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.
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.
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.
Over the last two weeks I have done 3 events, 10 days out of 11 on the water volunteering. It often surprises me how many people ask if I get paid for what I do. I am not sure if this is asked because I work in the Sailing industry or because of the number of events I volunteer at which means being out of the office. Lunches are usually supplied and sometimes breakfast for the early starts. Depending on the event you may get a regatta shirt or a small thank you gift. The three events I just volunteered at were two Match Racing Events at RPAYC and CYCA and the third was Fleet Racing being umpired at RMYC.
Many of the events I do I see the same volunteers, whether it be RO’s, Umpires, Judges or the onshore team. Many of the faces have now become good friends as a result of how much time we do spend with each other.
So I guess the question we should be asked is why we do it. We love our sport, we love talking tactics and rules. We get to spend huge amounts of time on our beautiful waterways that people pay to spend time on. But most of all we love our sport and seeing people enjoying it too. So next time you see the same familiar faces on a start boat or RIB make sure you say hi. If you have ever thought about getting more involved do talk to us as it can be great fun. Of course it can sometimes be hard work and very long hours on the water or back in the protest room.
It comes down to loving the sport, the friends and the time on the water. The next time you go sailing have a look at how many people it takes to run that racing. Do you see those faces on a regular basis?
The 2015 Sailing Season has certainly taken over my world. With Match Racing and Youth Events taking over my weekends and some weekdays! It certainly is all keeping me extremely busy as well as meaning I get to enjoy the great outdoors that we have to offer here in Sydney. I just worked on my Calendar up to Christmas and realized at one point I am doing three events back to back! That is not even at the peak Regatta time over Christmas!
Last weekend was the Australian Women’s Match Racing Championships and this weekend the NSW Youth Champs just as an example of how busy it is. Then throw in the fact there has been a big announcement in my life – Global sailing charity establishes new committee in Australia! The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation now has a committee and ambassadors set up in Australia.
The Australian Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation Team: I will chair the committee alongside Anthony Nossiter, Freddy Blencke, Marita Wilmot and Beau Outteridge. Ambassadors are Olympic Gold Medalists, Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen, Tom Slingsby and Nathan Wilmot and Sailors Lisa Darmanin, Luke Parkinson, Haylee Outteridge, Joel Turner, Dave Gimour, Laura Baldwin and writer Blue Robinson. With more names yet to be added.
Those who have followed my blog for some time will note that Anthony Nossiter a good friend of Bart’s is on the committee with me and that I have mentioned that surname before when talking about my sailing and sailing on Sirius the Adams 10m. I have often said Sailing is one big family and a lifestyle we live. Putting together the team for Australia certainly showed this. Besides the fact that there are two families with more than one person involved, many of us have known each other for 20+ years and have a strong connection with Bart who was from another country that is a Long – Haul flight away. Sailing can be pretty special at times and being involved in something like this reminds me how much so.
I might be busy but it certainly is an enjoyable busy. Here are some photos from Bart’s Bash that happened a few weeks ago around the world. I spent the day at Woollahra Sailing Club having a fantastic time with great people.
A HUGE thank you to Lisa for taking a moment out of her busy schedule to help promote the Sydney Sailboat Expo!
It certainly is becoming very real as we count down the days to the Sydney Sailboat Expo. There is so much work to be done and it is amazing the support we are getting behind the scenes.
During the week for a little break I checked out the new trail at Narrabeen. I did 10km walking around the entire lake, what a view! It was great to walk on the different surfaces as well for my joints. It was a great way to switch off the mind for a little and refresh to keep going with so much going on at the moment!
I managed to take a little time out yesterday to do some Umpiring. It was so good to put the laptop, iPad, iPhone down for a few hours and play on the water! But now it is back to work as we look at the 30 day mark approaching to the very first Sydney Sailboat Expo. I am so lucky to be able to spend my spare time having fun on Sydney Harbour. It was a fantastic day with a great team of Volunteers who love our sport!
It has been an extremely busy time. Two weekends ago I had the opportunity to Umpire at RPAYC for the David Lukins Match Racing Regatta. It is always great to find some time to dust of the cobwebs and do some umpiring to kick start the year. If I thought I was dusting off cobwebs after a few months off there were competitors back for the event in memory of David Lukins who had not match raced since the previous year. Great effort guys and so good to see you out there enjoying the sport pushing the younger generation who have the opportunity to do so many more events.
There need to be more events for the “retired” match racers out there! Just because they have aged out of the youth events doesn’t mean it should be time to stop. They all did a great job despite starting the weekend a little out of practice.
After a busy week of work I then headed down to Hobart for a day on the weekend. I wanted to check out the MyState Wooden Boat Festival for the first time. I have heard so much about this show and one of our Customers Brierley had a great range of DeckHardware product on show. I was so impressed! I honestly feel this is one of the best shows in the world. For atmosphere, number of great boats to check out, variety you name it. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and could have spent the weekend checking out all the boats. Next time for sure.
Of course one of the highlights was the food stalls! Amazing food! This of course comes as no surprise when in Tasmania. I definitely will be putting it in the calendar as a must attend for next time.
Flying in and out the same day certainly made it a long day. Especially with a slight delay on the flight home. I was so glad to finally sit and stop after a very full and exhausting day. There was just so much to see and look at. Check out this album of just a few of the shots I took. “Classics” “Stunners” there really was so much to see.
After just one day back in the office I was on the water Umpiring! Having only been back in Sydney for two days and with lots of work to do this was a little crazy but an event I really wanted to do. The Jet Lag certainly was a struggle unlike when I got to Europe. I think it was the heat when I got home as it was so humid and hot making it hard to adjust!
For the next four days I was Umpiring at the MUSTO International Youth Match Racing Championships. I have now done this event a couple of times and the level of racing this year was fantastic! It makes it very enjoyable to umpire when the racing is so good. The Umpire and RC Teams were fantastic as is the case each MUSTO. The weather this year behaved with the round robins completed in a nice time which was very kind of huey!
NZ did manage once again to take the Win with Harry Price and his crew coming Second. Great racing by both teams, a special mention has to go to Caitlin Tames on Mainsheet for Harry. She well and truly was the shorty of the team as seen in this photo and did a fantastic job on mainsheet.
As you can imagine with being so busy and trying to get all the DeckHardware and Sydney Sailboat Expo work done there is a pretty long to do list in my head at the moment. Yep it is in my head as I have not even sat down to write it down yet! There is so much to do after METS and so many new products to put up on the website etc!
Tomorrow I am finally back at the Gym to do some Pilates and make sure my health continues to move forward in the way that is has. A few months ago I honestly did not know if I would be able to handle the last few weeks physically, however it looks like I finally found a way to get the Hyper Mobility back under control. Now to keep the forward progress happening so that I can keep up with this workload I have taken on!
Just a little excited as I have two more sleeps before I head to Europe as it has been a HECTIC month. We have not made the trip to METS for a couple of years due to the cost and time of year being the busiest time for DeckHardware. It is pretty hard to get away when the sailing season is in full swing. Sadly I will actually miss a Grade 3 Match Racing event too. It is always great to catch up though with all our suppliers and see what is happening in the industry.
METS as it is known is the trade show for the marine industry. It really is an incredible few days and a very busy few days. If you have not heard of it before here is a little more detail:
The world’s largest marine equipment trade show
METS, 18-19-20 November 2014 in Amsterdam RAI, is the only international B2B exhibition for the marine leisure industry. It’s the perfect place to forge profitable relationships and it showcases new product launches by 1,345 exhibitors from over 40 countries. Far more than just an exhibition, METS combines new products, seminars and unrivalled networking opportunities for visitors to connect across countries, technologies and industry sectors.
This year the International Sailing Summit is also happening in Amsterdam the day before METS! I am extremely excited to be able to attend this as it is something I have wanted to do for some time. The program looks great for this years event! Since deciding to put together the Sydney Sailboat Expo attending has become even more important. I have always volunteered a lot of my time to supporting and promoting the sport of sailing. It is something I feel very strongly about as I feel extremely lucky to have been brought up in the sailing community.
Speaking of community, you are probably wondering why I am flying a week early to Europe at our busiest time of year. Before I head to Amsterdam I am flying into Frankfurt to see some very special people. Two of my old crew from when I owned Animus!!!! Marty and Marlene now live in Germany with their three children. Whilst I am there we are celebrating their eldest’s 7th birthday. I can not wait to see them and spend some time with them. I have been told we have a big few days of German traditions ahead and no doubt Marlene and I will spend hours talking and catching up. I was lucky enough to have a visit from Marty and their eldest earlier in the year when they visited Australia. It has been several years now since I last saw Marlene and I can not wait to see her and catch up!
It is a very busy three weeks ahead. I will try and do a few extra blog posts to keep you all up to date! When I get back from Europe I have two days to get over some jet lag before I get out on the water to do some umpiring once again.
Last week was a big one! With the Uni Games and NSW Youth Champs on in the same week! Both were three day events and luckily the weather gods played nicely for the most part. Uni Games was a Teams Racing event that I was umpiring for the second year in a row. NSW Youth Champs I was also on the water as part of the Jury working with several of the same people which was nice as we all get along.
Both events were around an 1hr in good traffic from home making the week a very long one by the time I would try to look at some work for DeckHardware and the Sydney Sailboat Expo.
Umpiring Uni Games can be a lot of fun as usually there are several teams featuring some very good sailors. This year was no different making it enjoyable to umpire as you watch their skills on the race course.
Our DeckHardware Ambassadors did a great job at Youth Champs and it was nice to catch up with them all whilst waiting for breeze ashore. It was good to see the Green fleet opti coaches having some fun with the kids as well. After all sailing especially at that age is all about the fun!
What a weekend our Ambassadors and Mel had at Yachting NSW Youth Championships! Phil dropped by on two of the… http://t.co/HS3Lw8qtIU
As the year rolls on I keep getting busier just when I think it not possible! In just over four weeks time I will be in Europe to attend the International Sailing Summit and Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam. There is so much to do to get ready for METS as I will be meeting with all the DeckHardware Suppliers. Let alone all the work that needs to be done before I am away again.
Roll on the busy time of year! Don’t forget to check out my Twitter account also!
After 6 days on the water in the last week I am rocking the Sunnies Tan line again! #lifeonthewater
The last few weeks have been very much about the Racing Rules of Sailing. I have started having monthly dinners with my good friend Liesl Tesch to talk rules. So far we have got together twice at different locations with our little boats to play with whilst having dinner. With both of us busy it is great to make the time for a catch up and to play with different scenarios. With both of us doing different events we always have plenty of scenarios to share and discuss.
I have also had the chance to do a few more events recently as a Judge and an Umpire. WIth the Opti States and the NSW Schools Teams Racing both on the last two weekends. It has now been a few weeks without a day off and it is certainly showing! Both events were great fun and I learnt a great deal. This past weekend with the Teams Racing it became obvious that winter was fast approaching. Many of the umpires were wearing multiple layers for the first time this year. It is one thing when you are out sailing but when umpiring you aren’t doing a great deal to keep warm!!! Big thanks to my fellow umpires who take care of me with my joint troubles.
It is a busy week this week as we prepare for the Combined High Schools Regatta that we (DeckHardware) sponsor. It is an event I loved competing in so being able to support it and watch it continue to be a strong event that people love is fantastic. It is amazing how many adults I speak to who would love to do it again…. If only it wasn’t just for High School Students.