Since our last trip overseas we have had a couple of months at home, which to be fair, were intentionally kept pretty low key. They marked the beginning of our build-up to the World Championships in September and with the weather not being that favourable for sailing, we limited our days on the water but had some training sessions with the New Zealand men’s 470 team of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox to keep us on our toes. Along side the sailing we have continued with our usual land based training in the gym, on the bike and out running.
With the usual training ticking along, we shot down to Blenheim and Christchurch for a couple of days to visit the new Babich Winery where some of our sponsors have built an impressive new facility and to of course sample some of the great wines on offer and enjoy the area.
This little block also gave us time to start looking forward to 2015 and the logistics surrounding our regatta locations and how to get our gear from place to place. With a World Cup in Miami in January, a World Championships in Israel in March and then a World Cup in March and April in Spain and France we have our work cut out for us to try and line up shipping schedules and equipment!
In between our so-called day jobs we also finished off our university papers for the semester with exams in June, all going well so far we think.
So here we are again, back in Europe for the build up to our next regatta, the European Championships in Athens. Having come from the depths of the New Zealand winter it is such a treat to go sailing in just a rash top in a fifteen-knot sea breeze!
For your interest, a link to the regatta website is here: http://europeans.470.org/en/default/races/race
So this was the first trip of three to Europe for us this year, more or less just to check in with the women’s 470 fleet and see how we are getting on. Surprisingly well it would seem as we came away from the two World Cup regattas winning both.
First up was Mallorca, Spain. We had the usual timed run to get to the island itself – 36 hours on the plane, picking up our gear from storage, getting towbars put on our rental cars and then the overnight ferry into Palma. We hadn’t seen any of our gear since July last year either, so the memory was a bit foggy on what we had and how it had survived the euro winter. Needless to say writing lists of what equipment we have where in the world is high on the priorities!
We eased into the regatta itself with our performances getting better and better as the week went on. Jumping from having five boats on the start line to 50 takes a bit of getting used to again, but the weather conditions were pretty varied so it was a good first test of our training over the NZ summer.
We had a bit of time on our hands between the two regattas, so we thought what would be better than to do a fair bit of boat work that the 470 constantly seems to demand. With Gonzo up to scratch again it was time to move on to Hyeres, France for the next World Cup.
We had a great couple of weeks in France with warm and sunny weather – always welcome when we don’t have to bring out the 5mm wetsuit. We were possibly adding to our own personal insulation anyway, using all our will power trying to not eat too many of the yummy treats at the local patisserie. We felt more race ready going into this regatta and hung around the top three for most of the event, having a great last day of finals to put us firmly into the lead for the medal race. We had a minor hiccup in this race being over the start early, but restarted and chipped our way through the fleet to secure the overall win.
Now we are back in NZ for a couple of months, Jo thought she would celebrate this by competing in the Rotorua Marathon this weekend, Polly by doing a uni assignment that has been ignored. But we are actually loving been back home again and do have something to celebrate – we have made the number one spot in the rankings for the first time ever and with a perfect score, pretty stoked with this news.
A huge thanks to our coach Nathan Handley and all our sponsors and supporters – we couldn’t do it without you guys.
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.
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!
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!
We 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..
The 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.