We have two new Ambassadors! Zac and Jake Barnabas who have jumped into a Flying 11 for the very first time! They just competed in their very first Flying 11 Nationals with some great results in the lighter winds. Still a few years to grow into the stronger winds yet but a great first time result for a small team.
This is extremely exciting for us as Phil and Robyn know their Grandad very well from years gone by and Mel went to school with their Mum Christine along with knowing their Dad Trent as kids at the 18’s park. I guess you could say we were always going to sponsor Zac and Jake. The best part is they love Sailing and that is a big part of how we choose ambassadors, their attitude! It is in their blood after all.
It really is nice to be able to support some young sailors who love the sport that’s in their blood.
Last Friday and Saturday I headed to Gosford Sailing Club to support Sam Ellis who put together the very first Gosford Match Racing Event! Sam deserves massive praise for putting together the event. As do all the top competitors who attended using the event as a training session which was so very smart. Ash Rooklyn took out the event and made a great speech encouraging everyone to support the smaller and startup events. Nice one Ash. When you consider the skippers were Ash, Jay Griffin, Sam Ellis, Milly Bennett and David Witt it was quite an event with some great racing! Even better was the effort from Harry Price and Louie Collins who were the Race Officials! It really was a fantastic event out together by the young match racers to help promote and grow the sport.
It has been an insane few weeks! Two of them were spent out of the office at Match Racing Events on the water of Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. This was followed with coming back to the office as Phil headed down to Sail Melbourne! Which coincided with the busiest month of the year starting and it was BIG! Then we get to this week and Monday Night I had the opportunity as a sponsor to attend a special function for the Australian Sailing Team – the “Road to Rio” Begins. Then Tuesday was the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and I took the time to head down to the shore and take some photos and videos! So where do I start…
I truly love this time of year. Plenty of time on the water at different events as well as a business which is all about the sport of Sailing meaning we get extremely busy at this time of year! The Match Racing saw some interesting conditions and I do not think I have ever been as wet as I was umpiring on Pittwater and it was not even raining! The conditions and breeze saw waves breaking over the boat and the umpires! It was however great fun with a great team. The conditions at both events truly were all over the place making it really hard and some long exhausting days. By the end of the 8 days I was looking forward to a bit of rest and that was never to come!
The good news is however that business has certainly hit the peak season. With DeckHardware keeping us more than busy as we try to keep up with the demand! A huge thanks to Cam McDonald who turned up just in time to help unpack the big Liros Shipment. Cam is well known in the 18′ skiff fleet in particular for his splicing. Thanks Cam! We all know he wanted first go at the new stock haha
The Road to Rio Launch was a fantastic event to be able to attend. We have been involved with the team for a number of years now as well as some of the athletes and even some of the support team are friends so it was great to be included. We were reminded that we are all a part of the journey and have our part to play. To find out more about the Road to Rio Launch head over to the Australian Sailing Team’s Website.
The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge was the very next day. For the seventh consecutive year, the CYCA has decided to dedicate the event to raise awareness and funds for its SOLAS Trusts, which were established following the stormy 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when six lives were lost. This is something that is extremely important for many of us.
Up next is the Sail Middle Harbour Regatta which is going for the next three days out of two of my favourite clubs MHYC and MH16’SC. For those who remember my yacht Animus, I had both clubs written on the stern as my crew was often filled with skiffies.
To finish off I have a ThrowBackThursday moment from 2008, I stumbled across this great photo! One American Sailing Anarchist who wanted to see what it was like to sail with a chick crew hahaha. Yes he flew to Aus! What a great day! Most of the time I did not seek out an all female crew it just sometimes happened when none of the guys could make it. Other times as the skipper I would be the only chick onboard. #TBT
I have done it. Umpiring Three regattas in two weeks and I’m exhausted. As I sit here at the airport to head back to Sydney I can barely think straight and standing is an issue for more reasons than just exhaustion. I should really start at the beginning though.
The CYCA Youth Academy has passed its 20th anniversary which was celebrated by hosting the Australian Match Racing Championships combined with the Australian Women’s Match Racing Championship. This saw some very long days on the water trying to fit in the tight schedule. By the end of this event I was already tired and had two more to go! It didn’t help that many of us had been waking early to watch the America’s Cup during the event.
It was a fantastic to see some of the newer and younger teams mix it with some who have been match racing a long time. It was great to see who took it out as well! read more about the winners here.. I then had a day off afterwards to get some work done at DeckHardware which was much-needed.
Next up was the Australian Youth Match Racing Championships. This event saw many similar teams to the last event but with nowhere near the number of entries this was to be an easier event with shorter days on the water. The weather clearly didn’t get the memo! Day one we knew big breeze was coming but hoped to get a flight done before it hit. In the prestart I was umpiring as a big gust of 28 knots hit. This was the first time we had the chance to see how we go in the RIBS keeping up with the new E7’s! We had just a little bit on as did the sailors and the race was pulled with around 30 seconds to go to the start. Ashore we went. This would prove to be a trend over the next few days. With plenty of time under postponement on the water and ashore due to both too much wind and not enough! The final saw some amazing racing between Sam Gilmour and Harry Price’s crews. News Story on the winners.
The next event along with several of the match racers, three of the umpires including myself was the Australian University Games Teams Racing event in QLD. So the day after the match racing finished I found myself packed and sitting at the airport having my morning coffee. This was a very tricky event due to the weather conditions and location. It was based out of The Southport School using their boats on the river. For the most part the weather played fair and only shifted a little during racing although the tide caught out a LOT of competitors. The last day however was much harder with many hours spent watching the breeze shift 90-180 degrees differences. It seemed the breeze at the seaway was fighting with what was down south and we were stuck in the middle. The competitors were fantastic in understanding the officials were trying to ensure the best sailing they could. Once again there was a team of sailors ahead of the rest! Team UWA including several of the crew from Sam Gilmour’s Match Racing Team. It was also great to catch up with Carrie Smith who we support through DeckHardware. It was almost by accident that we realised we were both there on the first day as I went alongside the boat she was on to help out with some damage.
Somehow during the Teams Racing event I managed to hurt my left foot. Through exhaustion and my hyper mobility I am not surprised in the slightest! I ended up with some good bruises on my legs during all of the events but the clear winner was my left foot with bruising on the side and near the toes. It has caused me to hobble around for days! Time to head back to the Physio to find out what I have done after the Long Weekend.
It is great to be back in Sydney with so much work to catch up on after two weeks on the water. It was a big effort shared with Jeremey and Erica who are great friends along with being fellow umpires. The fact the three of us were sitting at the airport to come home exhausted said it all. Dad has headed off to SA and VIC to see DeckHardware customers you can follow his adventure on his Twitter Account or our DeckHardware Facebook Page.
Well today I couldn’t be happier! This week my physio remeasured my core and we saw a great improvement! It has taken a long time and been a long road as I could not afford to go to the physio as much as I would like or been able to do as much reformer Pilates with her as we would like. My main source of improvement has been thanks to Pilates at Virgin Active. Michelle is a great instructor who really mixes up the types of equipment she uses in class which is great fun and often a big challenge. The reason for choosing Virgin Active to try and get better was all the facilities they have available such as the pool, spa, sauna and plunge pool as well as their class time table.
I’m not just happy today because all the hard work and time has seen an improvement. I went SAILING yesterday!!! I wanted to test how I was going on a slightly more relaxed race like a Wednesday Race instead of on the weekend! I went out on Sirius an Adams 10m with Ben Nossiter who has always been a huge mentor of mine. I also had one of my old crew Jen onboard along with of course knowing a couple of Ben’s crew. I wouldn’t have wanted to be on any other boat for my first sail back! It was a typical gusty westerly which is always interesting as the breeze plays games on you. When we realised we had more than a full crew we decided to unhank the #2 headsail and go for the old cutdown #1 as we figured there were enough of us onboard. So much for taking it easy!
I love sailing on an Adams 10 in big breeze and found myself in trim with one of Ben’s longest serving crew who has known me a long time. Needless to say because we knew each other well there was plenty of heckling and a great time had by all onboard. We were fastest 10m around the course which is always nice too but Ben has an incredible record of wins at MHYC in the Adams 10 class. If you are wondering what an Adams 10m is check out the website.
Unfortunatly I won’t get to go sailing again in the near future as I am spending the next two weeks umpiring at a number of Match Racing Events in NSW followed by a Teams Racing Regatta in QLD. It will be a hectic few weeks with just the one day off to be here in the office to get some work done at DeckHardware. I am extremely lucky my work is in the Sailing Industry and allows me the time out to do such events. Bring on the huge weeks ahead! Yes my Physio knows I have a lot happening and expects to see me at the end of it all hopefully for Pilates and not in pain. Lets hope!
Went sailing for the first time in ages thanks to my physio.! Loved it so much! Fastest in our fleet… http://t.co/9Rx37VQCr9
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.
It has been an action packed time for me. I have spent time at RPAYC, BSC, SFS plus my home clubs MHYC and M16’SSC. Most of this has been for Seminars, Meetings or Umpire dinners etc. It has been a busy month and I think my head may have exploded a few times there trying to take it all in and learn even more.
Last weekend was the Start of the Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race. What a slow start! The video will give you a great idea of what the conditions were like for the race, given how long it took to get out of Sydney Harbour and head offshore.
I only took a few photos of the event. Yeah ok more than a few but it wasn’t my normal effort as I was also trying to post on Instagram at the same time as well as video too! Here they are.
This weekend I am back in Umpire mode as we have the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championships on both days at the CYCA. They will be long days on the water and hopefully the weather will play nice as it is our first event with the new boats!
Who would have thought this is winter? I have been so busy! What on earth will spring be like with all the Australian Match Racing Championships happening at the CYCA. Plus over the next few weeks the America’s Cup will be a good reason to wake up early to watch all the racing online as it ramps up into semi final mode for the LVC. Good Luck to the boys on Artemis!
Last weekend I spent the entire time indoors with the umpire team doing a seminar. Huge thanks to Gary Manuel for his time and effort in putting together the seminar! Thanks to Erica Kirby for making it happen too! A room full of umpires and I am sure you can imagine the topics and discussions that occurred.
This past weekend we got back out on the water which was much needed. It reminded us of why we love to umpire. How lucky are we! Amazing harbour, blue sky’s and sunshine… If only the breeze could behave haha, there is no chance it is winter breezes! And to think this is the off season if there were such a thing, match racing is just starting up. It’ll be a big year for match racing in Sydney with some very special anniversary events at the CYCA.
On Sunday I was on the water for the NSW High Schools Teams Racing Championships. It is days like this that make me well aware of how lucky I am to be able to spend time on Sydney Harbour. It was a very long day but views like this make it worth while! I am extremely lucky to live in a city with such an amazing Harbour full of sailors enjoying the beautiful sunshine. To think this is the CYCA Winter Series sailing past? So lucky.
The photos were taken with my iphone using a waterproof casing for on the water and not the best for photography.
Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I was umpiring at the NSW Teams Racing Champs. But this isn’t about the racing. As there wasn’t much breeze I spent a long time looking up at the sky trying to predict the breeze. As well as trying to work out when the wet weather gear needed to be on or off. While doing this I realised just how much I love watching clouds. Yes we got wet as it rained on us in no breeze. To make up for the no wind and getting rained on the sky put on a show for us to keep us entertained during the multiple postponements. I still hate as a sailor drizzling rain and no breeze. I much prefer rain and breeze!
Clouds at different levels crossing over as some go North and some South. The varying colours and types are truly fascinating. I still don’t fully understand what they all mean but after laying back in the rib I realised I just enjoy watching the way they move and could do it for hours.
Over the weekend I umpired over 60 teams races. On Saturday we were lucky to have Arthur Spithill and Ian Humphries along with Murray Gordon and myself. Sunday Murray and I were back and we threw Oscar Stranack into the deep end for the full day and he did a great job! He even got to umpire two lots of Finals as we had a tie for 1st and 4th after two round robins.
Saturday we had to wait for the breeze to fill in and that was with a late start. I guess I should not give the PRO a hard time as it was my father haha. It was tricky conditions over the weekend with East to South East breeze flicking around a lot. Sunday was fairly similar with more than a few course changes to make things interesting.
The winning team came down to a best of three finals with Mater Maria and Pittwater High fighting it out and even though Mater Maria won Pittwater were in it till the finish. It was great to see several Girls Schools out there competing as well! There was even mention of a competitor helping out those new to the sport whilst racing against each other. Fantastic! There were several teams that had a few people completely new to the sport out there giving it a go. And what a great looking weekend to do it.
I didn’t get the chance to take a photo but I must comment on the Jellyfish. They were MASSIVE!!!
This week is a big week yet again with both my Co-Hosts from Sailing Chix with Nix having their birthdays!
Happy Birthday Chix!
I am also hoping to head over to the 18’s who are competing at the JJ’s with my good camera to watch for a day or two. Then Sunday sees me back umpiring some Teams Racing again. This time it is the Opti’s for just the one day. For now I am in the office catching up on some work, designing some advertising for DeckHardware and catching up on the America’s Cup action from over the weekend that I missed.