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PaperCut co-founder wins sailing World Championship

Dinghies with sails glide across the open seas off the coast of Western Australia. The surface of the water hides the white-pointer sharks that silently menace below. This sounds like a dangerous pastime reserved only for daredevils with a death wish. (We can’t help but think of the Jaws movie, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”).

But what has all that got to do with PaperCut?

Tasar Start Line

If you’re following us on Twitter, you’ll already know that our CEO Chris Dance is an avid sailor. His twitter handle is @sailespresso and when he’s not dreaming up the next big idea in print management software, Chris spends his time on his other two passions; sailing and good coffee.

The world championships

Chris headed to the remote town of Busselton, a small town on the south west coast of Australia.  (For those not familiar with Australian geography, it’s like flying from LAX to NYC then another two hours in the car.)  He settled into competition mode with his crew mate Peter Hackett. They readied their boat Doppio for the 10 individual races that make up the Tasar World Championships from January 2-9, 2015.

What’s a Tasar?

Not to be confused with a ‘taser’ electroshock weapon, this Tasar is a little bigger! It’s an international, one-design ‘sailing dinghy’ where all boats are identical.  The 14-foot (4.3 m) fiberglass boat races with 2 people and has a larger mainsail and jib (a triangular staysail that sets ahead of the foremast).

Where did the name Doppio come from?

In true PaperCut style, Chris can’t do anything without a coffee. So what is a Doppio? You guessed it… it’s a coffee!

The race

Peter and Chris set out on the seven day series, against 120 boats from all over the world. Each race is a 40 minute sprint, with the goal to stay in the top 20 as each day progressed.

  • Race 1: 3rd place.  Fantastic way to start
  • Race 2: 5th place.   Going the wrong direction guys… but still doing a great job
  • Race 3: FIRST!!! Woo Hoo!!
  • Race 4: Pulled out FIRST AGAIN!! We’re on a roll.
  • Race 6: 6th place.  Tough going today but still respectable.
  • Race 7: 3rd place. Still going strong… Doppio is in the lead overall, but it’s a really tight race
  • Race 8: Cancelled…. There’s that pesky white pointer shark in the way. Seriously!!
  • Race 9: 11th place. Giving the others a chance to catch up.

With 9 out of 10 races completed the Doppio team were neck-and-neck with another favorite, Coollit, from Sydney.

It all came down to a nail biting finish in the last race.

Chris and Peter (friends since childhood) were determined to do what they needed to do on that final day. They relied on the skills that had become second nature after the rigorous training in the Melbourne bay. Peter, a prominent leadership consultant, was calm and methodical as the pair rallied in that last race.

They came 8th.

But where was their rival Coollit? After all of the points were counted and double-counted, Doppio rose to take out the prize by the thinnest of margins.

Winners

Hailing from four generations of sailors, Chris has competed at national and international levels in various dinghy classes, meeting people from all over the globe. In fact, Chris met Geoff (PaperCut’s Head of Development), and Cam (PaperCut’s Canadian Authorized Solution Center Partner, ITC Systems) on the water.

What’s next for the champions?

Pending approval from the homefront, Chris and Peter will certainly be expected to defend their title in Gamagori, Japan in 2017.

If you’d like to see more, check out some video highlights from the event:

…and here’s an interview with Chris and Pete after getting first place in heat 3:

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