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!!

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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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That’s One Way to Start the New Year…

Its been a busy start to 2015, by the end of January we have already been to Miami and back, competed in and subsequently won the first World Cup event of this year.. Not quite the cruisy NZ summer approach we have taken before, but its been great fun!

So, where to start.. Well, we left NZ on the 11th of Jan – off to Miami, which seemed further away than we remembered, it looks so close on the map, but still took 24 hours to get there.. We arrived at our hotel around midnight, Jo jumped online to check her email, and lo and behold, the first email she read was ‘we are sorry to inform you that the container with your boat on it has missed the ship to Miami and is currently stuck in Panama… Ship arrival estimate 23rd of Jan, possibly clearing customs 26th/27th/28th (the regatta started on the 26th).  Not exactly what we wanted to hear at that time…

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Cue days of thinking, planning, ideas – even toying with the idea of trying to fly our other boat over from Barcelona!  But that proved to be a rather prohibitively expensive exercise.. Then we got lucky.. One of the young British girls team’s crew had gotten an injury a week before, and they had a boat in Miami but were not allowed to sail it for another week, so we chartered it and competed in the North American Champs, where we had a bit of a shocker, never actually saw the final results, but we were deep!  But it was good to at least get out on the water and race, the plan at that stage was to head back to NZ after that, at least having done some racing before we went home…

It was a very up and down week, one day shipping schedules sounded promising, the next, not so much… We were pretty much all ready to come home, Nathan had just sent off a message confirming his flights back to NZ, when we got an email saying that rather amazingly our container ship had somehow arrived three days early into Miami (rather unheard of!), so we quickly made Nathan abort his flight plans, and went back into a hopeful frame of mind!

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After some great work by shipping agents in NZ and Miami, our boat cleared customs and was delivered to us on the 23rd (the Friday before the regatta started on Monday..), so after a full day of boat work we were able to get out in our new Cookie Monster boat for two days of training before we started racing! It was all coming together!!

The actual World Cup regatta was great fun, we were just happy to actually be there racing, which a week before had seemed impossible!  We also got lucky weather wise, Miami being an often windless place, came through with a rather cold front (not what we were expecting – we all froze!) and we had great wind all week.  We started out well, with two 2nd placings on the first day, it was exciting racing, with a massive rain & wind squall coming through in the first race, flattening most of our fleet.. We were downwind with the kite up when it hit, but there was no way we were going to capsize our nice new boat, so we held it together!

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From there on, we were very consistent, with a 1,7, on day two, followed by a 1,1, on day three, and a 1,3, to finish off day four – we didn’t race day five as there was no wind.. So by the time it came to the medal race we were 19 points clear, and all we had to do was finish the race to win the regatta…  We sailed the medal race a little like we sailed the rest of the races, good start, a mistake or two early on, and then a solid comeback!  We rounded the first mark in 9th out of 10, then quickly made up ground to finish the medal race in 2nd, and take the overall regatta title by 27 points… A nice way to start our 2015 year!

After all the logistical dramas in getting to the start line, we had to laugh when we checked the status of our flight out of Miami to LA via Chicago the morning of leaving, to find it was cancelled… Some quick internet booking got us on another flight to LA via Orlando, which we discovered when we got to the gate was rather over-booked… Luckily I think they felt sorry for us, and we managed to get on the plane… Only to have a ‘mechanical delay’ and sit on the tarmac for 45min, which got us a little worried about not making the next connection!  But it all worked out, we made it to LA in plenty of time to get our connection home to NZ – and our luggage even made it too!

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It was just awesome to get out there and race all the girls again, nice to test out our new boat (rather happy with it!), and now excited to be back home and get some NZ IMG_6854summer under our belts!  Hmm although the day we arrived home was the first rain there had been in Auckland for five weeks… Oh well, can’t win them all…

Next up is the NZ 470 Nationals, where we expect a good battle with Paul & Dan (biggest event of the year some would say…), then on to Sail Auckland at the end of the month..

Then we are getting ready to head away again, with a regatta in Palma before our next World Cup event in France in April! Can’t wait!!

And in other news, we can also confirm that we are once again ranked World No.1.. bring on 2015!

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