Well, it is a New Year and with it a new season has started. After our success at Sail Sydney just before Christmas, we finally had a nice and relaxing break – the first real break since the Olympic Games. It was great to have some down-time with our families and do some of the things that we are usually not allowed to do, like skiing.
But now we are back in the boat and focused on the next season. We have already completed a few training camps in Sydney and on the Gold Coast. Things have been progressing quite nicely. Angus Galloway and Tim Hannah as well as the Crawford brothers have been joining us for most of our training. They have been keeping us on our toes and it is great to see these younger teams improving quickly.
Gold Coast in particular whipped up some spectacular conditions, providing us with unique opportunities to push the limits and sail in extreme wind and waves. We have to admit, though, that we were a little scared at times. Some of those waves just seemed too big to sail down on… Plenty of photo opportunities for coach Victor!
With the training camps behind us we are now ready for the Australian nationals, held from 14-17 January in Port Stephens, NSW. The waters here are a little flatter than the big swells offshore on the Gold Coast. Fourteen 470 teams will be competing, and the flat waters and shifty conditions here will certainly make for close and interesting racing.
But it has not all been about sailing. I (Mat) am back at university, studying for my Master of Urban and Sustainable development. It has been a busy time juggling time between the boat and the classroom. To fill the rest of my spare time I have been down racing Optis against some of Australia’s best youth sailors at Southport Yacht Club and launching the new season at my former school, The Southport School. To see all these young kids coming into sailing and being inspired from the success of the Australian Sailing Team at the London Olympics is hugely rewarding. It reminds me of how I started sailing and why I am still here, striving for more.
All the best,
Mat & Will
AUS 11 – 470m
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