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.
I recently spent some time at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for the Australian Schools Teams Racing Championships and Queensland Youth Week. I decided after looking at Flight Options and talking to the DeckHardware customers that I would drive up instead of flying. No packing restrictions and I could take extra product should it be needed. Of course there is also the fact that I enjoy a road trip and had not done the Journey to Brisbane and back for some time. Talk about some road work changes particularly south of Coffs!
I must say one of the biggest debates I had was where to stop along the way. I love stopping by some of the smaller towns and even saw a poster for the Nabiac Caravan, Boat and Fishing Show. I think that might have to be something we check out some time. It is great to see some of the smaller regions supporting the outdoor lifestyle and putting on a community event.
Two of us were talking on one of the days at RQYS about how successful these events were and how great it was to see so many types of boats heading out in decent numbers at Youth Week!
We started talking about how perhaps the sport is changing to be more focused on events rather than club racing? Are you seeing this in your area? If people are more focused on events where does that leave our clubs and how do the youth in particular learn and improve and get the social side to play a big part in the sailing culture they grow up with?
Is it because a days sailing literally does take up the majority of the day compared with other sports?
It feels like Teams Racing in Schools is growing in Sydney as well, school sailing in general which is fantastic especially with what Yachting Australia has been able to be involved in. Passed around at the presentation night for the Teams Racing was a flyer for School Match Racing! What a great idea! It is fantastic to watch the boat handling and skills in these formats of sailing as well as the knowledge of our sport these young sailors have.
There certainly is a lot happening in our sport at the moment. Let’s hope we can keep up the momentum and continue to receive growing media coverage for the success of Australian Sailing. With this will come increased interest and participation in our sport. It is up to all of us to help spread the word about how good sailing is! After all, what better way to spend a day than out on the water.
For something different I have had a bit on recently. With the juggling act I have been doing I wanted to increase my knowledge to be able to do it better and more efficiently! In the past few weeks I have attended a 2 day Umpire Seminar, Website and Marketing workshop, Child Safe Seminar, plus the usual work and conference calls that go on.
Big thanks to the Warringah Chamber of Commerce who put together some great training sessions. Being part of the Chamber has certainly been worthwhile especially when it comes to growing knowledge for small businesses. It sometimes isn’t easy to find the money or funds to further your education so their support is very worthwhile!
It is great to stretch the mind and learn new things. The Child Safe Seminar was something I wanted to do with everything going on at the moment in my life. It certainly was an eye opener and we are lucky to have a government department taking such great care to do these seminars. It was emotionally draining as you can imagine but I am glad I have now done it. If you are in a position that is responsible for the care of children I highly recommend taking the time to do this.
Yesterday after the Child Safe Seminar I had a meeting in the city for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation’s Australian Committee. I decided after the slightly emotional morning that a ferry into the city would be the best option to destress and relax a little. How lucky are we in Sydney to have that option! Even though it was raining and South Head was barely visible as we came out of Manly it put me at ease. Being on the water does that.
Winter is certainly now here so this weekend I am going to try to relax and catch up on some cleaning and sorting myself out with work. As next weekend I will be heading to QLD for the Australian School Teams Racing Championships followed by Queensland Youth Week! Time to get a bit more organised so I can keep up with everything going on. Lots of opportunities that have been amazing have crossed my path this past year and despite getting busier I just could not say no to such moments.
The very first Sydney Sailboat Expo has been and gone. Check out the news story on the very first Expo! I still can not believe how fast this time has gone. It is several weeks since the Expo and I am now looking toward next year! The highlight for me was the support from friends and the industry for the event. To have a surprise visit from Iain Percy to help spread the word of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in Australia was fantastic. I am looking forward to the impact the Foundation will have not only on world wide sailing but Australian Sailing and am proud to be involved in this.
Now that the Expo has happened life has semi returned to normal! Well I am on catch up and recovery mode. I managed to spend three days umpiring at the NSW Secondary Schools Teams Racing Championships this past week. Always great to get out there and see the up and coming generation of sailors! I love the tactics and rules in Teams Racing and Match Racing. The thinking game of our sport is something I really enjoy.
Now don’t be too shocked. I am actually thinking of taking a couple of days off to really recover from the hectic few months that have passed. I am extremely lucky to have some amazing supporters behind the scenes. Now it is time to recharge the batteries a little and stop to think about what has been achieved and is still yet to be achieved.
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!
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.
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