About EastSail – who we are
Founded in 1998 by Ray Roberts, the Workforce Marine Leisure Group services have now expanded to include boat brokerage, sail-making, new build projects, sailing education, self-drive boat hire and yacht charter.
Workforce Leisure Group owns and manages many cruising and racing yachts available for charter Australia wide, in South East Asia and the West Coast of USA.
The expansion into boat hire and sail training is an extension of Ray Roberts beliefs that the certification in boating is becoming more and more a necessity. Clubs and charter companies all over the world are looking for skippers and crew that have been trained and qualified.
Eastsail was founded in September 1983, EastSail was launched on the same day Australia 2 won the America’s Cup. Auspicious beginnings indeed for Deb and Pete Franki and Joe Goddard, three young Sydneysiders with a passion for sailing and a dream of owning a sailing company. The innate sense of adventure and determination has led Deb and Pete Franki through a thirty five year journey at EastSail. The company has grown to a full time staff of eight and a team of 20 highly qualified skippers and instructors and a $10 million fleet of 30 yachts and cruisers. EastSail fleet is second to none in Australia. Beneteau, Dufour, Sydney yachts and our cruisers that are the latest in design, well maintained and impeccably presented. Eastsail was purchased by Ray Roberts’s Workforce Marine Leisure Group in 2018.
- The experts in sailing yacht and motor cruiser charter
- Locals who have lived our lives on the harbour
- Sydney’s most trusted international sailing school
Founders: Joe, Deb and Pete
CEO Ray Roberts winning the Asian Regatta
Ray Winning Australian Championships in Melbourne and Festival of Sail aboard his custom built Botin 40 carbon fibre racer
Meet the EastSail Crew
RYA Principal and CEO
Apart from being a successful business owner, Ray Roberts is a racing yachtsman of long standing; he has contested 22 Sydney Hobarts yacht races and represented Australia at the Admiral’s and Kenwood Cups and other international events. He is a three-time Australian IRC Champion and crowned three times as the Top Asian Sailor. He and his team have dominated nearly every Australian and Asian Ocean Yacht Racing Event Race including the Brisbane to Gladstone, Sydney to Southport, Hamilton Island Race Week, Raj Muda Regatta (winning twice), Kou Samui Regatta, Phuket King’s Cup Regatta (winning three times), China Coast Race Week (winning three times) and Royal Langkawi International Regatta (winning seven times).
Business Manager and Australian Sailing Principal
Joe was part of Eastsail from 1983 to 2000. He then turned his attention to managing yacht clubs and marinas worldwide including the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Southport Yacht Club, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the famous Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Joe has a degree in Aero Nautical Engineering and is a fully qualified AMSA Ships Master (Class 5) and an Advanced Hospitality Manager and Trainer.
RYA Chief Sailing Instructor
Originally from Yorkshire, in the north of England, Jean is an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and has worked in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Whitsundays, running sailing boats on charter and occasionally taking clients diving. Jean also is a rock climber and mountaineer who has spent 20 years climbing in various places around the world. In 1995, she joined Milton Sams of Australian Andean Adventures in Peru and Bolivia, where she climbed for 6 months. She also encourages all travelers to enjoy the fascinating, different and thrilling experiences that sailing provides.
Operations Supervisor, RYA Power Boat Chief Instructor and Skipper
Originally from Shanghai, KJ has come through the ranks at Eastsail and now holds his RYA Yachtmaster Instructors certificate, AMSA coxswain and RYA powerboat level 2 instructor. KJ is very handy – as a trained marine electrician you will find KJ making sure the yachts and cruisers are in top condition and ready for the cruise.
Sailing School Manager, RYA Senior Instructor and Skipper
A young manager with plenty of experience and fully qualified, Katy is in charge of the sailing school administration, leading the instructor team and helping the most novice sailor through the RYA or Australian Sailing Schemes. Katy achieved her RYA Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor through EastSail, and also holds an AMSA Coxswain. Katy started on small dinghies at Cronulla Sailing Club, competing in Youth, Combined Schools, State and National Titles in a range of classes from Manly Juniors, Flying11’s, NS14’s, Lasers and most recently Club Champion in 29ers. She graduated from the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy and has been a part of their Women’s and Advanced Squads.
RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor and Sailing School Assistant
Alex is a passionate and experienced sailor fully qualified as a skipper and instructor. He has taken students from Hammo to Hobart! Since joining EastSail he has become an indispensable part of the team here, helping students from Start Yachting to Yachtmaster and ensuring our fleet is always ship shape.
Operation and Sales
Grace has been working at EastSail since high school and is a recent graduate of Sydney University with a double degree in Arts and Law. She has a wealth of experience in organising charters and regattas, as well as sailing in them as a deckhand and hostess. In her spare time, she built this website.
Administration and Logistics Manager
With a few years aboard the world’s most prestigious superyachts, Lisa ensures that all clients are provided with the best and cleanest boats, catering and crew. Lisa has worked in the marine industry on Sydney Harbour and understands boats from bow to stern.
Senior Events & Sales Manager
With a strong grounding in hospitality management, beverage and sales, Philip is also a graduate in business finance from UTS. Philip works with Lisa in reception and ensures your charters and events are wonderful experiences.
Finance and Accounts
Ros has had broad experience in the corporate world, having worked in Asia, South and North America. She has also set up and managed her own businesses. Ros joined EastSail in 2014 and she enjoys the friendly and relaxed vibe of working in the sailing industry. Ros has a Bachelor of Business degree in International Finance & Admin.
Senior RYA Instructor
George’s love of boats and expertise in diesels lured him down to our docks 14 years ago to maintain our fleet of yachts as a marine mechanic, after working in the mechanical trucking industry as a service manager. He turned solely to skippering 6 years ago, and as a Coxswain will happily show you the sites of Sydney Harbour from our yachts or cruisers. One of the bubbliest skippers you’ll meet, George is sure to put a smile on your face!
RYA Power Boat Instructor and Dock Assistant
Greta has an Arts degree but wants to live the life of a professional sailor! Greta is our fully qualified Australian Sailing Dinghy and Keelboat instructor, she teaches our RYA Power Boat Scheme and works on the docks as well.
RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Examiner
Winner of the 2018 Australian Sailing Female Sailor and Offshore Sailor of the year, Wendy has competed in 11 Sydney Hobart Yacht races and was the first woman skipper to finish in 2017, earning the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy. Wendy first took part in the Clipper Round the World race in 2015-16, becoming the first Australian woman to do so. Inspired by sailing legends like Ellen MacArthur and Kay Cottee, Wendy still instructs and skippers for Eastsail whenever she is on “dry land” and her native Sydney Harbour.
Bill is an old hand here at Eastsail, with years of experience working on larger vessels, his MASTER V, MED 2 and RYA Yachtmaster serve him well onboard our most luxurious cruiser, MV Yarranabbe as well as every other boat in our premier fleet. Having participated in several Sydney to Hobarts you’ll often find him skippering in our corporate, charter and charity yacht racing events.
Ships Master and Australian Sailing Instructor
Matthew is a AMSA certified Master 4, MED2 and RYA yachtmaster, with extensive experience managing large crews of up to 30 people in an offshore, extended voyage environment. Matthew has also raced and managed some of Australia’s premier race yachts both in Australia and abroad.
Senior RYA Instructor
If George isn’t on the water with us, you’ll find him out on his 8m Sportsboat ‘Mr Mojo’ next door at RANSA! George’s Coxswain and MASTER V has him out across our fleet of yachts, as well as taking our Riviera 40 ‘Zodiac’ for a spin. This gentle giant will happily show you the ropes!
RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor
Lothar has been with Eastsail for 30 years! As a qualified Master V and RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor – Lothar can cover our entire fleet of yachts as either skipper or instructor.
RYA Yachtmaster Instructor/Ships Master
Tom has been working at Eastsail for over ten years. His marine qualifications comprise of Master 5, RYA Yachtmaster & RYA Cruising Instructor. Tom also has a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering & a Diploma in Teaching – secondary physical education. Tom started sailing at the young age of 9 with his sister. His Dad bought them a dinghy and the passion grew from there and he raced all through his teens on Lake Macquarie. Tom then went on to buy his own yacht at the age of 20, which he repaired and set out on a 2 year voyage up the East Coast & onto Papa New Guinea. Tom notes this experience as one of his sailing highlights and used celestial navigation to find his way. Another highlight was delivering a yacht through the Panama Canal and onto Tonga; with sailing, Tom also enjoys surfing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, skiing, music & photography.
Deb & Pete
Founders and Advisors to Eastsail
Assisting with the transition from originally their business to the new Eastsail, Pete and Deb have a mountain of knowledge about the entire boating industry on Sydney Harbour and are happily sharing their skills and experience with the team at Eastsail to ensure the growth and prosperity, customer service standards and boat maintenance are at the highest levels.