Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ronstan Looks back on APS's 20 Years

Australian trendsetter Ronstan has been innovating products in the Performance Racing/Marine Industry for over half a century. (They were founded in 1953!) When Kyle Gross opened the doors to APS in 1991, Ronstan was among the first companies he approached for product. Ronstan CEO Alistair Murray was there to witness the early days of APS, and here, he reflects on our 20 years evolution.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ronstan Looks Back
In compiling a response to your questionnaire I have drawn upon some recollections from some other Ronstan mates of Kyle’s, being Scot West, Peter Muir and Ben Moon. (Top Managers at Ronstan.) Here goes:


1. How does APS stand out as a retailer of Ronstan products?
APS has achieved the position with us of “We’ve got to get this product into APS” so everyone will know it is new and hot.

2. Do you have any unique stories pertaining to APS?
Ben thinks of Kyle as having a spirit of adventure. Ben was on a remote beach in the Dominican Republic (not sure what Ben was doing there!) and bumped into Kyle, who was on his third trip to the area Kite boarding, which was his new addiction. Of course they had lunch, New Year’s drinks and all the rest of it. Ben considers Kyle a friend as much as a customer, which is the way we all feel here.

Peter and I will never forget Kyle’s trip to Australia for our conference, and how much he enjoyed the horseback riding, the winery, surfing lessons and his surfboard, which we love seeing so proudly displayed in the store. We also remember how he interacted with as many Ronstan employees as possible to learn more about how we did things and why. He was everyone’s mate!

3. What has been a high point for you when dealing with APS? APS staff?
Knowing the support and passion the whole team has for dealing with Ronstan and also knowing they let us know when we miss the mark.

4. What was your impression of Kyle during the first 10 years of APS?
Long hair hippy, then short hair hippy, then med length hair hippy, then short hair hippy again.

5. What is your favourite boat show memory with APS?
Scot mumbled something about Alistair serenading Rob’s (Director of Marketing alum at APS) wife at dinner, but we won’t go there!

6. What is special about APS?
Everyone at APS has an understanding of who they are and what they represent in the industry.

They are always progressive, asking questions, giving you feedback on product performance and customer reaction, give you access to everyone in the organisation, willing to give you the time to give your pitch.

Knowledgeable and understanding on all levels of business. APS treats us with respect and treats Ronstan as part of their team, not just a vendor.

7. What five words would you use to describe APS?
Knowledgeable
• Innovative
• Effective
• Un-biased
• Ronstan champion
• In touch
• (Ok, so it’s more than 5. Get over it!)

Happy 20th birthday, guys!
Alistair and all your mates at Ronstan.


What do we like about Ronstan? Their innovation and willingness/enthusiasm to test new ideas.

Ronstan has been offering great products for decades – here are some APS recommends:

Latest and Greatest


Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ronstan Orbit BlockIn keeping with their innovative reputation, Ronstan’s Orbit Blocks represent the first major production of blocks incorporating soft terminations, a.k.a. Dyneema Loops. Ronstan’s early innovation has contributed to the further development (and current trend) of soft terminations, including products like the APS Dyneema Shackle Loops .

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ronstan Sticky GloveIconic

Ronstan Gloves are recognizable all over the world. A staff favorite at APS, the Sticky Race Gloves are durable and give you maximum grip. If you haven't tried them out yet, you should!

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