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International Foiling Camp: Week 1

Merry Christmas everyone!

I apologise for not posting sooner. My WiFi access has been limited and so far the camp has been pretty full on.... demanding but fun.

Week One saw us arrive at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron before a 50km journey North to Kawau Island; and our picturesque accommodation at Lidgard House. This historic beach house in Smelting House Bay, Kawau Island is owned by the Squadron and is fully furnished with a fully-equipped modern kitchen, TV, stereo, washing machine & dryer. There is a BBQ on the deck which looks out to School House Bay and the Kawau Boating Club is just a short walk around the boaties path. An idyllic location for a full week of foiling Nacras.

My first experience on a foiling Nacra was one of mixed emotions: excitement, nervousness, adrenaline and trepidation. The experience proved to be one of the most exciting of my sailing career. These boats are an out-and-out excitement machine: speeds in excess of 30 knots, always sailing on the edge only moments away from catastrophe, yet a thrill and freedom unparalleled in any other boat that I have sailed on.

After 7 solid days of sailing with many thrills, spills and adventures my poor, blistered hands are looking forward to a few days off to celebrate Christmas. We have now moved back to the Squadron and are staying in another wonderful location with great facilities near the University. I've decided to spend Christmas Day with the expats, despite having family near Auckland, as the travel is somewhat prohibitive and we have developed a strong bond of friendship within the group.

As a side note, for those of you who may not be aware, the Squadron is currently home to The America's Cup and it sits proudly on display behind bullet-proof glass in the clubhouse. I've already met many wonderful people and learnt an enormous amount about all things sailing; foiling; racing; tactics and fitness to name a few. I look forward to Week Two and sharing the next stage of My Journey with you.

I've created a separate media page dedicated to the International Foiling Camp and have uploaded videos and photos here. I wish everyone a safe and joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year and look forward to updating you on my next blog in 2018.

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