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!
I am so lucky to live in Sydney. Days like this remind me why that is as winter turns the sky an amazing blue. The Harbour too shows off the varying depths and colours. I could watch the Harbour for hours as it changes through the day.
I am hoping the weather stays beautiful as once again this Saturday I am umpiring at the CYCA. Last week was week one of the Capt John Piper regatta with this week the finals. It has been a busy few weeks as prior to that we also had the East Coast Champs at MHYC my home club. Which was a full weekend on the start boat and in the protest room on a Sunday night to hear a couple of protests.
The conditions on the Saturday of the East Coast Champs were interesting with light breeze and a big seaway out on the sound as the video shows.
Over the weekend I was assisting at the 420 and 470 NSW State Titles out of MHYC. What a huge weekend with BIG WAVES and BIG BREEZE! On Saturday we actually set the course inside Middle Harbour! Not something we would normally do but even there it was gusting 24 knots with swells rolling in every now and then. Creating some great surfing opportunities for those competing.
On Sunday we headed into the Sound with a smaller start team on a smaller start boat! Not ideal in a big seaway but certainly interesting. Unfortunatly I had no chance of taking photos on the Sunday. The breeze held steady at 15-17 knots and the swell was less than Saturday but still had some big moments.
This weekend is another HUGE weekend at Middle Harbour Yacht Club with the Sydney Harbour Regatta on. Saturday morning sees the Sailing Chix Live on location kick starting things. Let’s hope for beautiful sunshine and a Nor’easter! They have been lacking lately…
Where do you want to see our club in 5, 10 15 years time? I would like to see Middle Harbour Yacht Club as the destination for Sailors who love our sport and wish to compete against the highest level of sailors run by professional race committee that is the envy of other clubs. Our location is and we know that.
I believe we need to inspire the next generation to stay in sailing and hopefully at our club. So that they too then inspire the next generation to love our sport of Sailing.
My family was a part of the highly successful era in MHYC Centreboard and Offshore Sailing scenes. Lately MHYC has told the world how strong we were and the sailors our club produced through its fantastic Centreboard Division.
Create a family environment
Get parents involved
Show them how to get involved
Run a power boat handling operators course
Look at classes offered and the direction of these classes offered at the club
Have a pathway and options along the path for our sailors. When I was a teenager I asked and my mum fought to head down the same path as RPAYC, CYCA and RSYS and their training centres.
This is currently where our club is placed. Ideally we should have an all inclusive Centreboard Division as it was when it was the strongest club in Sydney.
I would like to call on all those who believe in Middle Harbour Yacht Club to stand up and assist our club in finding its “Mojo”. Many of you may have young kids and be wondering what path to lead them. Whether they will be as lucky as you were growing up in a fantastic sailing environment.
I believe Middle Harbour Yacht Club has an opportunity right now as they did back then. Perhaps instead of telling the teenagers what they will sail next they could hold an open event for all dinghy classes. Then advise these classes that MHYC would love to have them race on a regular basis. The place to start would be the 505’s which were such a strong class once at MHYC. Let’s make the event a fantastic event and show everyone what a great place it is to sail and how amazing the people are. How much we all love the sport of sailing. We have the facilities to run the most professional event possible. We also have the personnel in not only staff but a fantastic volunteer base that have run many great regattas over the years.
There are many questions people have asked me over the years. Why was I the youngest skipper by such a margin? Why was I the only racing female skipper? Where did those you grew up with go? Where is your age group? Why did the Centreboard Division fold all those years ago? Why are there so few females? How did you manage to run so many women’s events and crews?
I have over the years said I have some but not all the answers should anyone wish to listen to someone so young. I am a little older now and would love to talk to those who want to listen to my thoughts. Perhaps we could hold an open forum and invite the members of the past?
So I ask: Where do you see Middle Harbour Yacht Club in 5, 10, 15 years time?
I have just spent the last three days doing the instructors course at Middle Harbour Yacht Club. It was nice to finally tick that off the list as it is something I have been meaning to do for a long time but just not had the chance. Having already done the Powerboat Handling and First Aid this was the next thing on my list. Great to be able to say after over 20yrs I now can call myself an Instructor. The course was certainly beneficial especially for someone like me who does not remember learning how to sail. So trying to put myself in a learners shoes is not something I can easily relate to. So to have the guidelines to go by will certainly make it a whole lot easier for me to help out those new to our sport!
I must admit that yesterday I was pretty lucky to be on the water. Great blue sky and even better was the fact that it was a Nor’easter!
BRING ON SUMMER!!!
Now to pack the van for Belmont and the Yachting NSW Youth Championships, unpack a Liros Shipment this afternoon, go to the rules night at the club tonight for a refresh, pack myself for Belmont. Then head up to the youth states on Friday.
At this stage there are 196 competitors for the NSW Youth Champs. That is amazing! Dad is the RO for Course Area B and at this stage I am on the Pin boat. We have the Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Flying 11, 420 and 29’er fleets!
I truly am a lucky sailing chix. Over the weekend I got to spend the entire two days on the water at two pretty awesome clubs.
The first one being Middle Harbour Yacht Club on Saturday. Dad asked me to come out on the Start boat. Not only to learn a little more watching him as the club PRO but also to take a million photos on a perfect blue sky day. The Harbour really put on a show. In Middle Harbour you could see the bottom as it was crystal clear water on a perfect 15 knot day. I was so very lucky to be able to spend the day taking photos on a day like this. Plus I got to see the first race of the season and where everyone was at.
I then got the chance to drive Hugh George again and learn how to pick up the marks after the race. This was something new to me on such a large start boat. It was great to have the clubs two RO’s onboard to help me learn this skill and how the boat likes to operate. So big thanks to Dad and Steve for that one.
On the way back in the crew were letting me know to slow down as they had seen a windsurfer in a little distress. I let Dad take the helm for this one as we got the poor shaking guy and his board onboard and delivered him back to Balmoral. Poor guy really was in a state and I am glad we saw him before he ended up in the main harbour. He was already near Middle Head and heading his way out there. When we got back to the club the preso was done and people were already heading home. What a long day on the water!
Sunday I had to deliver some parts to friends of mine at Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club. When I got there for their first Learn To Sail morning session there were kids EVERYWHERE! I mean EVERYWHERE! It could have been the amazing weather, the impact of the Olympics or the family atmosphere at that club. It was an amazing day as the kids from the club took out a new kid each to give them a go and Rhys, Greg, Ian, Ian and I manned the Rescue boats also towing them out with out sails up to learn how to balance in a boat and steer. What an amazing effort by everyone! Pam and Andy could be seen taking people out in Herons at the same time! EVERYONE from the club was busy and helping out somewhere. Things then changed back to a bit of normal as we headed out for the junior sailing session. Gee joined me in the RIB to do some coaching as Greg jumped in the start boat. She did a fantastic job in particular coaching her little Junior States Crew around the course when the breeze kicked in a little.
In the afternoon I was leaning towards heading home to do some work on the website. My friends informed me I could not go to work as I was in the RIB for that afternoon. I must say I was not really going to say no on such a beautiful day.
Yesterday I spent the day on the MHYC start boat with a fantastic team including my Dad at the MHYC Sound Championships. The breeze however made it for one of my more interesting days on the water. Talk about shifts! We all know that Westerlies in Middle Habour make for interesting sailing and testing conditions. The shifts really are affected by the hill and can swing over 50 degrees on a regular basis. So setting course is difficult and really hurts the brain.
Then throw in the fact that half way through the day the breeze decided to do a 180 and come in from the EAST!!! Thankfully Dad finished the boats whilst I liaised with RIBS to arrange a new course so we could do it as fast as possible to get enough races in to have a series result. There was not much time to rest for the 5 of us on the start boat. Let alone get in some lunch!
With 5 short races and a fleet of Optimists and 420’s it was great to have a good team to work with on the start boat who knew what they were doing. There really were no breaks between the starts and finishes! Especially as the 420’s needed a couple of General Recalls.
I was very impressed with the majority of the fleet. It is fantastic to see so many young sailors thank the start team as they finished the last race. Some even thanking us in between races. There needs to be more of this to encourage more volunteers like us to spend their day on the water supporting our next generation of Aussie Sailors.
Right now I could not be more proud of Australian Sailing. Olympics, America’s Cup, Melges 24, Moths and much more are showing how good and how strong and varied Australian Talent is right now.
In 2009 members of the Australian Sailing Team approached us to see if we would be interested in supplying Liros Rope. Being a small family business this would be a big commitment but how could we say no to such talented sailors and friends. Many of the team members we had known when they were sailing at club and state regattas back in their junior days. Mal Page has been a part of our extended sailing family for many years from the days of Flying Elevens along with the entire Jensen family. Nathan Outteridge has also been a part of our sailing family not only from his junior days but in particular his time at DeckHardware with Mel as her on road sales rep when he was starting out on his campaigns.
Early in 2010, Liros Rope Australia formed an Official Supplier relationship with the Australian Sailing Team. We are so proud of all of the sailors and look forward to meeting up with them when they return to Australia.
Since 2010 we have introduced PROtect Tape to our range of products working with Pietro Parmegggiani. During this time Pietro worked with Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen to put together a kit for use on the 49er which is now available around the world with their photo and signatures on the cover.
We have enjoyed watching the London 2012 Olympics knowing we have been a small part in helping the sailors achieve their dreams. We look forward to following all of the sailors in their choice of future events. Thank you for all of the late nights and sharing the journey with all your fans. You are an inspiration to all young sailors and wonderful ambassadors for our sport. Let’s spread the word that sailing is one of the greatest sports and everyone can get on the water and enjoy just like we all do.