Sailing is my sport. Yesterday reminded me that I am truly very lucky to be so involved in such a great sport. In my fathers role as MHYC PRO we each year head out on Boxing Day to volunteer our time on a Start boat for the biggest yacht race of the year. The Sydney to Hobart is such an iconic event and yesterday it reminded us why. We have done this for a number of years now with my Father in charge and a few friends supporting. This year we got to see off the middle line with all the Clipper boats which are known for sailing around the world!
Onboard the start boat were a number of close friends, many of them regular volunteers known around the Harbour and beyond for donating their time to our sport. They included well known race official / judge / umpire Jeremey Atkinson and Umpire / Judge Erica Kirby. It is a little way that we see we can thank them for what they do for our sport. Yes we are there to start a race and as normal that is fairly time consuming. However the atmosphere of the Sydney to Hobart is such an enjoyable experience and one to share. Onboard to help add to the atmosphere was good friend Liesl Tesch well known for winning a few Paralympic medals over the years as well as being the most enthusiastic person we know. Liesl has done the race in the past and loved having the chance to see what else happens to make the race possible.
We couldn’t do it without a great team onboard and it is nice to know that everyone also enjoyed it. With Erica bringing yummy cup cakes and Liesl purchasing some bubbles to drink afterwards. The team all came back to our place for a BBQ and to watch the TV version of the coverage to see what we missed! I am sure many people probably think we have it easy and a prime location but many of us didn’t get to see the start due to flag duties, penciling etc etc. Then there was the fact that many of us didn’t really have much of a chance to eat the sandwiches we had brought onboard either! You have to love the Christmas Day leftovers!!!
This years race was always going to be epic. With so many Maxi Boats entered I called it early that helicopters would reach double figures and they did! Standing on top of the MHYC Start Boat with Liesl the two of us had massive grins and remembered why we are so proud to be sailors. The Harbour was packed and looked fantastic with a spectator fleet out in full force thanks to the rain clearing early in the day. The yachts looked fantastic as they lined up at our pin end boat to check in and show they were ready to race with their storm gear up! The race was always going to be big this year despite next year being an anniversary year. As I type this there are some AWESOME battles going on in the fleet both up the front for line honors and further back as well. It is great to see such good close racing!
I really can only think of one word to describe last weekend. Epic. What was I thinking when I planned on being at Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 75th Opening Day followed by Manly Relay for Life. Thankfully Nix had no intention of doing over 18 hours on air this year and all that goes with it! She also had decided to luckily rule out all costume changes which makes life easier as I did not have to chase after her making sure she was wearing shoes etc! Instead we were able to enjoy the event that is Manly Relay for Life, to sit back and take it all in.
I started the day at the Yacht Clubs Volunteer Breakfast which was fantastic with a good friend of mine Jen who is back in the country for a while. This was followed by some fun events on the water and the beach! What a great effort by those at the club to create a fun atmosphere to celebrate the day. It was great to see the Sail Past in action once again with the club’s Start Boat leading the way which Dad was of course onboard! Nix joined me at the Club Open day along with Producer so the rest of the day could be planned, well as much as you can plan something like Relay for Life! With all our day jobs we had not had the time to make much of a plan beyond knowing that we were starting the day at the Yacht Club and Finishing the day at Manly Relay for Life. Who knew what the day would bring!
I managed to take around an hour of video and am gradually reducing it down to something a little fun. There were a few highlights of the morning as friends jumped in the Simulator early in the day followed by Youth Sailing Manager Locky being thrown in the water as you can see in the photo. Not a bad day to be thrown in the water and I must say that Jen and I were more than a little jealous as we drove off to Manly for the Afternoon.
After MHYC it was then time for Jen and I to head to Manly to join up with Radio Northern Beaches where once again Nix was highly involved and we were broadcasting on air. It was so hard to leave the fun activities at the Yacht Club behind and as we drove to Manly we heard Nix start broadcasting saying others would be joining her soon. We were almost there and just trying to find a park! As I said earlier the day was much better suited to swimming and when we got to Manly we found ourselves almost melting in the heat. There is something about Manly Relay for life and the atmosphere of the occasion that makes it such a great event to be involved in. As you can see Nix didn’t manage to stay out of costumes all together! Some of the Manly Relay for Life organisers talked her into just the one change on air so there was no escaping it! It was a big night to be on air as you also had the Australian Election and some Rugby on as well but we tried to avoid that with the score.
I had an amazing day and took all of Sunday to recover which was much better than last year hahaha! It was great to be able to spend the Day with Jen doing some very different things to just a normal Saturday whilst she is home. I am very lucky to have such great and fun friends!
You know you have had a hectic month when you have to look at the Calendar to work out what you have actually been doing! Crazy! Either that or I have fried my brain with all the study I have done lately. Last night I sat for the National Judge Exam just another step forward since becoming an umpire. Yes I passed so all the study of non match racing rules was worth it. I would not have been able to do this without the support of my umpire/judge friends who have been amazing since I started umpiring!
The last month has been wrapped up in a lot of sessions at the Gym: Pilates with the Awesome Michelle at Virgin Active Frenches Forest, Zumba with Claudine and her Aqua Zumba which I am certain is more of a workout for her than those of us in the pool, weights and the usual Bike, Treadmill etc. I can see that I am on the road to recovery which is such a nice feeling. My core really has been giving me so much trouble and as I can’t afford to go to the Physio as much as I would like it is taking longer to get stronger. I can’t wait to go sailing this season. Yes I said it. I don’t think I can wait much longer to be honest but don’t want to go too soon and set myself back again. I might have to test myself on a no-extras day or something and see how I go first.
Many of my mornings were also spent watching the Kiwis take out the Louis Vuitton which will see them in September go up against Oracle USA for the America’s Cup. We have been talking about it a lot on Sailing Chix with Nix especially as Nic D has been over there! On Monday Morning the Red Bull Youth AC starts which will see some very early rises at 4am for the Aussies wanting to cheer on Team Objective! We also had Liesl Tesch fill in whilst Nic was away as a guest Co-Host! SO much fun to have her in studio talking about her quiet year, which in everyone else’s words is hectic. Liesl was also let loose in the Warehouse getting new Liros Rope for the Skud. For those who don’t know much about her google her! She is an inspiration and I am lucky to call her a friend as she inspires me all the time.
I also got the chance to head out and watch the Sound Regatta at MHYC. When I was growing up sailing there we had one of the biggest events that kicked off the Sailing Season and it was great to see this happening once more.
The next few weeks are just as crazy with a visit to Wangi due this weekend to see some friends, MHYC 75th Opening Day, Manly Relay for Life, The Youth AC and the big one the America’s Cup 30 years since the team on Australia II showed the world how good Aussie Sailors Are! I can not wait to watch these events and wish I could make it there.
Yeah ok we have Christmas first. But Boxing Day is going to be just so exciting this year it is hard to not get excited. We at Sailing Chix with Nix will be doing a live coverage of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race start on Boxing Day. Once again my Dad will be the starter on the second line as well. So it is a big day for us!
Sailing Chix with Nix will be LIVE on Boxing Day covering the Start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race!
Sailing Chix with Nix will be live on location for the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race based at Tania Park above Grotto Point on the Northern Beaches in Sydney! The Chix can’t wait to bring you five hours of interviews from yachts, specialists, weather gurus, the community and more to really bring the Hobart to life! We will kick off from 9AM and take you right through until 2PM as the boats leave the heads and start the journey South!
This morning saw me hanging out on Radio Northern Beaches again. Good friend and host of our Sailing Chix with Nix show was in need of some company in studio so I jumped in the car to join her. Now normally I get to the studio pretty quick on a Saturday morning but it was a bit slower at the start of peak hour!
Nix & Johnny is very different to our Sailing Chix show which has a target audience and a topic I know well. It was good fun talking about current news, entertainment and sport! My Cricket knowledge which is normally pretty good was a bit rusty and I did not want to even mention the Rugby score…. It was great fun for something different! Talking about Cats running for Senate, Movies and so much more. I must say I like the idea of turning voting into a 5 Star service as they did at one location in the States recently. Nice food, Valet parking and much more sounds like a good day at the polling booth! Of course we did sneak in a little sailing talk too.
The Nix & Johnny Show is a lot of fun and recently I was a part of the Halloween special as well as the Manly Relay for Life special where they did 18hrs on air. Make sure you have a listen to either past shows online or the next show!
Covering the most beautiful stretch of the Sydney coast, our home includes beaches from Manly, Collaroy, and Narrabeen to Palm Beach. We air programs predominantly made and presented by local residents. Radio Northern Beaches is run by the Manly-Warringah Media Co-operative.