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?
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!
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
Tomorrow is the last day in the office before two Match Racing events at RPAYC and CYCA. It has been a busy few weeks and I have had the chance to go out and watch the 18′ Skiffs a couple of times to support friends and DeckHardware Ambassadors. I even got to watch from the 18’s ferry an old friend out on a 12′ Skiff showing off some extreme skills and managing to keep the boat up whilst it turned 360 with a kite up! There are plenty of photos on the DeckHardware facebook page.
Yesterday I was at MHYC for the Launch of the new 470 Happy Feet for Mat Belcher and Will Ryan. Here is a photo album from in the rain. I had the opportunity to be there along with other sponsors, supporters and team members. It wasn’t the best day for sailing with pouring rain and strong breeze! However we were all there to celebrate the success that Mat and Will have had the past year.
It has been an interesting start to the season weather wise and Ambassadors Fire Stopping Skiff Racing Team seem to be doing things a little different. Check out their facebook page to read how their season is going and just why they may be looking for recipes! Never a dull moment working with these guys that is for sure! They have also been working hard on their Trailer program to ensure all their requirements are met when onshore.
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
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.
What a weekend! Saturday Morning as always started with the Sailing Chix on air. It was a big show full of AC talk and lots of Match Racing, TP52’s as well as the up coming JJ’s for the 18’s. There is plenty happening in the world of sailing this year that is for sure!
Sunday was pretty big. My first umpiring event for the year was the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta, won by Kathleen Stroinovsky and her crew of Lucinda Whitty, Samantha Boyd and Kate Brown, representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. It was a very tricky day with the Southerly hitting early on and causing the breeze to be very shifty as well as changing strengths with the shifts. Women’s Sailing has come a long way in the last few years and we can thank the Olympics for including Match Racing at the London Games. It was great to see Lucinda Whitty one of our Silver Medal winners out there yesterday as that helps increase the skill of the competitors. It is also great as the atmosphere at the event was such a friendly one as well as being competitive. This goes for everyone including Competitors, Organizers, Race Committee and Umpires. It really felt like everyone was there to grow and improve as well as having a great time out on our awesome Harbour.
Leaving the CYCA I managed to get home to watch the last 1.5hrs of the Bathurst 12hour. The race could be watched online via the website which was AWESOME! The commentary was great to listen too as well. The weather was teasing so much with rain all around the Mountain making it extremely difficult to choose what car setup to go for. I can’t wait for the V8’s to start up with the new teams mixing it up a bit! Check out some of the video here. Apparently I missed an incredible amount of Safety Cars in the morning part of the race as well as some of the crazy rain that had them doing 40K around the track on the wrong tyres. I will definitely be checking out the highlight footage. Great effort by those who put together the coverage and did the Commentary. Loved it.
Now for another big week at DeckHardware followed by a full weekend of umpiring at the Pittwater High Schools Teams Racing this weekend up at RPAYC. Summer truly is awesome.