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Story Contributors: Nick Beaudoin

LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF

13X Sydney Hobart Sailor, Nick Beaudoin Reflects On How He Became A “Great Race” Veteran

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 Younger Nick,

I’m writing to you on the eve of my 14th Sydney to Hobart. This year (in 2021) I’m sailing in the 76th Sydney to Hobart on board the boat JV62 “Whisper.” I’m going to be short and simple with my advice to you, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy advice to follow. Here we go: nothing happens overnight. Be patient. Keep at it.

I know! If only it was that easy but trust me on this one; having patience and trusting that it will happen will get you further than you can imagine. How far you’re wondering? Well, what if I told you that one day you’d be racing in the Sydney to Hobart regularly. And, not just sailing “The Great Race” on your average boat either, but winning it on a 100’ Super Maxi.

How does a boy from Canada, sailing on the Detroit River with his dad, get all the way to Australia and then go on to win the Sydney to Hobart? Well, I wish I could say it would be smooth sailing (no pun intended) but it won’t be an easy path, in the end though, the goal was met (and then surpassed). The journey all starts in 2006 when you move from Canada to Sydney to do “The Great Race” – your big sailing goal at the time. Later that year you’ll begin working for the world’s best sail maker, North Sails.

One of the most important things that I have learned over the years, especially in offshore sailing, is that a solid work ethic and dependability will carry you through. Over the years, I’ve created a motto to live by: “do the thing you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it.”  Whether it is in your working career or your sailing career, stay true to this motto.  

A bit of words from the wise, young Nick… the Sydney to Hobart is the biggest race on the sailing calendar in Australia. You talk about and prepare for it all year. If you are not looking forward, you are always reminiscing about the race. That said, the Sydney to Hobart is definitely “type 2 fun.”  Meaning, it is not fun while you are doing it, but it is fun to talk about when it’s over. It’s a character builder.

I do have to thank Micheal Coxon, the former Managing Director of North Sails Australia for giving me many opportunities over the years. Micheal hired me, sponsored my Visa to stay in Australia and put me on the right boats to build a career on. Without him and his support over the years, I would not have had the experiences that I have had. For that, I am grateful to have a mentor like him.

Best of luck over the years, keep your head up, sail safe and don’t forget to share your love for sailing,

Story Contributors

Letter to My Younger Self: Nick Beaudoin headshot
Nick Beaudoin

Sail Expert, Service Manager — Sydney, Australia

Nick has been with North Sails since 2006 after moving to Sydney from Canada.  He grew up sailing on the North Americas Great Lakes on everything from Lasers to Farr 40’s.  After graduating from University Nick went straight into a sail making...

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