Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent Virtual Ocean Talk. If you'd like to rewatch the talk, or if you were unable to make it on the night, here's a recorded version for you to enjoy.
Leslie Valmadre is the Perth based director of Oakridge Communications, and his pastime is sailing, which has been a major part of his life. In the early 70s, he was crew on Southern Cross, Alan Bond’s challenger for the 1974 America’s Cup with the pre-race training in a stable of three International 12-metres class yachts. Leslie lived in the US for fourteen years and sailed many of the major North American races while also owning and operating a marina and boat yard on the Great Lakes. These days he retains a strong connection with all the 12-metre sailors from all the Australian challengers. He also has a rare gem of his own, a William Fife designed Restricted 21-Foot Class yacht he has restored to immaculate condition. It’s the only surviving one of the two WA 21s ever built, and Leslie is passionate about its story and its many adventures in WA since its launch in 1924.
Colin Grazules can put his hand to all manner of things yachting and boating, from the practical side of vessel building, repairs and maintenance, through to maritime history and research, and not to forget – just going sailing and enjoying the rewards of all the hard work. He is the custodian of two 'Chips' Gronfors Boats, but one of his best moments has probably been when he was able to show that the legendary 'Chips' was the foreman who built Tassie and Tassie Too, the Restricted 21s that established Tasmania’s credentials as a force in national yachting. A proud member of the 'Friends of Tassie Too' team who now manage the yacht in Hobart, he is vitally involved in all aspects of its story, care and sailing program.
Nicole Mays is a Tasmanian born author currently living with her family in Adelaide. In a short period of time she has become recognised as a preeminent maritime history researcher and author. Her first book was the story of her great-great-great grandfather, Jacob Bayly Chandler, a Battery Point boat builder from 1847 to 1901. She has since followed on with two extensive histories of Hobart’s Battery Point waterfront, Spirited, Skilled and Determined: the Boat and Ship Builders of Battery Point (1835 – 1935) and Industrious, Innovative, Altruistic: The 20th Century Boat Builders of Battery Point. In addition, Nicole was a co-author of Blood, Sweat and the Sea, the biography of John Muir and his maritime winch, anchoring and mooring systems manufacturing company.
Having spent two decades employed as a scientist, including many years working in Washington DC, Nicole has recently taken up full time maritime history research and writing, as well as design and type setting work. Her attention is currently focussed on the 21s, with a detailed book in preparation about this class and its extraordinary national history due to be released later this year. She is also a member of the 'Friends of Tassie Too' organisation, which successfully brought Tassie Too back home to Hobart in 2017.
David Payne, ANMM Curator - Historic Vessels, Environment & Communities