Moody 45DS Sews Up Airlie

Heather, owner and skipper of the Moody 45DS La Quilta which won Airlie Race week this year talks about the unlikely combination of sewing and sailing.

“The story of my Moody goes back quite a while. When I was in my 20’s I had a dream to sail around the world and I decided a Moody would be the best boat to do it in and the boatyard at Southampton was very helpful and even though this adventure did not eventuate at the time, I remained faithful to Moody as my yacht of choice.

I learnt to sail on Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands and went on to sail Australian Light Sharpies at University competing in Women’s sailing Intervarsity’s all over Australia. I then travelled to the UK and lived and worked on the Isle of Wight where I sailed and raced yachts and dinghies and became a RYA Senior Sailing Instructor until returning to Australia in 2005 to care for my parents.

During this time I was unable to do much sailing other than helping with sail training at the local sailing clubs in Far North Queensland although I was one of the instigators of importing the RS Feva (a sailing dinghy now being used for school teams racing in several states).

To occupy my home time I took up and got hooked on Patchwork and Quilting and when the opportunity came to buy a boat I looked for a way to combine all my passions – sailing, Patchwork and Quilting and teaching sailing – the Moody 45DS is ideal. Enough room for 10 women (occasional blokes!!!) for “racing” in WAGS off Airlie Beach, plenty of space for a couple of sewing machines in the saloon / cockpit when cruising around the Whitsunday Islands with a group of Chat & Patch ladies and no one has to be down in the galley away from the action just to pour the drinks…

Hence the name La Quilta…The wheel covers and sailing bag came from Ullman Sails here in Airlie. I made the Marina’s Compass (patchwork block) for the wheel covers from scraps from the sail loft and then the boys designed the boom bag and made the covers up.

A sailing friend Mickey Ink from Cairns did the hull graphics all based on the Patchwork and Quilting theme.

Know anyone interested in doing patchwork Cruises around the Whitsundays???

As a side, last year I also got to “sail around the world” when I crewed on a colleague’s boat from the UK to do the Transatlantic ARC+ and the World Arc to Mackay.

A great adventure for 12 months while a very good friend Belinda Cooper continued to sail La Quilta in Cairns and Port Douglas every weekend while I was away. She won the Cruising non spinnaker division of the Clipper Cup out of Port Douglas. She and I joint skippered La Quilta to our win here in Airlie Race Week this year.”

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