So, as most of you probably know, I will, in August be competing at the Olympic Games, in Beijing (or Qingdao for sailing..) So here is what I have been up to this year, and what I am about to do, in order to help me (or not?) prepare me best for the big regatta…


I have been to Europe twice so far this year, I went up early to do a regatta in Lake Garda (Italy) and then Hyeres regatta in France.  This first trip was an interesting one as we flew into Amsterdam, had to get the car fitted with a towbar (which we had to customize, as it didn’t fit out kiwi trailer), pick up the coach boat and get to Italy all in 24 hours, in order to make the first race..


We drove through the night, and made it to the yacht club at 9am race day, with a brand new shrink wrapped boat waiting for me.. (Over there they don’t kit out new boats like they do here, so everything needed to be screwed on.. and put together)  And I made it on the water in time to start.. It just so happened this was probably the coldest day ever as well.. so a few hours later, on 4 hours sleep for the past two nights, I was absolutely freezing and in no way happy.  But I eventually made it through the regatta, complete with ocs, dnf, dsq.. (Just trying to collect all the letters..)  After this rough start, Hyeres was easy..  I had an ok regatta, some good races, some not so good, and ended up 6th..


My second trip to Europe was in May.. I flew into Holland with a few days to chill before I had to start sailing (I had learnt from the last trip..)  I also had some fun up there though.. On May 15th (my birthday) myself and Scotty (Olympic sailing team sports psyche/coach boat driver who was my coach for the regatta) decided that we would just drive things from Medemblik (the normal regatta centre) to Hoorn (the yacht club I was doing a warm up regatta at) – I would drive the laser around on the roof rack, and he would drive the coach boat by water.. 


What should have been a simple 2 hour effort.. was anything but.  I made it, but Scotty didn’t, we may have not noticed that he had to drive through a lock (hole in the dyke) to get through to Hoorn..  So he when he called me, he was about 30k in the wrong direction..  Then the next call really summed things up..  He told me that he had hit a fishing net, the prop guard had ripped off, and taken some chunks out of the prop.  So he had no idea where he was, and he was stuck.  Eventually he got a tow to this little town, and I raced back to Medemblik to grab the coach boat trailer, then found out that I had to be in Kettlehaven (where Scotty was) in 60min, or the marina would close, and we would be stuck (especially as I started sailing the next day)  And the GPS said it was a 1h 20 drive,  so I took off..  as I drove I also realized the Laser (still on the roof) was not tied on very well.. but with my time schedule I just couldn’t stop..  The last few k’s were back road, so where the gps thought I would do 50k, I was doing more like 115.. So I actually made it, just as the harbour master was getting in his car to leave..  And we got the boat out and it was all ok.. But really not my best birthday ever.


So after all that excitement, the sailing part was not a big deal, the practice regatta went ok, we had 9 general recalls on the first day, (as the fleet was mainly youth boys) and the wind was a bit random..  Then it was on to Holland regatta, where I had a shocker result’s wise, I think I ended up 13th overall, not my finest hour, but I learnt a lot, and had great starts the whole way through.. The problem was that the people who had bad starts kept hitting the other side to me, and rounding the top mark at the front, and me with my good start got smacked..


So after that I went off to Qingdao in China, for some training at the venue..  I was just there for a week and a day, but it was worth it! Even just to be reminded of just how weird the sailing there really is.  You can have 3 knots of breeze, 1 knot of tide, with 1.5m swells from the side, and a bit of chop thrown in for good measure.. Really there is nowhere else like it.


I am now off to Germany, for the Kiel Week regatta, the last regatta I will do before the games, a time to stop working on things, and just go sailing.  Then I fly to China again for another two weeks training in the Qingdao conditions, before heading home again for three weeks, until I fly up for the final time on the 1st of August.  And then its all on!

          NZL 177775 - Official Laser Sail Hyde Radial 177775.  Used for                              customise tow bar           

 Sailing in Hyeres, France                                            ‘Customizing the towbar’

     Jo the Bandit                    scotty prop

The get-up required for Garda                    Scotty killed the prop…


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