A week in the life of…


My name is Annabelle and I’m in year 10 from Canberra Grammar School.

I spent a week with Nic for work experience at the end of 2018.

I’m an avid sailor; dog lover and baker and I thought I would share with you my adventures from over the week.

Tuesday was the first of four days for me on work experience. It started out with learning more about how the brand runs and what sorts of tasks are involved, and there are lots! Some of these tasks include updating websites, posting to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, providing live media coverage of sailing events, writing wrap-ups from events, photos or video, and attending these events.   

The first aspect which I learnt about was the website and the general workings of a website. It was then time to edit and publish a post, this included; adding photos, formatting posts, adding tags and embedding Facebook photos and videos.  After learning this I then put it into practice by uploading the wrap-ups from the Etchells Worlds in October.

After a short break for lunch, it was time to head out on the water and see what was happening with the Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta. And there was lots of action going on with the Race Committee trying to get through the whole first round robin, so needless to say they were busy.

It was interesting watching not only a very unfamiliar format of sailing for me but also being able to watch such a high calibre of the format too. It was nice to be able to watch and learn more about match racing without the stress of having to compete.

It’s Sydney to Hobart time around the CYCA and Wednesday morning marked the official launch of the big race. This meant Nic attended the press conference and I was lucky enough to go with her. Walking into that room was an experience I’m not likely to forget. You always hear about the boats and their skippers but to hear them speak in person was certainly very different.

Before the press conference, I also played around with taking photos. This was really different as I have never really done much photography before but I really enjoyed it.  I also had to be selective with my shots and think about what photos would be best to publish.

It was then time to publish the media release on Nic’s website, where one of the photos I took at the press conference was used. This is exciting because not every 15-year-old can say they’ve had one of their photos published on a website.

This photo was taken by me at the Rolex Sydney Hobart press conference.
Nic edited it and we used it on her website.

In the afternoon I adventured to the park outside the CYCA and explored more about photography practicing keeping my shots in focus, something that I struggled with in the morning. It was then time to learn how to edit these photos and I then put what I learnt into practice. See below some of my favorite shots.

One of the photos that I took while practicing.

Playing with focus.

After getting caught in one of the rain squalls, I may have been wet, but still having fun!

By Thursday it was time to start writing about my adventures! And along with putting some more blog posts together, this is what I spent my morning doing.

While my morning may have been tame my afternoon was not. In the afternoon I headed back out onto the water with the hope of taking some sailing photos. Due to the weather conditions, it was over 25 knots for most of the afternoon, and a recent injury, I wasn’t able to shoot any photos. But I did get to watch some spectacular racing and some even more extraordinary wipeouts. Just like on Tuesday it was awesome to watch the match racing, especially in the windy conditions.

And just like that, it was Friday the final day of my work experience. It started like most other days with some desk work but this time it was editing photos from the day before. This photo editing was a little trickier than what I practiced on Wednesday, as the photos were more complex than the ones I took on Wednesday.

Just some of the photos that Nic took and I edited.

It was now time to hit the water for the finals series where I would take photos while Nic was live streaming. This was probably one of the highlights of the week for me as it was fun to pick the shots and trying to make every shot count so that I wouldn’t have to scroll through hundreds of photos at the end of the day.

Four and a half hours later we were finally back onshore and exhausted. The day had really taken everything out of me. But it was time for probably my favourite adventure of the week; it was time to go sailing myself!

This sailing was nothing like what I had experienced back home as it was aboard a Farr 40. This type of sailing was very different to what I’m used to in my little Laser dingy back home but I loved it. Watch out mum and dad out next boat might be 40 feet!

My Farr 40 adventure! Thanks to Janey Treleaven and her crew for having me!

Overall this week has been one that I will never forget, and I have experienced things I never thought I would. I would like to thank Nic for allowing me to join her on her week of work and for taking such great care of me.       

Annabelle Connery

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