Father and daughter on Hanse sailing yacht

A special family story with the Hanse 370

Kirk, Melissa, and Gemma Watson are an exceptional sailing family from Australia. As Kirk is visually impaired, his vision is now just a slight light perception. However, he remained a passionate sailor and competed at nine Sydney to Hobarts and four Sydney to Southport races: “I forget I can’t see when I’m sailing and do it through feel. I can steer a boat, but prefer to be offshore where there’s more space. I don’t fear much.” Also, his wife Melissa became an enthusiastic regatta sailor and is doing a great job at the helm of “Audacious” while Kirk trims the mainsail: “The self-tacking jib of our Hanse 370 has made sailing much easier for us and helps keeping an eye on the child and dog.”

Their six-year-old daughter Gemma has been a member of the family crew since she was only a few weeks old and feels quite at home on the boat. “She even joins our races, though she is mostly busy with the I-pad”, Melissa reports with a smile. Even Kirk’s current guide dog “Tilly” enjoys the sailing trips − preferably by sitting on the bow.

The decision for a Hanse 370 was easy to make for both: “The easy sailing concept immediately convinced us. There was rarely no other yacht sailing with such effortless ease. In combination with the quality of the joinery, she literally had everything we wanted. Our “Audacious” sails wonderful, is fast and has a pleasant motion in the water.” The family is already looking forward to their future journeys and plans further yacht expansions.