrious career in the sailing industry, first working aboard a luxury yacht from Hayman Island, before undertaking a six month delivery of a Beneteau 50 from Turkey to Australia. She was then hard-pressed to find people who pitied her during her ten year stint as Sunsail’s Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, traveling all over the world to the company’s extensive range of exotic bases.

Not quite waterlogged, she launched her own marketing business and is widely regarded as the region’s most respected marine marketing consultant. Naturally, Kim’s partner is also a yachty and they work hard at spending as much time as possible aboard their own boat, or exploring amazing international cruising destinations …all in the name of market research, of course.

 

Katie Ritzema, Client Services

Katie Ritzema was born with salt water in her veins. The vivacious Kiwi virtually exhausted the marine qualifications on offer in New Zealand, sailing through an astonishing list of certifications including a Diploma of Marine Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science Degree (Environmental), Day Skipper, R.Y.A. National Power Boat Cert. II, PADI Dive Master, STCW, NZ Boat Master, NZ Restricted Radio Operators License, as well as serving time as a Royal NZ Navy Limited Service Volunteer.

Eager to test her skills in new waters, Katie crossed the Tasman in 2001, spending two years as a snorkelling instructor and lifeguard on the Great Barrier Reef. She then swapped the Coral for the Med, working for two years on Super Yachts and enjoying the spectacular scenery of France toTurkey, Florida and much more. On her return to Australia, Katie worked aboard a catamaran from Port Douglas that took guests sailing and snorkeling.

A stint as a tour guide for an adventure tour company in New Zealand provided plenty of fun, but reminded Katie that she was better suited to the warmer climes. So this led to her relocation to Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast where Katie worked for the marina office before her talents were recognised by Multihull Solutions. Unsurprisingly, when Katie is not out on the water, you can find her near it with her spare time spent at the beach, fishing or just exploring the spectacular region she now calls home.

Suzie Bennett – Administration Manager

Suzie Bennett is a gem of a find for the Multihull Solutions team. Despite years of experience in administration, sales and accounting positions across a range of industries, Suzie is in her element outdoors. Having spent her childhood on the water with her love of powerboats and the beach, Suzie has always been passionate about the outdoors.

She joined the Air Force and enjoyed six exciting years working in Signals and serving overseas before relocating to the Sunshine Coast and operating her own small business. Her incredible work ethic is powered by her leisure pursuits – Suzie has a sapphire mine in Western Queensland that she regularly visits to dig for sapphires 23 feet underground! When she comes up for air, Suzie spends her time cutting gemstones, making jewellery and sailing multihulls with her partner, Chris.

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Ian (Condor) Smith, Delivery Skipper / Client Services

We tried to condense Condor’s biography into a simple paragraph, but it just wouldn’t fit. In fact, it needed its own website. So you’ll have to just trust us when we say this man possesses possibly every marine qualification ever invented.Condor has too many certificates to store in one place, spanning RYA Yachtmaster Ocean to instructor and M.E.D.III (Engineering) right through to qualifications in waterskiing, parasailing and scuba diving.At last count, he has accrued more than 480,000 nautical miles in his marine career.

We think he might actually be a duck – a very musical duck, as Condor is also an accomplished musician and doesn’t need much encouragement when a jam session is in the air. We’ve had a very long association with Condor and are thrilled to finally have him join the Multihull Solutions team full time.

Whether he is repairing and maintaining your boat, delivering or crewing, or helping you develop your boating skills, you can be assured you could not be in more qualified and friendly hands.

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Rossco Clarke, Training and Tuition

Some call him Australia’s best sailing instructor. Others call him the most popular personality to ever carve up the Victorian snow fields. Here at Multihull Solutions, we call him the Silver Fox.  Rossco Clarke’s career reads like the pages of a glossy adventure magazine.

Raised in a small coastal town in Victoria, his family operated a marine services agency and he learnt to sail proficiently on their 47ft yacht. By his teens, he was racing on ocean-going yachts, then lived aboard his own 40ft yacht while studying Masters level training at Maritime College. He tacked to the snow industry, becoming resident manager of a large ski lodge and then team manager of the regional development Ski Team. The ocean lured him back in 1989, where he rose through the ranks of sail training, becoming one of the country’s most accredited instructors. For 16 years, he was responsible for making thousands of Whitsunday visitors fall in love with boats at the Sunsail’s Sailing School.

Now an integral part of Multihull Solutions, Rossco is dedicated to helping clients learn how to make the most of their new boat, his easy nature and patient humour making lifelong friends in the process.

Ant Kovacevic, Sales Consultant – Sunshine Coast

Every successful team needs a good all-rounder, and Multihull Solutions has found that in their new Sunshine Coast-based sales consultant, Ant Kovacevic.

Previously employed as an award-winning sales executive and office manager at Ensign Ship Brokers, Ant also is a highly qualified naval architect.

His knowledge of boats – inside and out – is second to none, and his outstanding sales abilities were acknowledged at the 2012 Top Performance Awards for Most Vessels Sold and Most Vessels Listed.

Ant has travelled the world in his capacity as a naval architect across the spectrum of the marine industry, and is passionate about helping people realise their own dreams to enjoy life on the water.

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Kelvin Gorrie, Sales Consultant (Gold Coast based)

Enriching the team’s multinational constitution, South African-born Kelvin Gorrie has joined the Multihull Solutions with literally oceans of experience.Raised near the sea, Kelvin immersed himself in watersports while completed his studies in Engineering Surveying. Not content with being far from the water, he added to his qualifications with an impressive swag that included YachtMaster, Master V/Med 3/ STCW95 and Dive Master tickets. Having scaled the peaks of engineering and marine studies, Kelvin put his theory into practice by sailing the entire South African Coast and Indian Ocean islands before completing the build of a catamaran.

Pausing to get married to his wife Tiffeny, he then embarked on an envious array of adventures including sailing as delivery skipper across the Atlantic to the Eastern Caribbean, working as a charter catamaran Captain in the British Virgin Islands, captaining two Horizon motoryachts, managing a charter yacht company in the BVIs, overseeing the build of a 70ft MY in Taiwan, and delivering more yachts to the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The couple dropped anchor in New Zealand where they started a family and Kelvin worked for the international company Nautical Structures.

After several years, they crossed the Tasman and settled on the Gold Coast where Kelvin now represents Multihull Solutions, using his remarkable knowledge and experience to help other multihull enthusiasts realise their dreams.

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Charles Robinson, Sales Consultant (Perth, Western Australia Based)

Charles Robinson has a CV that reads more like a Lonely Planet guidebook. Having worked in engineering and sales for the oil and gas drilling supply industry for almost 25 years, Charles has been based in England, South Africa, Dubai, Azerbaijan, Iran and Algeria.

Wherever and whenever possible, he pursued his love of catamaran sailing off the many picturesque coastlines around the world. Considering he spent his infant years bouncing over waves in his parents’ Coot dinghy in Zanzibar and was given a Marine ply Lateen Sail 10’ kit by his father as a seventh birthday present, it was only natural that Charles developed a lifelong passion for sailing. He sailed Mirrors, Enterprises and Bosuns as a sport at school, then moved into Hobie sailing with his wife in Cape Town in the early 90s. The couple continued their love of Hobies when Charles was transferred to Dubai, and they competed in the 2007 World Championships in Fiji with a Dubai team of Masters sailors.

Moving to Perth in 2009, Charles has enjoyed some great sailing although noticed a significant lack of big catamaran sailing and racing on the West coast. He aims to remedy that with his new role at Multihull Solutions, where he intends to convince the west of the numerous benefits of multihulls.

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Keith Logan, Sales Consultant (Sydney Based)

Keith Logan once tried a job that didn’t have anything to do with boats. He trained as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Navy. But all that flying over the water wasn’t half as much fun as being on it.

It’s fair to say that Keith knows boats. Since emigrating from Wales when he was just 13, there’s scarcely been a chapter in his life that hasn’t involved sailing. His passion was ignited after learning to sail sabots in Cronulla. He discovered the secrets to speed while building racing yachts with Doug Brooker Custom Yachts, spent five years at Miller & Whitworth Marine followed by a launch into his own venture with the Shackle Shop Chandlery in Sydney.Not content with making boats just a career, Keith has lived for sailing in his spare time.

He raced Hobie cats in the Australian team for nine years, has amassed 30 years of ocean racing experience aboard yachts ranging from 26-50ft, was helmsman in the dramatic 1998 Sydney to Hobart, has accrued 20,000nm delivering yachts along the east coast of Australia, and spent a year cruising double-handed on an S&S 60′. He also established a commercial 36ft Nacra Cat on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays offering high-speed sailing trips for guests.

Now a valued member of Multihull Solutions, Keith brings a staggering wealth of knowledge and experience to further strengthen the business.

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Steve Larsson, Sales Consultant (Whitsundays Based)

Over the years, West Australian-born Steve Larsson has raced, skied, welded, lectured, trained, built and sold. But it was during a charter holiday in the Whitsundays that he discovered his true calling. Both Steve and his wife Margaret so enjoyed their sailing holiday that they invested in a Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40 catamaran from Multihull Solutions to operate in the Whitsunday bareboat charter industry, closely followed by a second charter investment boat, a Highland 35 Trawler.

Following an eclectic career that include operating a welding fabrication business, selling real estate, TAFE lecturing and mentoring apprentices, Steve and Margaret relocated from Western Australia to the Whitsundays. Happy to be near their boats, Steve managed the maintenance of many charter catamarans. Now the proud owner of a Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41, Steve is the newest member of the Multihull Solutions Sales Team – and also knows a thing or two about the best anchorages in the Whitsundays!

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Anna Wallace, Sales Coordinator

Anna Wallace is proof that children should always listen to their parents.  When a young Anna was afraid of the Sabot that her father had given her in grade one, he ordered her to “get in that boat and sail it, kid.”  So she did, and she never stopped.

Anna progressed from sabots to Wrights, supersabs and 16ft skiffs, and then made it her profession in 1987, working and cooking on yachts in the South Pacific and around the world ever since. She has crossed the Indian Ocean via the Suez to France twice from Brisbane, completed numerous Atlantic crossings, and almost sailed around the world (“just not the bit between Hawaii & Fiji!”).

Anna came ashore to establish a high-end catering business in the Brisbane, but was poached by Multihull Solutions who immediately recognised her exceptional organisational and client services skills.

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Nicola Clarendon, Administration Assistant

While Multihull Solutions is Nicola Clarendon’s first foray into the world of boats, it hasn’t taken her long to learn the ropes.

Nicola’s extensive experience in administration has transferred easily to the marine industry, and she has quickly found her sea legs after building years of impressive credentials including owning her own business, managing trust accounts in a law firm, conveyancing, as well as customer service in the retail sector.

The outgoing and friendly mother of four is now relishing her new role which combines her love of the outdoors with her superb administrative skills.

 

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Australian Office located next to the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, Queensland.

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