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Mel’s Summer of Sailing

Sail Sydney was the grand beginning to my summer of sailing. This for me was considered a warm up for my summer and allowed me to check out my competition. This regatta was really exciting as it was my first time sailing on Sydney harbor, and was a bit of a bucket list item for me! This was a difficult regatta as the Sydney harbour traffic was INSANE! Ferries going straight through the race and Wild Oats 11 just hanging near the finish line made the racing a touch difficult! After some stiff competition I ended up 8th and was feeling more prepared for the regattas to come.

Sail Melbourne next on my summer of sailing, being my last “practice” before nationals. Sail Melbourne offered up some new challenges, like discovering my boat had a hole and would fill up with water on the first day of the regatta. Luckily, I was able to charter a boat that leaked slightly less than my other boat. Sailing in Melbourne itself was a challenge as, during the regatta, there was a “zombie cyclone” which would bring rain, winds and lightning. The regatta was short with only 5 races being done due to the weather and I ended up coming 10th. So with two regattas done, I headed home for a week over Christmas and then set off for Tasmania.

So, before I even reached Tasmania, I had a problem of a leaking boat. Fortunately, I was able to swap my  old boat and get a new boat from PSA (the boat makers). So with my new boat and a week of recovery, I was ready to take on Nationals. The Open Nationals were held in Davenport, and we raced primarily in Bass Strait. sailing in Bass Strait was actually really fun and calm, and we didn’t get and crazy weather until the last race on the last day. We had beautiful weather that was perfect for sailing and right on the last day BAM! 4 meter waves and 33 knots of wind crashed into us. That race was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, yet I would gladly do it again! I ended up coming 8th and I was then moving on to my last regatta in Hobart.

The youth nationals was the last regatta in my summer of sailing. On the first day I ended up coming first in a race… then it got abandoned. So what if the wind had done a 180 degree shift, I was winning! Anyway with some close completion, I ended up coming 10th which was a little disappointing, but I have learnt so much from my summer and I am more motivated that ever! So with that, my summer of sailing was over, with lots of highs and lows. I would like to thank Coolphase for sponsoring me and helping me achieve my dreams. I’m looking forward to 2019 with a new boat and a new year to help me reach my goals!

Melanie Watson

Queensland Girl Sailing Lasers with Speed!