My Sailing Story

The story is often told of how I was born early so Dad could do an Ocean Race. So just a few days into life I was taken to Middle Harbour Yacht Club to wave Dad off and visit what would be my club growing up.

At the time my grandfather John Dibble [Pa] owned Defiance which was the first boat I got to sail on, strapped to the back of the boat in a car seat. I don’t remember learning to sail. By the time Pa had bought Farr Out I was sitting on the side of the boat calling the breeze and occasionally skirting the headsail when allowed. I remember Dad once having to explain to a guest on board why I was annoyed, I was a few seconds out on the breeze call and not impressed with myself. I gradually moved my way back in the boat and was of course allowed the odd drive sitting on someone’s lap. At 11 I was eventually allowed to do mainsheet during a Botany Bay and back race on Indulgence which was a big milestone.

Pa had a variety of racing yachts as I grew up that I got to sail. While my other grandfather Peter had the Timber sloop from 1923 called Thistle which was perfect to go away on.  As Dad did not work afternoons, during school holidays I got to go Wednesday Sailing, often on The Carpenter with Pat Carroll who taught me how to drive in and out of the old marina at an early age. School Holidays were often family trips away on either the racing or cruising boat with weekends also often spent in Upper Middle Harbour. My 11th Birthday was spent onboard with friends for a weekend away at Sugarloaf.

When I was able to prove I could swim across the pool without needing a breath my parents decided at 5 I was old enough to crew in a Manly Junior for Nathan Wilmot. As his mum had crewed with my parents it was now time for us to sail together.  We started out on Narrabeen Lake before being taken to MHYC for our first few Sundays. However as we were both just 5 and 6 , we were a little small. One race I was pulled out and replaced by James Wilmot, I can remember Nath telling me that even his Dad had to hike as it was “really windy”. We also had one capsize and turtle in the marina where I discovered the cubby hole much to Mum and Marita’s concern. Nath advised them I was chatting through the hull and telling him how cool it was underneath! Needless to say it was eventually decided we were too small and we did not sail an MJ again together for several years instead sailing with others. We teamed up just the one more time in the MJ for the Club Picnic where we set the Tip Top Bread sponsored 420 sized Spinnaker that had been used in the TV Commercials. It was a little big and of course the MJ had no kicker so Nath had to sit on the bow.

My first boat was a timber dinghy designed and built by my Grandfathers it had a VERY colourful sail thanks to Ian Brown. This was followed by an MJ called Bonecrusher 2642 for racing.  I then moved onto the Flying 11 and my parents put together 1167 which was built at the same time as Sarah Wilmot’s 1168.  This was when I learnt how to put together a boat and do gelcoat repairs as I opted for a 50/50 mix of Dove Grey and White. So to do a repair I would have to match the colour as I only had a small jar of the mix. The Flying 11 years made a huge impact on who I am as a person and sailor. I also still have so many friends from this era and it is the reason we ended up being an Official Supplier to the Australian Sailing Team.

In my teenage years I had many opportunities which I am thankful for. For a few years Dad and I sailed with Bruce Ritchie on his Etchells on Saturday’s whilst I sailed Flying 11’s on the Sunday initially at MHYC before moving to Manly 16’s. Bruce would treat the sail home each day as a master class giving me the helm and talking constantly about the days sailing and my helming.  During this time I also did Twilights on the Etchells usually with Dad and good mate Michael Rynan aka Beaver.

I was also lucky enough to have Pat Carroll sign a leave form for my school to allow me to do the Wednesday race instead of school sport. Pat did this for a number of years and what I learnt sailing his Adams 10 would teach me so much about sailing and life. Pat taught me some of the most important skills including how to strip a winch.  I also had the opportunity to meet Rob Reynolds when he came out with us one day.  On a future Wednesday when Pat was not sailing Rob asked me to join him and we sailed the J44 just 5 up. I went on to sail some Saturdays with Rob and eventually did my first long offshore with him. I also met one of my main crew on board Phoenix.

During my teenage years I managed to go sailing with my Uncles’ on 11 Metre’s and 16 foot skiffs along with a number of other types of boats. Sailing was the focus and despite playing Netball as a kid, sailing eventually took over.

Then came the phone call that would change my path. Dad was sailing with the crew of SSV, one of the competitive Adams 10’s when fleets were hitting 30 at Nationals. They were short of crew and I had approx an hour to get to the boat during the Nationals to do pit. This was a huge opportunity and I remember being stunned at being asked as a teenage girl, these guys had sailed together on and off my entire life. I went on to sail with SSV for a number of years and in 2002 we won the Nationals with our regular crew.

At the age of 22 and just over a year after winning the Nationals I bought SSV and renamed her Animus. Which is a name I found thanks to looking up the name of Pa’s boat from when I was born, Defiance. Pa had been a big supporter of my Sailing and at the time I was working for the Disney Store in Australia, who decided to pull out of the country leaving me a payout which was enough to purchase her. I debated other boats but when Ken White found out he said make an offer, and the rest is history.

We went on to sail Animus as often as we could and in the first season I tied for the gunboat trophy with legend Ben Nossiter. Sailing Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in Summer and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in Winter.  After purchasing DeckHardware in 2006 the time came to sell Animus, a few years later to focus funds and time on the business. Animus moved to the flatter water of Wangi where she has remained, recently gaining new owners who happen to include a Mate which is great news.  During the Animus years I did a number of 2-handed races with my crew Kate and Kristen. As well as many trips between the Lake and back for the Nationals and the HCW 24hr races. What an amazing time it was and how lucky I was to have such great crew and great boat.

As the female skipper racing at the club I was given the opportunity of instead of putting a female crew together on board the Sydney 38 Estate Master. We had some great fun competing at MHYC, CYCA and Manly over the years with whoever of my friends were around. It was nice to be able to get my old Flying 11 friends like the Wilmot’s, Nicky Souter and Katie Spithill involved as well as my Animus crew. When Martin and Lisa stepped up to the Farr 40 we too did the jump up and I remember the first time we sailed it I looked at Nicky and asked how I was meant to tack this tiller , learning that you had to walk over the top rather than in front. My two-handed crew / bow chick Kate one year did it on Animus with our crew whilst I was on board Estate Master to increase the numbers and have a drive.

In 2006 I took a part of this group of sailors to Melbourne for the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta which was on board an Adams 10 which meant taking down my good gear (thanks mum and dad).  I then did it again with a team from Tassie which was great fun as the Skipper Di had come to Sydney to sail with us on Estate Master. There are so many stories I could tell of these days and I am so grateful for the trust Martin and Lisa placed in us. A big thanks also goes to Morgan White for helping us prep the boat and pack it up each time and often heading out with Martin to watch us.

Since selling Animus I have had the opportunity to borrow Sirius on a number of occasions for Twilights or Ladies days thanks to the support of legend Ben Nossiter. It was nice to keep my hand in the Adams 10 fleet.

It has been an interesting journey and one I did not see coming as a teenager studying music at Uni. Working part time for Harken to help fund Animus and then getting a call asking if I would go full time for DeckHardware as everything was changing. During that time the DeckHardware Sales reps included the Admiral Don Buckley and Nathan Outteridge whilst I was back in the office. It certainly has evolved a lot now needing at least two of us at all times in the office!

Europe and METSTRADE 2016

I barely know where to start. I am back in the DeckHardware Warehouse already and cannot believe how fast it went. This will be a little longer than usual as I try to recall so much of what happened whilst away.

It was fantastic to be able to spend just over 24hrs with the team at Allen Brothers. Thanks to those who came out to dinner and made me feel welcome.  An extra special thanks to Liz and Graham who made me feel so welcome. When we represent suppliers in Australia the relationship between companies is so important. As well as of course knowing how they do things and knowing a little more about the behind the scenes of the company.  Allen celebrated a massive milestone at METSTRADE so it was great to hear more about their story.

The latest Allen Catalogue is now online and it is great to see new product being released.  The Allen range has been a wonderful edition and it is nice to work with another Family Business who are working hard to continue to develop and adapt to the changing sailing scene.

After the quick visit to Allen I headed to Frankfurt for the weekend not being able to spend too long away everything was super short. It is so nice to have a “home base” in Europe. Once again my trip coincided with Thom’s Birthday this time he turned 9! He was well aware that next time he will be double figures. It has gone too fast! Marty and Marlene were such a big part of the Animus days and it is always so special to spend some time with the two of them, their three fantastic kids and Marlene’s Parents.

Jake showed he is definitely part Aussie having multiple vegemite toasts in one sitting hahaha.  It is also nice now the kids are getting older that they remember me each trip. It is a number of years since they came out to AUS as a family and we caught up on the Lake. So it is nice to be able to catch up and just hang out.

The Weekend was over and before I knew it I was at the Train station with Marty who was heading off to work away for the week. In the car on the way there it said -2.5°c. Seriously… No offence Marty although it was great to catch up my happier memories with you involve shorts and a t-shirt sailing hahaha.

This time in Amsterdam I was staying somewhere different to previous trips, on the Tram line rather than walking distance or Train to the RAI.  Somewhere in between suppliers to make it easier! Day one at METS was seriously one of the busiest I have seen. I managed to catch up with a number of suppliers and checked out what else was on show. It was one of those days that I didn’t even have time to stop for lunch although when I was on the Forespar stand they did offer me some that I didn’t get around to eating oops. Before I knew it the time was 7:30pm and the email to back home was getting lengthy about the days news and I was getting more than a little hungry.

The best part about METS is catching up with our suppliers especially the ones we have worked with now for over a decade. Bill from Forespar is one who has made it out to AUS and seen where we are and what we do. He has been a big part of our journey and it is always great to catch up. Along with Bill I managed to catch up with Dayl also from Forespar and Will and Fred from Schaefer for dinner. It was great to see the friendships between these two companies and shows why we enjoy working with them.

METS is a chance to find out what is new, what is yet to be announced and industry news. Fitting all this into just three days is always epic and of course a good reason for a coffee catch up, meal or a drink. This year was no exception!

It was so good to see Mal Page there who was in town for some meetings and his very first METS. It was great to catch up in person! You can imagine the number of topics we tried to cover in this short time. That is the problem with being friends for so long and both involved in the sport and industry.

This time I decided to fly out of Amsterdam in the evening rather than lunch time Friday to just give myself a little more time to make sure I had made notes on everything before flying haze sets in… With time to kill I then headed to their Maritime Museum. This is seriously one of the best ideas yet! As someone who loves the history of our sport I was in awe of the range of Sextants, Maps etc on display. Seriously incredible and worth doing for any sailor who has a few hours in Amsterdam.

As I sit here back at my desk I look at the pile of catalogues I have brought back that still need sorting through!  A few of them have now been loaded to the DeckHardware website.  With new ones from Allen, LIROS, Blue Performance online.

The next two weeks are going to be big as we celebrate 10 years of my family owning DeckHardware. Dad has been writing some blog posts lately on his sailing history as a way of showing how we ended up here. Stay tuned for a little history from Mum and I also!

Time to get back to it. There is so much new product to make sure is on our website and plenty coming soon that I got a sneak peak of at METS.

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The one day holiday

It is extremely hard to get away from DeckHardware at this time of year. As we come into our busy season we have been busy behind the scenes at the same time. This week we have launched a new website which was something we had been working hard on. Then to top it off I have travelled to Europe for METSTRADE!

I landed in England and spent the day at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Convincing myself to stay awake and adjust to the Timezone was tough especially leaving Sydney on such a hot day and arriving to the rain and cold of London.  I had not been to the V&A before and it was something I had been looking forward too! I headed to the “You say you want a Revolution?” Exhibition which was absolutely fantastic.  

In some ways there is almost too much to see at a place like this. Everywhere you turn there is something more to look at. Plus the fact that there is so much kept from centuries ago.  

As I was staying just the one day and needed to ensure I got a good nights sleep I did a little research on where to stay.  I could not believe it when I booked into a hotel that mum and I stayed at years ago.  The Rubens at the Palace is such a lovely hotel with great staff and wonderful meals that are fresh and tasty.  To be honest though it is the friendly nature that makes the place. Like this morning at breakfast chatting to the Chef whilst he cooked my eggs.  So friendly and welcoming which when jet lagged makes such a big difference. A good chat helps wake you up!

So after the one day and night of Holiday I was on the train to Wickford to be picked up and taken to the Allen Factory.  We have distributed the Allen range of products for a number of years now however my dad Phil is the only one who has made it to the factory to see how they do things.  

This trip is going to be over before I know it as next I will be heading to Frankfurt for the weekend with friends before Amsterdam for METSTRADE. 

Our Aussie Sailing Community

Last night I attended the Australian Sailing Awards. I was able to take our DeckHardware Ambassador Lauren Gallaway as a thank you for all that she does. Lauren not only supports us in return for our support.  During the school holidays in the lead up to the Sydney Sailboat Expo she came into the office to assist in some of the work that needed doing.  Then on the weekend of the Sydney Sailboat Expo she assisted us with taking care of Instagram as well as doing interviews. It was nice to be able to say thank you.

The awards are a wonderful moment of celebrating sailing as well as catching up with friends old and new. It was wonderful to hear that the decision has been made to introduce an Australian Sailing Hall of Fame. I can think of so many names to be included in this list from the racing, cruising and exploring side of sailing.

It was incredible to see Liesl Tesch almost speechless as she received the President’s Award. So well deserved! Liesl is such an inspiration for so many of us. From her Charity work, who she is as a person, her competitive nature, I could go on.

One of the highlights though was seeing Alistair Murray take out the Lifetime achievement award. Alistair organises the International Sailing Summit which is I believe a fantastic chance for our sport and industry to discuss what matters.  Though a competitor in business through his role at Ronstan I am pleased to say we get on very well and I was so pleased to see him recognised for all he has done for Sailing and the Industry.

Male and Female Sailors of the Year Lisa Darmanin and Tom Burton are incredible role models for Sailing. They simply love being on the water no matter the type of boat and talk of how our sport means you can sail with family, friends, girlfriends and our sailing community. Tom’s speech in particular, was a highlight! To see Tom grow in the role of Olympic Gold Medallist and hear him express how he feels is fantastic. Knowing that when he gets the chance he will be able to inspire so many. Now he just has to figure out what he is sailing next!

The countdown to METSTRADE 2016

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The welcome sign at METS in 2014

METSTRADE is just weeks away and the Dame Award Nominees have been announced! No doubt many of you are wondering what METSTRADE is or the Dame Awards.

METSTRADE Show is the world’s largest marine equipment trade show, which has been bringing the marine industry together for decades. Over 22,000 professionals from 112 countries around the world gather in Amsterdam. The next edition of the show will take place on November 15 – 17, 2016.

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Amsterdam is such a beautiful spot, even if I only get to see it on the way to and from the Hotel to the RAI.

The DAME Design Award is the most prestigious international design competition for new marine equipment and accessories. Over the  past 25 years, independently appointed judges examined thousands of products in specific marine categories. The DAME Design Award has come to set the pace for new concepts and designs in the worldwide leisure marine industry. Participation in DAME Awards is exclusively reserved to METSTRADE exhibitors.

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Amsterdam in November

You can imagine what it would be like, a trade show full of marine equipment.  Taking a day to walk around let alone stop and talk to people or check out new products. It is also a great chance to catch up with industry friends and discuss the current climate and direction of our sport.

This year I will be attending METSTRADE for the 4th time in the almost 10 years (in December) my family has owned DeckHardware. It is always such a quick visit due to it being our sailing season, one day I hope to be a tourist in Amsterdam. As a Trade only show it is a fantastic experience and one that is a MUST for us every couple of years. Touching base with many of our suppliers and finding out what is new as well as plenty of sailing and industry chat.

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Blue sky as I headed home in 2014

Have a look at the floorplan and you will see what I mean by the size, it is incredible.
http://www.metstrade.com/mets/exhibitors/floorplan/

There is Sun in London!The Nominees are always interesting to check out to see what is happening in the way of development.
http://www.metstrade.com/mets/innovation/dame-nominees/

Even though it is a super short trip and not even two weeks including flying time I will be stopping via England to head to the Allen Brothers Factory for a visit. This is something I am looking forward to having been to see LIROS Ropes and Forespar in the past. Flying all that way it is good to be able to tie in a visit at the same time. I can not wait to get on the Qantas A380 once again. This time I even managed to use Qantas points for the Accommodation in Amsterdam! I am staying somewhere new which is exciting.

DSC_0932After just a short time in England, I will head to Frankfurt to spend the weekend with two of my old Animus crew and their family. Before catching the train to Amsterdam for the big few days of catch up and talk all about products and the industry.

Then it is back to Australia to celebrate 10 years of my family owning DeckHardware! As well as the summer sailing season.

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Marlene steering Animus with Marty sitting back enjoying a twilight sail

Thanks for the memories

The time has come to return to normal sleeping patterns. What an incredible result with Two Gold and a Silver it has been for our Paralympian’s in Rio. Not only incredible results but the way they handled the pressure and the way they spoke about Sailing not being in the 2020 Paralympics. Congratulations Dan, Liesl, Colin, Jonathan, Russell and Matt.

Dan and Liesl what an amazing scorecard. You both are incredible role models for the sport of sailing not just Paralympic sailing. The way you spoke of the course area and the respect you showed it and your competitors speaks volumes. Back to back Gold had never been done in Paralympic Sailing, what an achievement. Let’s face it you are all fantastic role models and I hope we hear more of you in the coming years.

To your Coaches and support crew congratulations also! Following you all on Social Media you could see the passion and energy that went into making this event something to remember as well as being a success for the team.

I would like to thank the Australian Sailing Team and World Sailing for their Twitter feeds, it certainly helped to understand what was happening on the race course. It made the early mornings easier!

The team has now headed home after arriving back in Australia yesterday. Australian Sailing hosted a function at the CYCA to welcome them home that was full of emotion celebrating the success that for some time will not be beaten.

On a personal note it was wonderful to catch up with the team yesterday. Being Official Suppliers to the team means we have got to know the sailors over the years, especially with Rope choice being such a personalised decision.

We often say that we are more than just a sponsor and I do hope the sailors feel that way also. Over the years it has been fantastic to get involved in more than just rope selection.

Thank you for the amazing journey we have all been on with you. As much as we love the Titles you now hold, I hope you don’t hold them forever. Leaving the CYCA yesterday with Liesl and Mark (her partner who I sailed with years ago) was something that will stay with me forever. The car all loaded up and a couple of blokes recognise her, so Liesl jumps out of the car and asks if they want a photo with Goldie. I wish I was fast enough with my phone to film the reaction. What a nice reminder of how special it is.

If you get the opportunity to hear one of our Paralympians or Olympians speak it is well worth taking the time to do so. I hope you all get to hear their stories.

Thank you to the Daily Telegraph for this article. The welcome home was wonderful for our Sailors.

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This is it

Photo by Liesl Tesch
Photo thanks to Liesl Tesch as they prepared to enter the Stadium

This is it. The Paralympics’ sailing starts Tuesday at 2am AEST and our Aussie Sailors featured this morning in the coverage of the Opening Ceremony. Liesl Tesch as always front and centre, the life of the party. You can see what this means for the athletes including our sailors and their support crew.

We woke in the early hours to cheer on our Olympians, we headed to club houses for the Medal Races. Aussie Sailors I call on you to get behind OUR TEAM! Dan and Liesl (Skud18), Matt (2.4), Colin, Jonathan and Russell (Sonar).This is it, there is no option of 2020. Our Aussie Sailors and Sailing Internationally needs us to get behind them. The effort they have put in is incredible, as someone who knows them, I can vouch for this.

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The Australian Sailing Team. Photo Liesl Tesch

Good Luck Team! You have done the training and now it is time to go sailing and enjoy it.

I am so proud to be entered in this year’s Bart’s Bash which falls on the final weekend of racing in Rio. This year Bart’s Bash is raising funds for Disabled Sailing Internationally which needs our support. Let’s Reinstate Sailing! Doing so will give others World Wide the opportunity to participate in competitive sailing no matter their disability.

Because of the Paralympics the design of the boats available to disabled sailors has seen some incredible changes. When you look at a Skud 18 and how someone like Dan or Ame skipper, it’s remarkable. It is my hope that the Legacy of the Paralympics will not be lost. That in 2024 Sailing will once again return to the Paralympics.

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Aussie Sailors Rock

I often joke that my life is all about sailing. Working in the industry, going to boat shows, umpiring or just trying to find time to actually go sailing. The past few weeks it stepped up a gear with the Aussie Sailors competing in Rio. Waking each morning to follow the tracker, whatever course area was live on the 7app or more importantly the AST Twitter feed. I wasn’t alone with many other sailors online in the early hours of the morning.

With two of our DeckHardware brands Official Suppliers there is the obvious business connection for supporting the sailors. To be honest though we support them most importantly because of friendships. I like to think we are more than a sponsor as for many we were friends first. The support we give the team is a lot more than Product and that is something we are proud of.

The Aussie Sailing community is such a tight group with so many of us knowing each other thanks to regatta’s across the country. This showed up especially during the medal races with RPAYC, Manly 16’s and Wangi RSL opening their doors for supporters to cheer on the Aussie’s together.

I can not thank enough the amazing people who woke up early despite no racing to be at MHYC for the Sunrise Weather cross.  Pulling together with just a few hours notice we managed to not only find a crowd for 0530 but also a Laser to take Sam Mac out on. A big thanks to Lauren for remembering her sailing gear! With Olivia there as the special guest sailing commentator, we managed to pull it off.

Heading to Manly 16’s one of the clubs I spent my junior years to watch the Laser and Nacra Medal races will stay with me a long time. If you have never had the chance to watch a medal race in a room full of sailors make sure you clear the diary for 4 years time! It is something that stays with you. I still tell stories of watching Nath Wilmot and Mal Page at MHYC all those years ago.  Now I feel old!

Finishing off the games at Wangi was fitting. Being part of #TeamWangi and supporting Nath and Goobs, I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. To Jody and everyone at Wangi who went above and beyond you are amazing! The main street was decorated, the RSL had a road sign out the front wishing them luck! The RSL was not only decorated but had lights outside to match all the green and gold. I think the live crosses with Sunrise Weather will be talked about for a long time. As will the special cross to Nath and Goobs!

Yesterday the team arrived home and the first two I saw as I walked up the stairs were Nath and Goobs. I couldn’t be prouder of these two, of supporting them as a friend and sponsor. After all they are the reason we became a sponsor! Getting to see these two come home with another medal was worth the lack of sleep and more. Especially as they are home for such a limited time before heading back to the America’s Cup and Artemis.

It is fantastic to see the Aussie Sailors come home with a Gold and three Silvers. Once again Sailing has been in the media which is so good for our sport! I hope every club out there is able to take advantage of this to help grow this fantastic sport! Let’s make sure we as a sport make the most of the increased interest.

A huge thanks to the entire team who took the time to sign the Bart’s Bash flag. Now the focus shifts to promoting this great event and the Paralympic Sailors who are so deserving of our support and a place at future Paralympics.

Head over to the DeckHardware Facebook to read our business post.

New experiences and journeys

July has been HUGE.  I had the opportunity to drive to Goolwa South Australia for the Australian Schools Team Racing Championship where DeckHardware was a sponsor and I was an umpire.  I had never driven to South Australia before so it was a bit of an adventurous two days!

I could not believe after hearing so much about the Sturt Highway it was raining for a fair percentage of my drive.  Water everywhere and some green fields! So this is outback Australia? It was fantastic to see them getting some rain even though it did make the drive a little more stressful.  I stopped overnight in Hay but unfortunately only had a limited amount of daylight to wander around. What an experience to be able to see so much of Australia, even if only from the view of the Van.

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Heading to Goolwa in Winter meant ensuring I had my fair share of Thermals packed. Staying warm in a RIB can be tricky as you don’t move around a great deal.  The event was fantastic and if you are interested check out the Down Under Sail Facebook page where you will find some video of the on water action.  To see 24 teams from around the Country participating in some brilliant racing was fantastic.Lucky enough I did not have to drive back, Phil aka Dad took over in South Australia with the van to see some of our DeckHardware customers.  Flying back was certainly much faster!

Just a little rain when I arrived in Goolwa!

The next month is a busy one as an Aussie Sailing Fan. I would like to wish everyone on the Team a MASSIVE Good Luck. I can see increased coffee consumption in my future.

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Good days and the not so good days

The past year has not been the greatest for me. Since being diagnosed with Hypermobility it has been a bit of hit and miss action to figure out how to move forward. For the past year I have been on a muscle relaxant to try to counteract the tight muscles so that I could spend more time at the gym and just doing things in general.  Unfortunately this lead to other issues along with some trouble from when I fractured my foot a few years ago.  My muscles often transfer the tight spots, which means the treatment moves week by week.

The irony now being that I actually ended up doing less at the gym whilst I tried to get my muscles activating as they should to even walk let alone up and down stairs. I basically lost all strength in my left leg as it transferred the issue between the glute, knee, ankle and foot.  Taping up the foot and knee weekly with acupuncture has been a massive help to re-train it all.

So the decision to come off the muscle relaxants has been a tough one. With so many pros and cons. It has now been almost two months off them and even though some days have been hard I have been able to retrain muscle groups with the help of Physio, Pilates and Weights.

I must admit I am now trialling on the bad days a more healthy option of Turmeric. I do like the idea of not permanently being on something so fingers crossed.

Unfortunately the timing has not been great on this road to health and fitness as I head off to Goolwa in South Australia next week for some umpiring.  I just hope the work I have done in the last two months means I hold together.  I feel at the moment my core strength is almost the best it has been despite the lack of overall fitness.  Which hopefully means I can work on that when I get back.  In the last two weeks I have managed to jump on the bike and do some interval and resistance training which has been AMAZING! Last time I tried that over a year ago I ended up barely able to stand up straight as my Hip Flexors just reacted so badly.

Enough about the journey of trying to manage HMS. Bring on the road trip and driving to Goolwa! Two days on the road followed by umpiring some great sailing at the 2016 DeckHardware Australian Secondary Schools Team Sailing Nationals.