A new kind of world

I’m writing this on day 13 of home isolation after finishing a 10-week stint on the east coast of Australia training with the national team. Its September and a lot has changed since the world championships came to a conclusion back in February. For the first time in 7 years I haven’t gone overseas and won’t be for the foreseeable future either. The world has been changed pretty dramatically since COVID-19 became a global pandemic and has wreaked havoc with what was normal life. I haven’t written much because I felt like there wasn’t enough content to keep up to date with but since I write this journal for my own memory I thought it was time to document things a little more. Here’s a brief shopping list of what this year has contained since the worlds:

Big wind and waves off Mbar
  • COVID-19 hits and all the planning for the European season goes out the window. Flights are cancelled, accommodation bookings called off and all plans put on hold while we battened down the hatches planning for the worst.
  • Training at WAIS is cancelled and everyone has to get ready to train from home while society went into lockdown.
Quick trip to Margaret River with Elyse and we managed to get this sunset at Redgate beach!
  • Started living in Fremantle at my old coaches’ house across the road from Fremantle Sailing Club. I stayed here for 3 ½ months helping clean up the house a bit and tending to the garden while they finished renovations.
  • I picked up surf skiing after my girlfriend introduced me to the sport and I started going on the regular. Great sport and lots of fun, plus great rehab for my shoulder.
  • My bike riding became a much more consistent while we had some great Autumn weather. Luke ‘Parko’ Parkinson lived close by as well as my mate Tooley so we did some hot river loop laps with a PB 36.5kph average one morning!!
Parko and Tooley towing me around the river as usual
  • I started training again in the Laser as things normalized a little after 6 weeks out of the boat. After some time, we were allowed to train with a coach as well and to assist me with my training the Team bought me a near new Laser to train on.
  • I got really good at baking muffins while everything was locked down and become temporarily known as the muffin man!
White chocolate, raspberry and macadamia muffins
  • After several weeks of training 3 – 5 times a week with Wearny, Zac and Ethan plans had been made to head over east for some training camps in swelly conditions.
  • Managed to get a quick week down in Esperance with Elyse and we had some amazing weather before we I left for over east. It was a great little refresher and somewhere she had never been.
  • Flew to Coffs Harbor, a small town about 7 hours drive north of Sydney for some swell training with the rest of the national team. We stayed here for two weeks cycling, gyming and sailing in great conditions. I really rated Coffs and probably would have never gone if it wasn’t for COVID.
Riding with Elyse up the Montville hill
Salute coffee always pre sailing in Coffs
  • I stayed on for another two weeks as travel was limited with the pandemic and Elyse was in town for her training camp. I even raced against the girls for 5 days of their camp before we packed up and moved north to Queensland.
Daily commute home from the yacht club in Mbar
  • The second leg of our camp started in Mooloolabar on the Sunshine Coast, about a 90min drive north of Brisbane. Another two weeks of training here was great with up to 10 boats racing was about a good a sized fleet as we could find. Again, we had a great mix of wind directions and got the swell we wanted which was exactly what we were looking for.
Great training in Mbar
  • Post that camp I stayed with Zac and Ethan in an Airbnb for a week and did some cycling and gym work while exploring what Mbar had to offer.
  • For my fourth week on the Sunny Coast us three moved north to Noosa to do a unique style of training camp with Palky in his home town where we learned about foil boarding, sailing in current and through waves.
Palky showing us the sights
Enjoying a coffee in Sunshine on the Sunshine Coast while sitting in the sunshine
My first time foiling in glassy conditions in the Noosa River
  • The circus then moved south once more as boarder restrictions had become tight again and we couldn’t keep Finn and Blackers in Queensland for the whole trip. We moved back to Coffs Harbor for another two weeks on the water in a very nice house near the beach. We even had TB come for some of this camp which made it really valuable time on water.
  • Too soon it was time to return back to WA though for the dreaded mandatory two weeks of isolation. Even this became difficult as our flight was delayed leaving Coffs which meant we missed our connection to Perth that evening. Luckily, we could get to Sydney that night, stay in a hotel, then catch another flight the next morning into Perth where I met Elyse at my aunt’s house to do the two weeks of iso
  • Now I’m a few days away from freedom before I start Westsail and the annual learn to sail clinic in Esperance.

It’s bee a funny old year not have much competition and maintaining focus through everything. I’m learning I can still live a high-performance life while having balance and spending my time across several projects, not just one. This summer will be a very unique one as it won’t have the normal nationals competition which we would usually have so it will be my first time in 13 years without some form of sailing in the summer time. I’ll have to find a way to keep myself busy.

See you on the water soon hopefully,


Ethan at Diggers beach in Coffs Harbor