Perseverance and possibilities

This week was a week of perseverance. Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. With challenging weather, boat handling break throughs, speed struggles, and a bit of a rollercoaster with my fatigue, it was important to focus on what was possible, rather than the impossible.
After a big dentist appointment last Tuesday, my mind was excited to get out on the water, while the body was not! What followed was one of the best sessions I have had so far with the CYC High Performance Squad (thanks Davo for coaching and Chris, Kelsey and Dunc for sailing). The four boats sailed a short course format, with a start line that was about a boat length wide, which doubled as a ‘thread the needle’ bottom mark drill. This was a fantastic challenge that really pushed all of us. I had the GoPro (Popeye) on the boom so got some pretty cool footage also. Check out the Multimedia page to see some images from the past week.
I was too fatigued on Wednesday and Thursday to sail, so boat work and theory were my limits. Sometimes you just have to work on what is within your capabilities. There is always something to work on. It is so easy to get wound up in the thought you are wasting time, when really the important thing is to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Working on what is within your control. Working on the small things leads to making the impossible a possibility.
We trained on the NS14 on Friday night and copped a bit of a beating; it felt like the Davidson’s (good to have fast training partners!) were sailing circles around us. This was a bit of a blow following the great session on Tuesday. While initially blaming the boat, the sails and even our weight, following post-session discussions and watching the video from Popeye (from above, on the spreaders), we could tie the majority of issues to our boat handling, our patience and quite probably fatigue.
After a big rest on Friday night and Saturday morning, we headed back out again on Saturday for a float-a-thon in the sunshine. We managed to get some good tacking practice in; only in Canberra can you do a work and end up back exactly where you started. Not ideal for two boating, but good to just relax and get everything back into perspective, taking each short-race at a time. I have even gotten my head around the NS14 whisker pole system, which uses a rope system to attach rather than a hook and ring. Hard to overcome habits!
Sunday we put a new jib up, and the boat felt really good… very good. The jib we have been training with has been under the boat a few times apparently, so maybe we have been a bit hard on ourselves in the trimming department! We didn’t get a real chance to test as storms including hail and lightning were again a hindrance. We were one of the first boats to turn back to shore; we have trained enough to not have to take risks with lightning! There are some images from this week’s NS14 training also in my Multimedia.
Last night’s HPS training was called off. You could see the reflection of Commonwealth Bridge on the Lake, in between the showers. We (Davo, Duncan, Chris and I) watched the video from last week and the Gosford weekend and went home early to do more boat work. Chris is becoming a bit of a splicing machine, even splicing to wire. Very cool!
I am looking forward to training tonight, weather permitting, and a weekend of sailing at Cronulla on the NS14 this weekend, continuing preparations for the Nationals over Christmas. Ian Ruff, a Canberra local who won a bronze medal in the 470 in 1976 should be coming out for a sail with me next week, which will be quite fantastic! Really looking forward to it – will hopefully have some more news on this next week.
In-line with perseverance, on Friday, the king of perseverance, Dad, underwent a repair job to his detached bicep, as well as some tweaking to his rotator cuff (for more information see my last post). Following the removal of a local anaesthetic drip on Sunday (which apparently was numbing half his face as well as his arm) he has been coping pretty well with one arm, and apparently the pain as well. The surgery was a success, so the good news is that he is now on the road to recovery and having the full use of his arm in the next six months. He will definitely be at full health to attempt our third world title in the Tasar.
Something that is better than any world title was Mum and Dad celebrating thirty years of marriage yesterday! Congratulations guys, I couldn’t be happier for you!
And now that we are up to congratulations, awesome, awesome work and congrats to all of the Aussies who have finished up in Perth, especially Mat and Mal along with Victor’s help in the 470M!!! If they are not an example of perseverance I don’t know who could be. Fantastic inspiration for me and no doubt many others! Good luck to those who are still racing especially my old teammates, the WMR girls who have managed to qualify Australia for the games by taking two spots in the quarter finals!
Hopefully one day, my own perseverance will pay off, and I will be able to say the same for the 470… There are many more “short races” for me to do to make it possible, but aren’t dreams a wonderful thing!

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