Geoffrey Askew

Member Spotlight – Geoffrey Askew AM

What year did you join the CYCA? 1996

What is your favourite CYCA memory?

Competing in the 52nd Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 2000 in the smallest yacht in the fleet. It was the 8.9m Hicks 30 Urban Gorilla skippered by Chris Bowling. There were 82 starters and thankfully we were one of the 58 yachts that finished the race. After a hair raising trip across Bass Strait and then 16 hours of going nowhere off the East coast of Tasmania, we arrive into Hobart late morning on New Year’s Day. Much to the disgust of one fellow crew member who had a girlfriend waiting for him at Constitution Dock to celebrate New year’s eve together.  Late we were, however, I am pleased to say we were not last.

What is your proudest achievement out on the water?

It is difficult to separate family from career achievements, however, being appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) on Australia Day 2010 was definitely humbling and a career highlight. 

I was awarded the honour for, “Service to the aviation industry through contributions to security policy and the development of improved crisis management programs”

What bucket list sailing event would you still like to enter/attend?

My wife was born in Canada and I enjoy the hospitality of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (RVYC) whenever I am in that city transiting to visit her parents in Summerland in Southern BC, 400 kilometres east of Vancouver.  Unfortunately, to date I have not been able to sail in any long races. There is apparently a long offshore race from the RVYC in English Bay out through the Burrard Inlet and South along the US /Canada border, through the Haro Strait and the Salish Sea (between Vancouver Island and Washington State), then North along the British Columbia coast, around the Moresby and Graham Islands off the Central Coast of British Columbia and then back to the RVYC in Vancouver.  It is a lovely country and wonderful water in that part of the world which would no doubt be extremely challenging but exciting too.  One day perhaps!  However, the most realistic event on my Bucket List that I would like to attend in the near future is an America’s Cup regatta.

What do you think is the best thing about the CYCA?

Since becoming a member in 1996 I have witness the CYCA grow and establish itself as one of the great sailing clubs in the country.  I remember the time during the Sydney Olympics at the club with particular fondness. The CYCA not only provides sailing management and associated activities, but it provides a casual social environment for members and guest.  It does a fantastic job of providing opportunities for sailors of all ages to participate and enjoy the sport.  Its location is second to none and the recent renovations to the club house provide wonderful facilities to be enjoyed by members and guests alike.

What is your favourite sailing movie/book and why?

Like Stephen Ainsworth, I really enjoyed the Hornblower series of novels which consisted of eleven books and was subsequently made into a television series. Yes, it was fictional however it was based on significant research on the past practices of the Royal Navy and demonstrated in detail some of the challenges that the sailors of the day endured.   I have always enjoyed reading Rob Mundle’s books as well.

What do you do when you are not sailing?

I have my own management and business consulting company (askew & associates) specialising in resilience and risk management which fortunately keeps me busy. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and grandson, gardening , the AFL and spending time in the country.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I grew up in Hobart Tasmania where I learnt to sail a Mirror dinghy and Rainbow class yachts on the Derwent River. I can remember vividly questioning myself in the middle of winter if the shivers were worth the rewards. Thankfully I persevered and the resilience that was instilled in me as a young sailor has served me well in my life ever since – not just in sailing and in other sports but also in life in general. 

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