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Story Contributors: Kyle Dodds

LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF

Kyle Dodds – Fostering The Need To Push Himself To The Next Level

The sailors and designers in the world of North Sails are some of the most inspiring people on the water, and we’re hoping to share more of their story with you. “Letter to my younger self” is a series told from our North Sails ambassadors. In each article we bring to life their advice and personal journeys centered around the question: if your “now-self” could give your “younger self” advice, what would it be?

Dear 12-Year-Old Kyle,

I’m going to let you in on a secret because I know you’re wondering; ‘what’s next?’ 

In a few years you’re going to be a sailor. And not just your average sailor, but a professional sailmaker for the best sailmaking brand in the world, North Sails. Then one day, you’ll be racing in the Sydney to Hobart—not once, but the 2021 race will be your SIXTH race.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “adult Kyle, you live in the country, in Western Australia, and your family doesn’t even own a boat—let alone know how to sail.” This is true, however that doesn’t matter right now. What does matter is your work ethic. Both your grandfathers have a lot to teach you—after all, you don’t just move out from the UK to Australia on a whim. Both men were very respected with a great work ethic. Let that help you to keep going forward and be a better person.

Try to be a better version of yourself every day. Whether it’s personal or in the sport of sailing or in your career, always strive to get better. Your good work ethic and willingness will come naturally for you, and it will prove to be a valuable asset in the long run. You’re already seeing it now but keep fostering your need to push yourself to the next level, to learn and develop yourself and your skillset. Your thirst to keep doing better will be essential in the Sydney to Hobart (especially when training). Your days on the football pitch will lay the groundwork for becoming a team player. 

The term ‘ubuntu’ is a good motto to live by, especially in these long races like the Sydney to Hobart. This is the South African word for ‘I am because we are.’ 

Take this with you. Work as a team and identify people’s strengths and weaknesses—make sure you have people in the right places to get the best from them.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Sydney to Hobart is not an easy race. As you know, you can never be over-prepared. There’s always something more you can do to get yourself or the boat ready. To succeed in “The Great Race,” you’re going to need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Move beyond your comfort zone and surround yourself with people that have more knowledge than you. Your football coach will instill a mindset that will eventually prove to be invaluable. He will push you to work smarter, and train. It’s gritty but it will help you get the best out of yourself. Your reward will be incredible adventures.

One last thing, in 2021 you’ll be chomping at the bit to start the race. I can’t go into why, but 2020’s race will be canceled. Stay focused. You’ll be sailing onboard the TP52, Gweilo, and things are looking good for the team. Even though there will be a lot of other boats in the fleet who are also pumped, just keep putting in the hard work.

Good luck and sail smart,

P.S. Definitely move to Sydney—you’ll thank me later.

Kyle Sailing

Story Contributors

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Kyle Dodds

Sail Expert, One Design Expert, Sales/Service Technician, Sales/Service Technician, Senior Sailmaker, Service Sailmaker — Sydney, Australia

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