From Managing Director to Sailing the High Seas

Laurus' Managing Director, Brian Hood, was selected to join the Admiral in the 2019 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. Finishing 100th overall and 16th in its division, the experience gave Brian a really great insight into the levels of preparation required and the skills necessary to be competitive in and finish the race.

Mind, Body & Soul

Preparing for a Sydney to Hobart requires a preparation of mind, body and soul. It certainly isn’t a race to go into unprepared, and that preparation isn’t something that is done in a couple of days. The physical preparation can take months. Brian notes that you need to be able to cope with not only the physical exertion of taking a yacht over the ocean for days, but there is also the fatigue that you need to cope with – there’s certainly no sleep-ins during the Sydney to Hobart!You also need to learn and understand how the yacht works. From maintenance and preparation through to proficiency in how to use the winch and where the sails need to be, which takes months, if not years of preparation. Brian had limited sailing experience growing up and trained for 9 months leading into the race's 2019 Boxing Day start date.​

How Does it Compare to Corporate Life?

Business and sport do have similar preparation levels, and rely on many of the same skills and factors, although of course, they are used very differently. In sailing and in business, you're up against hundreds (and thousands) of other competitors all hungry to win, knowledge of your role in the team is critical as well as working in a team to combine all your skills and effort, developing strategies and being adaptable enough to change those strategies if your plan is not working. Then of course there is the outside factors that completely change everything – in sailing that may be a wind shift or an unexpected storm while in business it may be legislation changes, or pandemics as we are currently seeing. In sailing and business you need to be consistent, prepared and on top of your game – you can’t rely on luck.

Brian says that the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on the Admiral was one of the best experiences of his life, and has certainly given him a new outlook on which he now brings to Laurus Projects to ensure his team meets and exceeds their own goals and those of their clients.

​Laurus understands the importance of transferrable skills and gaining new experiences for growth, which is something Brian has always driven within the company. In 2016, Laurus sponsored a team who traversed the sub-continent of India in a glorified lawn mover (tuk-tuk) in an effort to get out of the comfort zone and help many impoverished schools along the way. It's this kind of adventure that challenges individuals to be better and bring back the skills and experiences learned along the way to better the teams they return to. Laurus will always be supporting this kind of growth.

Laurus looks forward to being involved in many more of these events in the future. Keep an eye out.