Designs shaped by weekends spent on the water

 

When we aren't designing or crafting something for use on the water, we're spending time on and in it. Our team have sailed, windsurfed, and kite-surfed in Australian and international waters for a collective of over 70 years.

With such a passion for the water we are proud to be one of the few sail lofts still manufacturing in Australia. Choosing an Avalon sail means supporting the local community and keeping Australians employed. That’s something to feel good about!

 
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Meet the team


 
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Phil 'Bugs' Smith
Owner / Designer

With over 45 years experience creating yacht, windsurfing and shade sails, Phil's first love will forever be sailing and sail design. He began racing Manly Juniors , Flying Ants, 470 through to skiff classes. At some point during all this he was lured into the emerging sport of windsurfing in the early 80’s and spent time in Maui, Hawaii, designing windsurf sails for international companies as well as running his own sail loft in New Zealand.

Moving to WA in 1995 in search of consistent sea breezes, Phil and wife Belinda set up the Mandurah sail loft of Avalon Sail Co., and continue to design and produce performance sails. Phil has been heavily involved in the WA Offshore racing scene, as well as racing dinghies and he has won the Soling State Titles 3 years running. More recently he has been racing Open Catamarans on the East Coast.

Phil's current passion is sailing Foiling Moths, and designing and making the sails for these awesome craft. The Moth development class offers some incredibly exciting sailing and pushes the design boundaries of boat and sail. Check out our blog for Phil's latest development on designing the BUGS CAM for the foiling Moth.

A slave to perfection, Phil leads his team in producing sails for all boats of the highest quality and the best competitive edge.

 

Dave 'Bono' Bowness
Senior Sailmaker

Dave has spent most of his life on the water with experience on all types of boats from dinghies to ocean racers. At sea he has crewed in many 'Sydney to Hobarts' and other ocean races, and in the sail loft he is renowned for being a power worker.

With an eye for detail and excellent traditional sailmaking skills, Dave can craft pretty much anything which has led him to oversee all sails and covers in our sail loft. Dave may be a man of few words, but his work speaks volumes as he completes sails and repairs promptly and to the highest quality standard.

 

Belinda Willis-Smith
General Manager

As a passionate ocean lover and traveller, sailing was an obvious choice for Belinda. In her role as General Manager, Belinda brings fresh ideas to the company and ensures everything is always ship-shape. Belinda is dedicated to buying local and supporting Australian Made products - ask her about how this philosophy has shaped Avalon Sail Co. The combination of her community spirit and business mind means she is also a big supporter of keeping local people employed.

 

Maxine van Peer
Admin and Operations Manager

Maxine is a keen windsurfer turned (even keener) kitesurfer. In addition to being the go-to person for all enquiries about shade sails and installations, she is also the local expert in wind and wave conditions. When calling the office, we're confident Maxine can handle any enquiry with her multifaceted skill set and helpful nature. Maxine has years of sailmaking experience under her belt, is a qualified and experienced draftsperson, accomplished sewing machinist and knows accessories, covers and sails like the back of her hand.

 

Matt Steele
Sail Maker - Geraldton

Matt is obsessed with sailing like no-one else. He has an extensive history of has a historyof involvement  in the Volvo ocean campaigns, America’s Cups and Sydney to Hobart’s. While our main office is based in Mandurah, Matt looks after the those in need of sails up in Geraldton WA. Practical and full of good advice, Matt will measure for new sails, organise repairs and help you get the best from your boat.

 

Juno
Black Labrador and Sail Loft Supervisor

Juno is a valuable member of the team who oversees the sailmakers to ensure only the highest quality leaves the loft.  She sniffs out high-calibre Australian-made sailing products and lunch time scraps. Juno is always tail-wagging-happy and asks for nothing more than two biscuits at morning tea time and a swim in the ocean at the end of the day.

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Would you like some sail advice?
Give the team a call or flick us an email:

(08) 9581 9788   |   office@avalonsails.com.au