Micah Lane - Owner, Flagstaff Marine

From windsurfing to sailing

Micah spent the early part of his childhood in South Africa, moving to Australia in 1988.

His first on-water passion was windsurfing which he enjoyed off Balmoral and Clontarf Beaches.

And then a move to Sydney’s East brought a different kind of water sport to his attention…

“At Watson’s Bay I saw lots of sailboats sailing out of Vaucluse Amatuer 12ft Sailing Club and I thought alright, there are a lot more kids my age doing this. So started sailing when I was 8 years in an 8 foot, square, little tubby thing. It was perfect for learning”.

The perfect career

Sailing was a highlight of Micah’s teen years, and working in the marine industry was something he always wanted to do. He is a keen traveller too, so career wise he has “managed to find the perfect combination”.

Micah started working with Vicsail in 2003 as a brokerage assistant. He sold new yachts including Beneteaus and ran the brokerage in 2009.

After a year-long stint on overseas adventures in South America, he returned to purchase the brokerage arm of the Vicsail business which included new Beneteau yacht sales.

In 2015 Graham Raspass took over the Beneteau importership from Vicsail. Micah and Graham realised that they had two complementary businesses and it was better to work as a team for the brokerage arm and for Beneteau.

“We put the companies together in 2014. Shortly after that we took on Beneteau powerboats. So now we have Beneteau sailing and Beneteau power, and Amel yachts. And we have a very active, thriving brokerage with Flagstaff Marine as the primary company moving forward.”

A wealth of experience

Micah believes that it’s Flagstaff Marine’s experience that really sets them apart. Vicsail Sydney has been around for many years and the brokerage business that they purchased has the experience of selling hundreds if not thousands of yachts.

“We have experience of selling large racing boats, cruising boats, catamarans, motorboats… We have a team that’s well-versed in new and used products from all different facets of the market. And I think that experience combined with the 5 or 6 brokers that we’ve got working for our team is pretty special. It must be an industry leader.”

Action packed or relaxing at anchor

Micah’s first race was challenging, but hooked him in right away – “I got thrown into my first ever race as crew a very windy day… everyone was capsizing… and we won our first race. It was a good start.”

For Micah, the joy of sailing is all about the action.

“It’s getting wet, feeling the boat move, the speed, the waves, the summer, warm water, all that stuff. That’s definitely the kind of sailing I prefer myself – racing an 18 foot skiff or dinghy when you can really feel the sport, feel everything that goes on and everything you do makes a difference.”

Micah counts his racing career highlights as winning the 18 ft skiff national championship and winning a 420 national championship.

He also likes racing on yachts and was thrilled to do the Sydney to Hobart this year on the Wild Oats team.

“A very quick, fun ride with some great people, great friends and a really professional crew. The boat is really magnificent and I couldn’t have got a better ride.”

Micah is equally happy cruising. He enjoys nothing more than finding a beautiful spot to drop anchor and enjoy the yacht and all its creature comforts.

Getting better all the time

Micah is driven to improve the business and see it grow. It gets him motivated everyday.

“I’m passionate about looking after the vendors and clients… looking after the Beneteau and Amel brands and making sure our team is looked after.

I love boats, yachting and our company and I want to continue to see it get better.”

A great outcome

The perfect outcome for Micah is seeing a customer enjoying their boat. He likes to hear their stories about where they’re going or what plans they have.

“…they have a glint in their eye themselves for how much they enjoy the boat. That’s a nice thing.”

Give it a go

Micah is all for prospective customers giving it a go. He knows it’s a big deal for a lot of people to get into yachting. There are a lot of variables… but he is convinced that everyone who does ends up enjoying it.

“Whether its a short phase of a few years or a long phase that never ends. Sailing is the gift that keeps on giving.

…whether that’s cruising or racing or whether you’re just crewing for someone, give it a go and have some fun.”

Smiles all round

Micah gets great pleasure from working with the fine yachts they have at Flagstaff Marine. He is buoyed by enjoyable relationships with clients and owners.

“Our team is great fun. We laugh a lot as a group. There’s constant enjoyment within our team and that makes me smile. I love coming to work everyday.”

Time for hobbies

Outside of work, Micah has a range of hobbies, from yoga to… sailboat racing!

“I race sailing boats – 18 foot skiffs. I enjoy travelling. I also love music and worked in a recording studio for a period in my life. I like to hang out with friends and enjoy life.”

Favourite sailing spots

Micah’s has been lucky enough to see some exceptional spots around the world on his travels. His favourite cruising grounds are in the Mediterranean. Croatia, Spain, and the Balearics… “I think for cruising, the Mediterranean is very special.”

And closer to home? In terms of sailing and racing Micah says that Sydney Harbour is one of the best and most enjoyable places in the world.

“Sydney Harbour has good wind and plenty of things that make for great tactical racing.”

A simple love of yachting

Micah does what he does because he loves yachting and his enthusiasm is infectious.

“I think this is a great job. And this is a great company. I think it’s a real niche that’s quite special and were very lucky to be doing what do.

We’ve got exciting things happening in the company and in the brands that we represent. Hopefully we’ve got a long future ahead.”

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