Hello!

Yes I know, it’s been a while since the last update. Much has happened, so I’ll give you a high level summary. But first...

The 2020 RS:X Worlds are coming back to Takapuna! 

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2020 RS:X World Champs

Takapuna, Auckland

Fantastic news on many levels, and the result of many months of behind-the-scenes work culminating in a strong and successful bid. Highlights reel soon to follow. Many thanks to New Zealand’s Olympic Windsurfing legends: Tom Ashley, Bruce Kendall, David Robertson, Barbara Kendall, JP Tobin, and Aaron McIntosh, as well as de facto kiwi Kiran Badloe (NED) and recent visitor Sebastian Fleischer (DEN – who I note, made a large contribution to the New Zealand economy during his sojourn). I would like to give resounding thanks to Hayley Thom without whom this would not have been possible. Check out her personal site and her profile at Exposure. We also owe much gratitude to brother Sam Thom who captured all of the aerial footage and has some serious flying skills. 

 A (not-very-good) sneak peak at the soon-to-be released highlights reel for the Worlds pitch.

A (not-very-good) sneak peak at the soon-to-be released highlights reel for the Worlds pitch.

July – August
On to the sailing... At the end of July a Worlds “Test” Event was held in Aarhus, Denmark (a test, from an organisational perspective, ahead of the Worlds there next year). I sailed a couple good races and consistently started well but suffered in other areas. I finished in the bottom half of the fleet but near the middle. Positive improvements made nonetheless. 

 Off the start line during day two of the Test Event in Aarhus, Denmark

Off the start line during day two of the Test Event in Aarhus, Denmark

August – September 
This was followed by yet another month of training with the young Dutch guys in Scheveningen. I must mention Malcolm and Alana Hicks for their kind hospitality during this time – you helped out in a big way, thank you so much. 

September saw me travel to Japan. My first time. It was outstanding. Clean. Organised. Delicious. And beautiful. The World Championships were held at the end of the month on a small island called Enoshima just off (talking a couple hundred metres here) the coast of the surfing town of Kamakura. The regatta was a bit of a struggle. I did not settle into the opening day very well, finishing outside the top half which seeded me into the Silver Fleet (the B-Finals if you will). I made the best of it though, with some good starts, sound decisions and chalked up a string of good single digit results. I took a tumble on the scoreboard after being too eager to start the last race – earning a disqualification for a false start. In the end I finished in the middle of the Silver Fleet (not good). 

 The bridge to Enoshima. 

The bridge to Enoshima. 

 Racing on day two of the 2017 RS:X World Championships.

Racing on day two of the 2017 RS:X World Championships.

 Left to right: Sam Sills (GBR), me, Kiran Badloe (NED), and Dorian van Rijsselberghe. 

Left to right: Sam Sills (GBR), me, Kiran Badloe (NED), and Dorian van Rijsselberghe. 

I made the best of it though, and I’m having fun.
 Crusing the streets of Tokyo

Crusing the streets of Tokyo

 Sebastian Fleischer (DEN) at our local coffee spot.

Sebastian Fleischer (DEN) at our local coffee spot.

Season Summary
So while tangibly my year has not produced good regatta results, I’m trying hard and making strong improvements. I’m hoping to see some returns on paper next year, and hoping to crack into the top half of the international fleet. Trust in the process, the results will follow (so they say). 

October – December 
Where have I been since then? In London. The year has been an expensive one so I have fled to the legal and financial capital of the world to earn some much needed pocket money during the off season. There have been a few short training camps in Spain to mix things up too. 

 Breakfast during a training camp, Alicante, Spain.

Breakfast during a training camp, Alicante, Spain.

 ATP World Tour Finals, 02 Arena, London

ATP World Tour Finals, 02 Arena, London

Next stop
I'm heading to Miami at the end of January for the second leg of the 2018 World Cup, before swiftly traveling back to New Zealand to catch the tail end of the summer and the NZL Sailing Regatta which begins on 3 February. 

Keep an eye out for a website refresh and another little project I’ve been working on. 

Until next time. Thanks for the support. Happy sailing!