Two more sleeps

Just a little excited as I have two more sleeps before I head to Europe as it has been a HECTIC month.  We have not made the trip to METS for a couple of years due to the cost and time of year being the busiest time for DeckHardware.  It is pretty hard to get away when the sailing season is in full swing.  Sadly I will actually miss a Grade 3 Match Racing event too.  It is always great to catch up though with all our suppliers and see what is happening in the industry.

Amsterdam at Night
Amsterdam at Night

METS as it is known is the trade show for the marine industry. It really is an incredible few days and a very busy few days.  If you have not heard of it before here is a little more detail:

The world’s largest marine equipment trade show

METS, 18-19-20 November 2014 in Amsterdam RAI, is the only international B2B exhibition for the marine leisure industry. It’s the perfect place to forge profitable relationships and it showcases new product launches by 1,345 exhibitors from over 40 countries. Far more than just an exhibition, METS combines new products, seminars and unrivalled networking opportunities for visitors to connect across countries, technologies and industry sectors.

This year the International Sailing Summit is also happening in Amsterdam the day before METS! I am extremely excited to be able to attend this as it is something I have wanted to do for some time.  The program looks great for this years event!  Since deciding to put together the Sydney Sailboat Expo attending has become even more important.  I have always volunteered a lot of my time to supporting and promoting the sport of sailing.  It is something I feel very strongly about as I feel extremely lucky to have been brought up in the sailing community.

Speaking of community, you are probably wondering why I am flying a week early to Europe at our busiest time of year.  Before I head to Amsterdam I am flying into Frankfurt to see some very special people.  Two of my old crew from when I owned Animus!!!!  Marty and Marlene now live in Germany with their three children.  Whilst I am there we are celebrating their eldest’s 7th birthday.  I can not wait to see them and spend some time with them.  I have been told we have a big few days of German traditions ahead and no doubt Marlene and I will spend hours talking and catching up.  I was lucky enough to have a visit from Marty and their eldest earlier in the year when they visited Australia.  It has been several years now since I last saw Marlene and I can not wait to see her and catch up!

It is a very busy three weeks ahead.  I will try and do a few extra blog posts to keep you all up to date!  When I get back from Europe I have two days to get over some jet lag before I get out on the water to do some umpiring once again.

Marlene steering Animus not long before Thom was born.  Now we celebrate his 7th birthday!
Marlene steering Animus not long before Thom was born on a nice Twilight with Marty. Now we celebrate his 7th birthday!

What a week on the water!

NSW Youth ChampsLast 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!

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!

 

 

Fitness and an Expo

My training partner Cate and I in the rain making it count.
My training partner Cate and I in the rain making it count.

Well if I haven’t been working I have been working out!  That is the story of the last month! Lots of gym time doing Aqua and Pilates Reformer which has seen a massive improvement in my core.  Then throw in walking Long Reef once or twice a week with my training partners too! I am absolutely loving it and just have to be careful not to over do it as I just want to do more.  The last three days have been big ones including supporting a friend of mine doing the Pub to Pub which I want to do next year.  Just one of the many fitness goals I have now that I am getting the Hyper Mobility under control.

The Sydney Sailboat Expo has also taken up a great deal of my time as you can imagine.  It is such an exciting journey and I can’t wait to put it all together to celebrate the sport of Sailing.  Between the Expo and DeckHardware there is no such thing as a day off at the moment but I am finding time for plenty of workouts to make sure I am at my best for everything I am doing.  It is a challenge but I am enjoying it and lucky that I am able to work the flexible times to try to fit it all in.  With the visits to the Physio and Massage also needed to keep me going thanks to my extra special joints.

Summer is just around the corner and the Calendar is filling up fast between all the events I want to do as an Umpire and events that DeckHardware will be supporting.  I can’t wait to get out on the water again.  Having winter off to get all the joints under control has worked wonders and I am really starting to notice a big difference in my overall fitness and health.  I can’t wait for summer and might just have to get out for a sail too!

 

 

My kitten who is 10 months old helping me work on the weekend.
My kitten who is 10 months old helping me work on the weekend.

 

This makes the hard work of getting to the top all worth it.
This makes the hard work of getting to the top all worth it.

Rules, rules and more rules

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.

Opti States - when it is a day like this I realise how lucky I am to be on the water.
Opti States – when it is a day like this I realise how lucky I am to be on the water.
The Changeover boat was a busy place over the weekend.
The Changeover boat was a busy place over the weekend.
Teams Racing
Teams Racing

New Ambassadors and more

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.

Zac and Jake
Zac and Jake

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.

So busy time flys past me

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.

Australian Sailing Team Embarks On Road To Rio

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.

Link to my photos

 

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

The Animus Crew
The Animus Crew

Heading out on the water again

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.

 

Mat and Will ready to go sailing on the new boat.

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.

Fire Stopping’s trailer has plenty of accessories!

Exhausted

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.

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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.

Just a little salty from big breeze1240018_10151971286214809_1925746590_n

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.

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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.

Keep on going

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.

Playing with new Liros Rope for the Skud
Liesl Tesch Playing with new Liros Rope for the Skud at DeckHardware

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.

Photos of the Sound Regatta

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.

How many clubs can I visit?

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!