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.
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!
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!