2016… Back on the Water, Back to Business…

So, yes, it is now 2016, less than seven months until a little regatta in August that we have been looking forward to for the last three years… Time moves rather quickly, and hopefully so do we!

Over Christmas and the New Year it was time for a welcome break, to recover, to start the year fresh, to get back into the right frame of mind to do the work we have to do in this final year… We enjoyed our holidays, enjoyed the time away, and are now back at work, doing everything we can to prepare ourselves for the year ahead.

We have been back on the water for a few weeks, getting our hours in the boat back up, sailing off Bayswater, against the rather beautiful backdrop of Auckland city… With plenty of going on’s off the water as well, not just the gym and the cross training, but also making sure our year is fully planned out, it’s not just all sailing, its making sure all the logistics are sorted, being sure that gear is going where it needs to go and arrives at the right time, flights, accom, transport for us and the boats, it all has to be sorted out.  As well as trying to ensure that come the time to travel, we are rested enough, fit enough, ready enough.. It’s a bit of a balancing game!

Auck Training Pic

Our racing year begins shortly as we leave for Buenos Aires in 2.5 weeks, our 2016 World Championships are to be sailed at Club Nautico San Isidro, the same venue that held the 49er and 49er FX World Champs late last year, so we will be getting whatever info they accumulated about the venue as a bit of a cheat sheet before we go!

Racing starts on the 22nd of February, and then we race hard until the 27th, when it’s time to head back to NZ again for another month and a half of training at home – finally making the most of the kiwi summer!

Cool PicAnyway.. back to what we have been doing, this weekend we just finished competing in the NZ 470 Nationals, where we had a record 12 boats! This may not sound much to all of you, but we can’t remember having that many 470’s on a start line in NZ for quite a few years!  It was great racing, especially awesome having a few youth teams on the start line and even another girls team (yey!!).  Our training partners Paul & Dan, the mighty NZL2, took out the regatta rather convincingly, and we had a few good battles but this time they managed to come out on top more times than we would have liked!  Well sailed boys.  Round two still to come.. :)

Special thanks to Nath our most excellent coach, for all his time out on the water with us, and also to our two special guest coaches who came out this weekend!

So that’s about where we are at right now.. It’s all good, we are enjoying the sailing, and looking forward to a great year ahead!

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Season’s End… It’s been a long year… Bring on 2016!!

Sorry for being a little off the radar as of recent time!  It’s been a long year for us, we pretty much started last year heading to Rio in December, and since then we havn’t had more than a few weeks in any one place, it’s been regatta to regatta, country to country, flight after flight… A little bit too much by the time we finally made it to the last regatta of this season for us, the World Champs in Haifa last month.

IMG_8841We arrived in Haifa tired and in Jo’s case, still sick with the same cold she has had since March… But ready to enjoy our sailing, enjoy the amazing weather in Israel, and have some fun again to finish off the season.

The World Champs themselves were a tough regatta, quite light winds overall, with a hard wave state to get through, the sort of conditions that we have struggled with in the past. However we made some great gains in technique and equipment, and were very happy with our build-up and went into the regatta ready to give it heaps.  It was postcard sailing conditions, around thirty degrees every day, sunny, water temperature of 29 degrees… Just beautiful!  So the enjoying it part came very easily!

We struggled to put everything together consistently throughout the event, it just felt like one of those events where occasionally you just want at least something to go your way… But it just never does!  We had some incredible comebacks in a few races, our best being rounding the top mark in 35th and coming back to 4th by the finish!  That one we enjoyed greatly…  But overall we were just rather tired and battling, but happy that we were able to start every day fresh, the old ‘lets just give it another go’ mindset.

IMG_8842After being as deep as 8th or 9th part way through, we climbed up to 4th going into the medal race with very small odds of breaking into the medals, so our plan was just to go all out for that medal race, give it everything we had left!  We were happy to finish off the regatta with a 2nd place in the medal race, which we battled hard for, with Polly pumping us around most of the course… Great fun!!

So not our best World Champs, replicating our 2012 Worlds in Barcelona where we were also 4th.. Quite funny when you have been sailing the boat this long, every time we get a result, it’s ‘oh, yes, we got this back in xxxx’.  But we are very happy with what we got out of the event, some great learnings and realisations, the ones you only get when you have to dig in and fight a little.. Also extremely happy to now get the time off we have been needing so much.  For Jo it was straight back from Israel and into see the surgeon, to try and fix some sinus issues that have plagued her all year.  She can now report that the recovery from sinus surgery is exceptionally horrible, but is hoping that once it is all healed, it will make a big difference and will let her get back into training hard once again!!

But for now we have a little time to gather the learnings from the year, look over the next 9 months, see exactly how we will use our time, to put us in the best place we can be coming into the Olympics in August next year.

IMG_6874For a change, we will now be NZ based for a few months in a row which is quite a novelty! Looking forward to getting back out on the waitemata harbour, back to our old stomping grounds, ready to do some miles… Make the most of the kiwi summer, as it really is the best place to be right now!

Looking forward to what this next year holds.  Can’t wait to get back out there and give it everything we have!!

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Rio… and on to Haifa.. World Champs Time!

2So, it’s been a busy last two months! As usual!!

So, to begin, let’s rewind to August, when we were back in Rio, competing in the Olympic Test event..  We started off having a bit of a shocker.  We were struggling with pace, struggling to make the right decisions, and just not finding our groove at all. Not helped in any way by Jo being sick from a few days before, and Polly coming down with something part way through, it was not a pretty event.  After being in 9th place halfway through, we were rather fed up and got angry enough to spark ourselves up and smash out the last three races, with 1st, 1st, and 3rd, to jump us up into 3rd place going into the medal race – With four boats very close behind, and the Brits and the Americans well clear in front.

IMG_8331We continued our late form with a solid 2nd in the medal race to stay on the podium and win the bronze medal, not exactly what we were looking for going in, but for where we were halfway through, we were very happy! Also it was a step up from our 2011 Olympic Test event where we got 4th, so forward progress, just!

From there it was back home to NZ for Polly, and off to Holland for Jo, who strangely decided to compete in the 220km, five day, SUP 11 City Tour around the north of Holland. IMG_8500 While not a usual post regatta rest time activity, it was something very different and a great challenge! Having been sailing and racing all year, there wasn’t really much time for paddling, so it was a bit of a leap of faith to see if she could actually do it!  After plenty of pain, blisters and rather extreme muscle soreness (and plenty of complaining about trying to walk down steps or pick things up off the ground) she managed to complete the race and even place 2nd overall in the Women’s division. Quite a surprise!  No one quite knew what to make of a sailor turning up and doing that well! Ha, see, we are athletes…

And now.. we are in a different country yet again!  This time, Israel.  We are in the north, in Haifa, getting ready to compete in first the Israeli Nationals, and after that the World Champs starting on the 12th of October.  We are once again having a few container issues, so we haven’t actually seen our boat yet, but we are assured it is here and we will hopefully see it tomorrow!  They seem rather committed to making sure this World Champs all goes smoothly, so we will see how we get on.  We are really looking forward to getting out on the water – the 29 degree water – and seeing if we can smash it and have some fun!!6

We will do daily updates and stuff on our Facebook page, hopefully some good ones!


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Back to Rio.. One Year to Go!!

Been a rather busy two months since our last little update!

We have been all over the world, competed in two events, and are now about to begin our preparations for the Pre Olympic Test event in Rio, at the Olympic venue, at the Olympic time of year, etc etc.. Basically the Olympics without so much hype and one year early!!


So.. to get you all back up to speed! We raced a World Cup regatta in Weymouth back in June, the first time we had sailed there since the Games in 2012.. It was a bit of a tough event for us, we were not really happy with the event as a whole.. Our result was ok I guess, we finished 2nd on even points to our good old rivals the Brits, but we felt there were far too many missed opportunities, mixed with some sickness on Jo’s part, and some general grumpiness, it wasn’t the most fun regatta for us…

But as usual, when we hit a rough patch, IMG_7971we learn oh so much, and that we did!  So we took some of those learnings into the European Champs a few weeks later in Aarhus, Denmark. Where we had a great time, really enjoyed the sailing, the racing, getting back into our groove… We won the Europeans by a nice 26 point margin, although we were missing a few of our main rivals, we were just happy we were just sailing well and having fun again!IMG_7982

So from there, Jolly has had a bit of a break, splitting all over the world, with Polly and Nathan heading back to NZ for a few weeks at home, Jo off to see family in Israel, a little break in Portugal to attend a wedding, and now early to Rio to await the rest of the team!

We are now all nice and refreshed, looking forward to getting back in the boat and getting out on the water again! Container unloading is tomorrow, so then we are straight into it, with a practice regatta from the 3rd to the 6th of August, and then onto the Test Event where racing for us begins on the 16th of August.

IMG_8210We will also be updating our Facebook page when ever we get a chance throughout the regatta, so please have a look and see what we get up to!  Hopefully there will be a little NZ media coverage as well, as we are just about at the one year to go mark!

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