Matthew’s early involvement with the sea was through dinghy sailing with Mumbles Yacht Club. Later, while working in the music industry in London, he experienced an ‘epiphany’ that led him back to his love of sailing, initially crewing and skippering racing yachts on the Solent. Before long he was taking part in the 1998 ARC trans-Atlantic race.
Matthew clocked up over 90,000 sea miles, culminating in a 1st place in the 2008 Hobart yacht race in Australia. While in Melbourne, he began working for a well-established Sail Shade company - and a seed was sown.
In 2009, a fantastic job opportunity drew him back to Swansea, where he worked for three years as Maritime Technical Officer with Swansea Museum’s Maritime Collection. An added attraction of this post was the role of Captain of the Olga, an original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter, built in 1909 and part of Swansea Museum’s Maritime Collection. His role also included teaching disadvantaged youngsters and young ex-offenders how to sail, as well as working on projects with several of the local comprehensive schools and colleges to incorporate classic yacht sailing into the physical education curriculum.
‘Sailing is very much in my blood and I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to earn my living doing what can only be described as a lifelong passion. The endless possibilities for travel and adventure have allowed me to craft personal skills in an environment overflowing with cross-cultural opportunities.’
Picking up on the business seed sown in Melbourne, Matthew is now the founder and proprietor of Gower SailShades & Awnings Ltd.
‘My business embodies the potential that exists in my technical experience as a yachtsman and that experience has become part of the product.’