FLAT EARTH KAYAK SAILS (Australia) - Nominee for the 2017 Industry Professional Award
Flat Earth Kayak Sail’s incredible success with their simple, yet ingenious kayak sails, took a unique and longstanding aspect of Australian sea kayak culture and took it to the world. It is no understatement to say that it is the Flat Earth Sail that globalised sea kayak sailing, all the way from Mick MacRobb’s humble loft workshop, in a small country town in Australia.
It wasn’t just the technical ingenuity of their products that drove their success either. It’s the company’s ability to relate to paddlers on a personal level and to collaborate with them, that has impressed paddlers across the globe. To give an idea of the wide reach of Flat Earth Kayak Sail’s into the world of sea kayaking, this list shows how extraordinarily successful their sail designs have been. Each one of these expedition paddlers embraced Flat Earth Kayak Sails as a vital piece of equipment in ensuring the success of their expedition:
- 2011-2016 – 23000km Retracing Oskar Speck Expedition – Sandy Robson, Including 4 World Records – First Person to Circumnavigate Sri Lanka by Kayak, First Woman to Paddle the coast of Bangladesh, First Woman to Paddle the Coast of Papua New Guinea, First Woman to Paddle the coast of India.
- 2016 – First Ever Greenland to Scotland Expedition – Olly Hicks & George Bullard
- 2014 – First Aleutian Island Chain Traverse across the Bering Sea – Justine Curgenven & Sarah Outen
- 2011 – Circumnavigation of Australia – Stuart Trueman
In addition to being used for these famous expeditions, Flat Earth Kayak Sails have also been used in many other instances including:
- The Water Tribe Extreme Open Event in the US have included a racing class based entirely around the specifications of Flat Earth’s 0.8m Sail.
- In 2017 The first Flat Earth Kayak Sails were fitted to kayaks in the Sea Kayak Owners Club of Indonesia.
- In 2017 A kayaker in India began testing Flat Earth Sails on his sit-on-top kayak fleet in his eco-tourism business in Tamil Nadu.
- In 2012, in collaboration with Sandy Robson, Flat Earth Kayak Sails made it onto Folding Kayaks for the first time. The designer Mick MacRobb, came up with a concept of a fiberglass fitted deckplate that could be lashed to the deck of a folding kayak and hold the sail deck fitting to which the mast is secured. Sandy took the first prototype with her to Germany and a folding kayak shop loved it so much, that they started importing Flat Earth Sails to Europe to fit on all of their folding kayak models. (Folding kayaks are exceptionally popular in Europe).
Renowned sea kayak coach Rob Mercer swears by this brand. “For over a decade, Flat Earth Kayak Sails patiently refined and improved every aspect of their design, responding to input from the paddling community and surprising everyone with simple elegant solutions. Under the steady hand of their designer, the sails became ever easier to use, yet more efficient, offering less set up time, less tangles and more speed from simple rigs. I have felt the hull humming as wave after wave slides effortlessly under me, with the salt spray stinging my face. I have seen the equalizing effect of these sails in helping to keep groups together and lightening heavy loads on long sea days. As always, I look forward eagerly to my next adventure, and that moment when the sail snaps taut and the boat accelerates.”
Flat Earth Kayak Sails continues today, to manufacture and distribute the wonderful sails developed by Mick MacRobb. For their excellence in their field they are deserving nominees for the Industry Professional award.
Photo: Sandy Robson celebrates her World Record circumnavigation of Sri Lanka by kayak. This is the first folding kayak to be fitted with a Flat Earth Kayak Sail by lashing on a custom fiberglass deck-plate.
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