The past few months have involved a lot of reflection… on adventures past, and those that I want to experience going forward.
Many who know me call me Girly. I have been “The Sailor Girl” for more than ten years, enjoying all that this awesome sport has to offer, on a variety of boats, in so many locations, at many different levels, meeting some fantastic people, and of course having so many stories to tell. I have always loved sailing for the people that I get to sail with, meet along the way, and the adventures that I get to share.
On that note – in the past few months I have been going back to my roots in my soul searching… Highlights include rides steering a 5o5 for the first time, crewing on the VX One, and boats close to my heart like the awesome Spiral, and of course the Tasar.
I have been lucky enough to continue sharing my stories through the Sailing Chix with Nix, and last month took part in a panel at the Combined High Schools (CHS) Regatta. This was a great opportunity for the kids at the regatta to ask about pathways throughout the sport in both employment and competition. While I love sharing my stories, the stand out for me was to hear the adventures of the other panel members: Leisl Tesch, Karyn Gojnich, James Burman, Lindsay Stead, Mel Yeomans and Nicky Ainley, and to see the enthusiasm of a room full of kids all waiting to make their own.
I have also returned to my love of capturing as much as possible of these adventures on camera (more pics are available via Facebook). Two weekends ago, I was lucky enough to sail out of the harbour walls at Ulladulla to run into a transient pod of about 80 dolphins that I have only seen once before… at times we had more than eight on each bow. The force from their tails could be felt through the entire hull. Definitely training mates, for the soul… It was amazing… that feeling of pure exhilaration. Similar to when you take off on a reach in plus 18 knots, do a perfect roll tack, nail a bottom mark rounding or see the smile on someone’s face when they are sitting next to you, or hearing about the adventure back onshore. These are all feelings that form the reasons why I love this sport.
So while I haven’t been around of late, and there have been less competitions (I did manage to squeeze in the Spiral States and Tasar States), there have been just as many adventures. The Spiral States was such a great weekend away, really just enjoying the sport, even in the tricky conditions. Such a reminder that the enjoyment level is so often tied to those who you are sharing it with! It is definitely the fastest I have been on a Spiral – and in 25+ knots, I can proudly report that I did not capsize!
My training on the Tasar has been fierce as we lead into the Worlds in August at Cascade Locks, Oregon, USA. We had a shocking start to the State Champs, finishing the first day well down the leader board. We managed to pull it together on the final day to finish equal first after nine races, coming 2nd on a countback. Since Easter we have been sailing mainly from Woollahra, Balmoral and Jervis Bay (see more dolphins below) and have been extremely lucky to have perfect training conditions for almost every session. I am of the firm belief that if you can sail with people you care about you will always have a team that works better, as well as more enjoyment! Looking forward to seeing how far our hard work goes!
In terms of sailing, the adventures really aren’t entirely about the craziness of the ride (as good as that can be!), it is also about those you can learn from, those you can teach, those who can share the spirit of the sport with, and those who are willing to share their stories with you. Much like the picture above that was sent in to share an experience. We can’t possibly experience everything in this sport, which makes sharing adventures even more exciting for all of us! And as we all know (especially from recent weeks in sailing, and the unfortunate loss of life), you never know when it will be your last. At the end of the day, adventures are good for the soul… no matter in which sport, industry, environment or otherwise. Life is about the adventures, and those who you are lucky enough to share them with.