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Finally on the Water

 The new boatThis week Saskia finally got the all clear to start sailing again after her injury and our campaign could be launched in earnest.  We had a fantastic week of light wind training in Portland Harbour and were both really pleased with how quickly we settled down as a team.  Saskia’s vast experience and high level of skill was immediately evident and extremely useful in getting me up to speed and helping me out learning in the new boat.  Luckily Russ (my husband) was on leave and so he was dragged back into a coaching role and did a stirling job of videoing, laying marks and pushing us forward with drills and tips.  All the work on the boat over the last few weeks paid off and only a few things needed to be changed once we took to the water. 

We had been hoping that we would be on the water a week earlier but the physios recommended waiting a bit longer to be on the safe side and so I made use of the time by fulfilling a couple of Navy commitments.  One of these was giving a presentation onboard HMS Bristol to a group of girls involved in ‘Project Navy WISE’.  The project aims to raise awareness and encourage entry into engineering careers for year 9 female students.  It was great to be able to talk to young girls about both my naval career and my olympic campaign and to hopefully inspire them to pursue their own dreams and goals.   Visiting HMS SomersetThe week away from sailing also meant Russ and I could organise a visit for Saskia and her boyfriend Paul Goodison (Olympic Gold Medalist) to HMS Somerset.  Russ had just left the ship and despite them preparing to deploy the very next day we were made extremely welcome and had a great day.  It was really good to show Saskia what the Navy is all about and for her to get some idea of what is involved in my job as an engineering officer.  Paul certainly kept Russ on his toes with lots of questions about warfare, tactics and ‘red fire buttons’!

Having finally got out on the water I am extremely excited about the new challenges that lie ahead and in learning the skills for the 470.  This is where the hard work really starts and I am pleased to report that I can’t wait!!

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