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Dane Kearney

Dane, from the Gold Coast of Australia, was a regular sailor from an early age. He had finished school, gained entry to university and decided to defer his studies and plan a gap year.

Dane describes his plan: I had two options. One was to work in a boarding school in England for a year and the other was to train with Flying Fish and try to get a job overseas, maybe in the Mediterranean, teaching sailing.

The obvious choice

For me it was a pretty straightforward decision. Flying Fish in Sydney was the obvious choice as it was the only place in Australia that could offer me the full RYA qualification which I knew I would need to get a job in Europe.

I signed on to the Dinghy Sail Instructor Fast-track in Sydney, learnt a lot and had some great sailing.

How to speak to a group

I was training with all types of sailors from complete beginners to people that were more experienced than me and It taught me a lot, especially in the teaching side of things. I learnt how to pass my skills on to all levels of sailing experience and also how to speak to a group which is something that I couldn't do very confidently before.

Nice southerly winds

The sailing was a lot of fun, based in Middle Harbour in Sydney, where we were welcomed with some nice southerly winds of up to 20 knots. This was ideal for the asymmetric dinghies and taught us a lot about sailing.

One of the highlights was learning how to run a day trip sailing all the way to a beach off Shark Island. Not only was this area beautiful but it was also on the race track for the 18ft skiffs, which was definitey exciting.

After the course I just needed a job.

Help finding a job

got heaps of help finding a job, with contacts off the website and advice from my instructor Ben. I landed myself a job in Greece with a company called Wildwind. This was very exciting as the company is based in Vassiliki right next door to the Flying Fish base in Greece. After hearing about Wildwind's high performance boats and the promise of winds of over 20 knots most afternoons I couldn't wait to pack my bags and get over there.

And was it worth it?

I had so much fun and learnt so much in the season working with Wildwiind. It was my first time visiting Europe and I wasn't disappointed. It was fantastic. The people I was working with were all great people and are all now great friends.

I used a lot of the skills I learnt at Flying Fish and couldn't imagine working there without doing the course. I feel that I learnt a lot more than I would have learnt starting university straight after school.

Pommie accent!

I came back a "mature person with a slight pommie accent" according to my mum!

So what next for Dane?

He was invited to do six months at Wildwind in Greece the following season and also to do some freelance work for Flying Fish during the summer in Australia. So it looks like he is facing the endless summer for the next couple of years but hey - Dane is not complaining.


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