Multihull Australia 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.
Now leading the Multihull Australia team, 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, Brokerage & Business Development 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, Service 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 now taken delivery of his three children and is already working out how to make them go faster.
Rachel Crook, Marketing Manager
Born in New Zealand, Rachel quickly discovered she was not designed for the cold. She moved to Australia as a child and developed a love of the outdoors which now manifests itself in regular sessions of netball, touch football, mountain biking, yoga, surfing, camping, and of course, boating.
Before moving to the Sunshine Coast, Rachel spent four years as Sunsail’s reservation consultant on Hamilton Island, exhausting all of the 74 stunning islands by yacht and also sailed from Tonga, Greece and Thailand during her holidays.
She oversaw Multihull Solutions’ Client Services division for two years, before becoming a part of the Sales and Marketing team, running the company’s major events and managing boat listings. She has since appointed Marketing Manager and is now successfully implementing the knowledge she has accrued from her Bachelor of Business (Marketing) degree. With a comprehensive knowledge of Multihull Solutions’ entire operations and possessing over ten years of experience in the marine industry, Rachel is a dynamic and invaluable member of the team.
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.
Anna Wallace, PA to Mark Elkington | Client Relations
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.
Wayne Dickenson, Chief Financial Officer
Understanding why Multihull Solutions chose Wayne Dickenson as their new Chief Financial Officer is simply all about numbers. Born and bred in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, Wayne ticked the important first box with his love of the outdoors, having represented his school, district, and Country NSW in School rugby. He graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Business/ Accountancy degree and started out in the auto industry, rapidly working his way up the ladder to GM for a major Bathurst dealership.
Wayne also satisfied the obligatory ‘world experience’ criteria, having travelled through Europe, Russia, India and Nepal in his faithful VW Combi. He moved to the Sunshine Coast with his wife Monique and two children, operated his own finance business for five years, worked at Sunstate Motorcycles as Financial Controller for six years, owned several motorbikes which he uses to explore the region, and now spends a vast portion of his weekend ferrying kids to sporting commitments.
After finding leftover time to go camping or renovate their house, Wayne returns to his waterfront office where he has rapidly become the number one asset for Multihull Solutions!
Vanessa Stewart, Accounts Manager
Many people don’t develop a real work ethic until after they’ve backpacked in Asia, downed pints in an Irish pub, sponged a car deposit off their parents, and then tried and quit several jobs because “they’re still trying to find themselves”. While these people were nursing hangovers and wondering how they were going to pay that week’s rent, Vanessa Stewart was carving a career before she had finished school.
This dynamo was only 14 when she started a school-based traineeship at Pacific Ford on the Sunshine Coast, completing Business Management Certificates 2 and 3 in the process. Vanessa’s commitment and drive led to Pacific Ford offering her a full-time administration job after high school graduation. She spent almost seven years with company, during which time she also had her first child with husband Chris and had bought and cleared a block of land, then built their first home in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. (At this stage, it should be noted that Vanessa was not yet 22!)
Shifting gears, Vanessa moved to the Finance department at Sunstate Motorcycles where she spent a further nine years, until Multihull Solutions heard about her legendary skills and persuaded her to join the team. Now with two daughters, Vanessa has settled into our company wasting no time transforming our systems, improving our efficiency, and making us all feel rather tired just watching her!
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.
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.
Phil Day, Sales Consultant (Brisbane, Queensland based)
When Phil Day finished up at his most recent position, we snatched him off the street, threw him in the back of a van and drove him under the cover of darkness to his new Multihull Solutions office. We didn’t want to lose the chance to have Phil work with us considering his remarkable experience and skills in the multihull industry.
Sailing is in Phil’s blood having grown up messing around on a Heron dinghy on Melbourne’s Albert Park Lake, then building his own Pacer in his teens, followed by a 27’ cruising Wharram catamaran. Over the past 30 years, Phil has owned more than ten multihulls, ranging from small trailer tris to cruising cats and flat-out racing machines. He still loves to dabble in boat building using both traditional methods and latest high-tech composites and loves to work on engines, rebuild masts or wire & set up electronic components.
Phil also has a slight competitive streak and has taken out wins in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, Australian Multihull National Championships, Kings Cup (Thailand) and Surf to City sailing both catamarans and trimarans. But his real love is the cruising where he has met up with many likeminded multihull owners over the years. His current boat is the well-known Rhythmic, an 11m Pescott Whitehaven catamaran.
Phil has been selling multihulls in Australia since 1997 when catamarans were considered strange vessels owned only by kaftan-wearing free spirits. He has a breathtaking knowledge of the multihull industry and the multitude of designs now available. He just loves talking boats and is always available for a friendly chat to assist with selling your boat successfully or giving a helping hand and advice to newcomers to the multihull scene.
Marcus Ashley-Jones, Sales Manager NSW (Sydney, NSW based)
It’s been said that the supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play, and that’s exactly what Marcus Ashley-Jones has managed to do.
Our new Sydney Sales Manager has built a career out of his passion for sailing having accrued an impressive list of achievements on the water, including competing in the Volvo Ocean race, Extreme sailing series, racing 18-foot skiffs and participating in 15 Sydney to Hobart regattas, most recently aboard the super maxi Scallywag 100.
When he has not been facing down the ocean’s challenges, he has worked in professional sailing and race yacht management as well as project managing a variety of yacht builds. Marcus has also developed extensive marine industry experience as the importer and distributor for SLAM, manager of Handy Crew and in yacht sales for many of the world’s biggest nautical brands, including Vicsail, Lagoon, Swan, Sunreef and Heliotrope.
It’s hard to imagine him finding time to do anything else, but Marcus also enjoys yoga and skiing when he is not cruising aboard his 37’ catamaran!
Don Macintosh, Sales Consultant (Sydney, New South Wales based)
Don Macintosh saw his first multihull at the Earls Court Boat show in London; he fell in love with a Prout catamaran on display and vowed he would one day own a cat. While he always had a passion for sailing, it wasn’t until he moved to Australia in 1987 that the began turning his dream into a reality. He juxtaposed his love of the sea with a career in IT running his own successful IT services company in North Sydney until 2011, which instilled in him an ethos of delivering outstanding client service and exceeding expectations.
Finally in 1998, 26 years after seeing the Prout, Don bought his first catamaran. Onboard Windswept, a 40ft Crowther round-Australian race competitor, Don racked up thousands of offshore miles over the years as he cruised and raced in events including the Brisbane to Gladstone.
He also crewed on the famous 56ft catamaran Raw Nerve setting the race record in just over 18 hours (only recently broken by the 60ft Orma trimaran Team Australia), and also setting the Sydney to Lord Howe world speed record (still current). Don was so impressed with this speed machine that he purchased Raw Nerve and renamed her Windswept 2, refitting the cat as a “moderately quick” bluewater cruiser on which he and his wife hope to sail the South Pacific in the future. Amid all this, Don also accrued an ocean of yachting accreditations including Master 5 and MED 3 certification.
Ian Jones, Sales Consultant (Sydney, New South Wales based)
Ian Jones may well have found the secret to a balanced modern life having developed an affinity with both the beauty and power of nature and the machinations of engineering and computer intelligence. Growing up in the UK where he and his brother sailed their British Moth, Ian studied mechanical engineering before working as a design engineer for a major UK armaments company.
He travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East while participating in volunteer work before heading south to New Zealand where he resumed further studies while working as an industrial engineer and computer intelligence consultant, getting plenty of sailing time on the water in between.
While in New Zealand, he also married and raised two sons while setting up his own software company which he then transferred to Australia in 1986. For the past 30 years, Ian has held corporate positions with Sigma Data, Digital Equipment & Pitney Bowes plus private ownership of Frontline Systems, an IT and software company. More recently, he has worked in companies involved with Robotic automation and Aids to Navigation plus has developed an interest in his family’s eco accommodation business.
His passion for sailing was cemented on Sydney Harbour while participating in the CYCA and RPYC offshore club racing scene, and he is now looking forward to being part of the Multihull Solutions team and helping further build the company with his experience and skills.
Gordon & Louise Coates, Multihull Owners | Ambassadors (Sydney, New South Wales based)
Gordon and Louise Coates really like multihulls. In fact, they like them so much they have become ambassadors for Multihull Solutions!
The couple have been avid multihull enthusiasts for many years, after both growing up sailing and then racing dinghies when they first met. Gordon spent most of his adult life in the air, first working as an apprentice aircraft maintenance engineer with Qantas before advancing to become a Captain on the Airbus A380. After 42 years with the airline, he handed in his wings to pursue his passion on the water. Louise has worked part time as an optical dispenser whilst she and Gordon raised three daughters.
The couple bought their first Fountaine Pajot catamaran, an Orana 44, in 2006, and have since visited the Fountaine Pajot factory in France three times. On Gordon’s retirement, the Orana 44 was sold in order for them to purchase a new Fountaine Pajot Helia 44, and for the next few years they sailed throughout the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Caribbean, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and onto the east coast of the USA.
Due to family commitments, their cruising life dream has had to be put on hold. In the meantime, they will be fulfilling the role as ambassadors with Multihull Solutions in Sydney.
Contact our Australia team
Multihull Solutions Australia:
33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba Queensland, 4557, AUSTRALIA
Toll Free: 1300 855 338
P: +61 (0) 7 5452 5164
M: +61 (0) 401 045 228
F: +61 (0) 7 5444 3792
Marine Precinct, 1 Boat Works Drive, Coomera, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4209, AUSTRALIA
Toll Free: 1300 855 338
P: +61 (0) 7 5665 9148
All other states:
Toll Free: 1300 855 338