Matt has been sailing since his early teens, his earliest sailing memory is racing back from Geelong following an Australia Day regatta in a typical southerly buster. He began sailing with his Dad on his Columbia 27’, and then a Beneteau First Class 10, racing regularly at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS). He participated in numerous races and regattas on Port Phillip over the coming years, including Sydney 38 and S80 one design regattas.
Ocean racing was always something that Matt wanted to do and was fortunate enough to be given his first taste, aged 19, with the Farr 40 IOR Midnight Rambler in the 2003 Sydney to Hobart. The next 2 years’ Hobart races were with Addition (Inglis 39). Other offshore events run by the ORCV out of Melbourne, including the Stanley, Port Fairy, King Island, Launceston and Hobart races gave Matt many miles and increased experience of the challenges of ocean sailing.
In 2009, he began sailing with Jazz Player, at that time out of RMYS. That was when he met Andrew and Matt Lawrence. Andrew campaigned the 2009 Melbourne to Hobart (west coast) taking an impressive Line Honours and first on. The following year, they were an unfortunate first retiree in the Sydney to Hobart. While the return journey was a sombre affair, Matt and Matt began talking of 2-handed sailing and their shared ambition to participate in the Melbourne to Osaka race.
Having raced inshore 2 handed for a few seasons, their first offshore race was the 2014 ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu race. The only 2-handed entrant to complete the race, their elapsed time of 10d 7h 47m 49s put them in 2nd place for line honours, 1st PHS & AMS and 2nd IRC.
Matt has sailed 20,000 nautical miles offshore since his first “Hobart” in 2003, including in more recent times the Sydney to Southport, Brisbane to Great Keppel and Gladstone races.
He was the Club Captain at RMYS from 2012-2014 and is currently on the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta committee, where he has delivered in 2015-16 the “Foredeck 101” and “Foredeck 201” lectures including the now famous “kite pack challenge”.
When not sailing, which isn’t often, Matt works in Procurement, currently at DuluxGroup. He is also an occasional musician, having played drums at weddings for much of the past 10 years.
He and his partner are expecting their first child in March 2017; fortunately, due early in that month so that Matt will be on dry land for the 1st birthday before the Melbourne to Osaka race begins on 25 March 2018.