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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Back in Weymouth!!

It’s been nearly three years since we won our medalsOlympic Gold medal here in Weymouth, although we both feel like it was at least ten years ago!  Very strange to be back here, walking around the town, riding to the sailing academy, walking around the boat park.. Lots of memories… Its like I find myself just walking to get somewhere not quite knowing where I am going, but actually getting the route perfect anyway!

So, this time we are just here for a little World Cup action, the regatta starts Wednesday and goes for five days, with fourty of the top 470 women’s teams competing, it will be a good tough event, with hopefully a little of that traditional Weymouth wind!

rioIt’s been a rather busy month and a bit since our last World Cup regatta in France in late April, we went home for a few days, then straight up to Rio to do some more training at the new Olympic venue!  We had an awesome fleet of boats to train with, lots of the top men’s boats, so we got a lot out of it, very worthwhile, even for all the travel!

From there we have had a week and a half off, well, not really ‘off’ but not sailing the 470 anyway! With Polly heading home to NZ to get back in the gym, and Jo off to Holland to do some coaching at the Delta Lloyd regatta and fit in a paddle board race while she was at it.

And now after arriving in Weymouth yesterday, we are all rigged up and ready to get on the water tomorrow for a few days practice before we start racing!  Looking forward to sailing out there again, we did rather a few hours on this patch of water in the build-up to London, so hopefully we can remember some of it!!



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Europe 2015: Here We Go Again!!

IMG_7301Been a little while since we did any sort of updating, so thought it was well due!

As seen above, we are currently in Palma, back in our ‘Cookie Monster’ – Thanx to Nigel for the photo too!

So where to begin… after our Miami trip in January, we had a good month and a half at home, getting in IMG_6918lots of off the water training (or in Jo’s case – also some on the water paddle-board training), lots of meetings and planning, making sure we are on track and organised – this is a rather big year for us with over two hundred days overseas.  We even managed to fit in a little sailing – at the NZ 470 Nationals and Sail Auckland, where we had some rather fun battles with the NZ boys, Paul & Dan, it was a case of match racing from 3 min to go every single start – awesome fun!!

The NZ Nats came down to a who beats who in the final race, which we thought we had nailed down with a big lead halfway down the first run, but with the wind dieing out, the boys staged a mammoth come back and pipped us in the last 100m.. Painful… Hmm, its all on next year!!  Sail Auckland was a regatta of two halves, with Polly at a family wedding for the middle two days, so Jo took out Abby Goodwin (who sailed a 420 at the last ISAF Youth Worlds), which was a steep learning curve, but she sailed awesomely!  We didn’t quite manage to beat the boys in any races but we led around the track a few times and had them a little worried… it was good enough!

After Sail Auckland there was a bit of a change of plans with Jo leaving NZ nearly two weeks early to go to Israel to be with her dad’s side of the family, after her sister Shefa passed away quite unexpectedly.  Shefa had Cystic Fibrosis, and was in and out of hospital a lot of the time, but was always excessively full of life and enthusiasm!  So much so that the thought of her passing away so early (she was 14 years old) just never seemed a possibility.  As a little side note: Jo’s cousins Ari & Rachel, ran the Motutapu Off-Road Marathon last weekend to raise money on behalf of Shefa for Cystic Fibrosis NZ, a bit of an epic run off no training!

After all of this, Jo had a few days holiday in Palma before IMG_7300the rest of the team arrived last Tuesday, then we got the boat rigged and sails stickered (we did remember how – even though Nath and Pol were rather jetlagged…) and we have been out on the water for a few days trying to get ready for the Princess Sofia Regatta, which starts tomorrow. So not quite an ideal build-up we have to admit, but we are happy to be here, really looking forward to the racing, keen to get this European season started!!




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