Back to Europe… the start of the 2014 season!

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Currently writing from Barcelona, Spain… We arrived yesterday after a rather long (but most exciting flight) – the reason for this unusual excitement being the fact that we somehow managed to get a free upgrade to business class for our Dubai-Barcelona leg!! Awesome! that really is a very different way to travel!! –> Nath making the most of the upgrade…

Our flight started off a little less exciting, with thirteen pieces of luggage to try and get checked in… After our bikes got stolen last year in France, we had to add on two bikes to our already comprehensive list of things to take to europe including sails, foils, rigging and tools.

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So after using all our extra baggage allowance up, we had to leave one package behind for another coach to take up in a few days!  Twelve out of thirteen was not too bad though!  Happy to say they all arrived safely in Barcelona too… Got some weird looks picking up package after package though…

We are getting towbars put on our cars today, and then catching the night ferry to Palma, where we have a bit of time to get back into the swing of things, with the Princess Sofia World Cup Event starting on the 31st of March. With fifty boats entered this will be our first real test since the World Champs last year, and the first time we have raced more than ten boats in ages!!

Looking forward to getting on the water and seeing what everyone else in the world has been up to the last few months, hopefully we have made some improvements and with a good list of things to work on over here, and current weather forecasts looking on the warm side it should be a great trip!

 

 

 

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Summer and Sail Auckland…

Hello to all, been a little while since we have put anything out, so we figured now is as good a time as ever!

We both had a great break over Christmas and the New Year – and hope you all did too!

IMG_4651We got straight back into work mode in early Jan with the arrival of our newest boat – named Grover, which will most likely to be the boat we use in Rio in 2016…  We are shipping it to Rio later this year and it will live there for the next two and a half years as our training boat and hopefully eventually our Olympic boat!  It took about two weeks of solid boat work to get her ready to go, but we are happy to say she is running perfectly, with the added bonus of winning her first regatta sailed its all good!

So about that regatta…  We competed in Sail Auckland last weekend, as our first regatta in the 470 since October last year, we were more than a little rusty at times… But we soon got back in the swing of things and finished the last two days with a little more style than the first half of the regatta!  There were only five 470′s taking part, three Kiwis, one Japanese boat, and one Korean, the racing was surprisingly close with all of us around the top mark within seconds of each other at times..

IMG_4713The old media loved the whole rivalry between us and the 470 boys team (Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox) and we had some great battles on the water, as well as plenty of banter on and off the water!  We ended up with a great little headline in the sport section of the NZ Herald “World champion women’s crew give men a lesson in 470 class”.  Haha sorry boys… It is all on for the National champs in Kerikeri in two weeks time!!

So for now its back to work on the water, with a massive training block planned for the next ten days, time to put in some hard yards and make sure we are ready to take on the world at our first World Cup event of the year in early April in Spain.

 

 

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ISAF Rolex Female World Sailors of the Year.

A little update to let you know what we have been up to, in this past month, not long since our last post, but we have been keeping busy!

It has been no rest for the wicked as we headed off overseas again, this time to Oman and Malaysia. Two countries that we hadn’t been to before, so we were looking forward some new experiences.

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The first stop was Muscat, Oman, for the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards and the Annual ISAF Conference. After sitting on a plane drying out in air-con for 13 hours it was like dropping into paradise at the Shangri La Hotel – white sandy beach, 30 degrees and lounge chairs calling our names – we had to have a laugh at where we had found ourselves.  Trying to be good tourists, we headed off to Muscat itself and checked out the Royal Palace, Grand Mosque and local market for a bit of Middle Eastern culture and architecture.

Whilst experiencing the attractions of Muscat, we also sat in on some of the ISAF meetings that were taking place as part of the conference, they were a great opportunity to learn more about the structure and processes that go into producing the wide and varied sailing events that happen worldwide.

In the middle of all this we had the 2013 ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards, where we came away with the top honour.  An exciting evening spent chatting and listening to how passionate the other nominees are about their area of the sport, a humbling group to be a part of and we are delighted to have capped off our year in this way. We are the first kiwi women to feature on the winner’s list, and humbled to be part of a legacy that includes some of our own sailing heroes such as Sir Peter Blake and Sir Russell Coutts.  We still have a little way to go to be quite that amazing!

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Next up, we headed to Port Klang in Malaysia to start the Raja Muda Race Week. A completely different style of sailing for us, four passage races and three days of inshore racing on a 40ft keelboat – KukuKERchu – with Dave Ross and his sailing team. They made it so easy for us to slot into our roles on the boat and have created such a relaxed and fun atmosphere, even with the ‘highlight’ of the day t-shirt looming over us!IMG_1447

We are now home for the summer, taking Christmas off, then getting down to the business of 470 training, gym work and prepping for the upcoming 2014 season.

We hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year!

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ISAF World Cup Highlights Vid…

ISAF World Cup 470 Highlights here!

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