North Sails LOFT NEWS
Story Contributors: Katie Spithill
WHO WE ARE: KATIE SPITHILL
Get to Know North Sails Sydney’s New Office Manager Katie
How long have you been sailing and what classes do you compete in?
I was born into a sailing family, living in Elvina Bay on Pittwater in NSW, so with boat access only I was sailing from about 5 years old. I started out in the traditional centreboard classes of Manly Junior, Flying 11, 420 and then onto the 29er. I then joined the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Youth Development Program and went on to have a strong Match Racing career as part of the Australian Women’s Match Racing Team. I was then introduced to offshore yacht racing, One Design racing and later multihulls alongside my now husband. The fastest boat I have raced on so far has to be the Orma 60 Trimaran ‘Team Australia‘.
What boats/classes do you sail?
Currently I race an F16 Viper with my husband, as well as MC38’s and onboard the superyacht SW98, Ammonite. In my spare time I love to get out Wing Foiling, or squeezing back into the Manly Junior with my kids.
What got you into the marine industry?
I was destined to work in, around or near boats! When I finished school I started a traineeship with Australian Sailing (the national sailing body for Australia), before moving on to work for Harken, then Royal Prince Alfred Yacht and now, North Sails Australia.
What’s your favourite thing about sailing?
My favourite thing about sailing would have to be the diversity of age and gender across the sport, and the inclusive community that comes with it. While traveling the world for events, I have met lifelong friends in many countries. I also love the fact that I can race on the weekends with both my children and my parents.
What are you most looking forward to with joining North Sails?
I am excited for the opportunity to learn more about the science and design of sails. As well as meeting more fantastic people in the sailing community.
What would you say is your career highlight?
My career highlight is a tough one, but there are a few that are at the top of my favourites list.
1) Winning Match Cup Sweden which was a Women’s Grade 1 Event
2) Reaching World #2 Ranking on the Women’s Match Racing Circuit
3) Steering an Extreme 40 as part of the Extreme Sailing Series
4) Placing 2nd overall in the 2019 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race onboard Wild Oats X as part of the all female Ocean Respect Racing Team.
Anything else about you?
I have two kids who are currently four and nine years old, and we spend most waking moments when not at kindy, school or work, either on, around, or in the water and enjoying the beautiful waterways we are lucky enough to live near!