Sponsor profile: Lola Stays

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Lola Stays are proud sponsors of the Royal Port Nicholson Friday Night Rum Racing Summer series with (their favourite) Helmsman Rum.

Part owned by keen boater and hard case, Mike Hood (Hoody), Lola Stays is a seaside eatery and beach bar located just across the road at 106 Oriental Parade. They’re open 7 days from 7am, and for dinner (and drinks) on Friday and Saturday nights.

Hoody, along with his sidekicks Kevin, Brownie, and Charlotte, are no strangers to hospitality – and had been around the area for near 18 years before they opened up Lola Stays almost two years ago. They also have spots on Courtenay Place – Mishmosh and Sassy loves Cash. Their aim for Lola was to create a space you could walk into with sandy feet to grab a cold beer, hot coffee, and bloody good food.

The Lola team’s love for the water is front-footed by Hoody, who back in 1979 had a less than orthodox approach to learning how to sail.His first boat was an international Moth with a mirror rig that served as nothing more than mode of transport to go visit mates through the tropical reefs across the Suva Harbour to small islands off Lami in Fiji. His first Club was the Royal Suva Yacht Club

Hoody became a foundation member of the Suva Sea Scouts in 1980-81 and that saw him start a long love for sailing and racing. Hobie 16s were their weapon of choice.

Hoody moved to Hamilton at 13 and joined the Hamilton Yacht Club, where he sailed Starlings mainly but enjoyed the 3.7 and Frostply. He represented his school on a number of occasions at NZ school regattas.18 through to 26 really preoccupied Hoody with windsurfing but he maintained a love of yacht course racing when he sailed a few races off Torbay in a dunger Laser. Upon moving to Wellington he threw himself into a Laser at Worser Bay, and attended all national events and a couple of world events.

After the Laser days he jumped into the Paper Tiger Class and represented NZ on a number of occasions, the highlight being in 2013 where he was part of the first team to beat the Australians in 20 years or so. This win started a new golden age of NZ Paper Tiger sailing where we have triumphed over the Australians, and continue to do so.Hoody jumped into A Class Catamaran for a couple of seasons attending the worlds in Takapuna in 2014. He then brought a Ross 780, attended a few national champs and won the Owners Cup in 2016.

Next was the Zephyr, followed by the Elliot 5.9 and finally back to the Paper Tiger, which is currently taking shape in the back shed.Hoody’s Motto: “You can never have enough boats – and if it sails, it can be raced”.

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