Matt grew up in the UK where his fathers passion for the ocean rubbed off during numerous sailing adventures on board the family yacht. After finishing a degree in Environmental Science he travelled to South East Asia and then Australia, where he met his future wife Gill. They both travelled together for a year, including a several months in Tasmania exploring by foot and boat. After a few months picking apples in the Huon Valley, sleeping in the apple shed with the tractor, they had fallen in love with Tasmania, the Huon Valley an each other!
After Gill returned to Western Australia to finish her studies Matt emigrated and joined her to live in Fremantle. Matt continued sailing, racing regularly out of Fremantle Sailing Club. It wasn’t long before Gill was also hooked on sailing and they later built a small 24’ racing yacht with a friend. They spent most of their time either in or on the water swimming, boating and kayaking.
There were numerous Tasmanian hiking trips of those years keeping alive the desire that they would one day live there. In 2004 they purchased a 31’ cruising boat and immediately set off on a 15 day passage direct to Tasmania where they cruised around the island before sailing back to Fremantle. In 2005 they were back in Tasmania, this time as competitors in the Sydney Hobart Race in a friend’s boat.