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Update from Xanthe Bowater -

Hello again!

I think the last time I wrote to all of you was when I returned from the youth worlds in Italy last October; so we have a lot to catch up on!

Since then I have graduated from Marian College with Level 3 NCEA; moved to Auckland; completed and graduated in the top few, from a three month super yacht crewing course at Mahurangi Tech. (learning how to work on super yachts) and landed my first job on a real super yacht in Auckland viaduct. It is a fun job and is flexible enough to allow me to train and is very close to my gym.

During this past summer season I have competed at Winter Champs (Auckland), Sir Peter Blake Memorial regatta (Auckland), South Island champs (Christchurch), Sail Auckland (Auckland), the NZ RS:X National Champs (Auckland) and our final RSX event for the season at Wakatere. I have had consistently good placing’s throughout these events. Placing 1st youth woman at all these events and finishing around 2nd or 3rd youth overall.

This season I won the National RSX woman’s travelling series and also competed and placed 2nd woman at the National slalom champs in Dunedin in February. I won both of the New Zealand selection regattas for the ISAF Youth worlds (Sail Auckland and the New Zealand RS:X National champs) and so this meant that I have been selected to represent New Zealand at the ISAF Youth worlds in Tavira, Portugal this July. I am really proud of myself for this achievement as it is a goal I have been working hard towards for the last few years and was really disappointed when I wasn’t selected for this event last year.
I have been working really hard towards being 100% ready for the event and have learnt some huge time management skills in the last 6-8 months. (Life is hard when you have to leave the safety of the nest at home!)
One of the big highlights for me this season was receiving an Inspire Foundation Grant. This has been a great help both personally and financially- meaning I can focus less on funding and more on training and know that there is always someone that has done what I am trying to do and can help with advice. It is an honour to be part of such a impressive group of Canterbury's high achievers.

Yachting New Zealand coach, Dave Robertson, has been working hard to get me and the male youth windsurfer, Patrick Haybittle, up to speed and looking polished for Portugal in two weeks time. It is always hard to train in New Zealand in the offseason for a major event in europe. The lack of wind and low temperatures are always a challenge. I have been aiming for four days on the water, four gym sessions and a bit of extra cardio every week. I feel like Ive been making big gains especially in the last two months and I am really looking forward to seeing how i go against the international fleet.
The training we have been provided with by YNZ has meant that Patrick and I have been able to train one on one with Dave up to three days a week and we have also been able to work with some of the other youth sailors and Natalia Kosinska, the number one RS:X woman for New Zealand.

It is fantastic to see the NZ windsurfing fleets starting to grow in both size and ability, I think its safe to say that we will have some strong young stars coming out of New Zealand in the next few years! This is a credit to a few key people in the provinces working hard for a sport they believe in. I thank them for getting me to where I am now.

I am excited to be representing New Zealand at the ISAF Youth Worlds. Part of this experience will be traveling and living as a team. We have 3 coaches and a PR/ logistics person traveling with us and all the competitors are staying at the same venue. I am really enjoying the team spirit that is building with the other New Zealand sailors who are going to this event and also looking forward to catching up with and competing against many of the windsurfers that I have met over the last 3 years of international competition.

It is only with your support that I have been able to attain this level of achievement. I take with me to Portugal your encouragement over the last few years, on what will be the biggest and most important adventure yet. I will keep you updated during the event which starts on July12 to 19.

Please find a few photos attached, one of these is of Ali Nightingale and myself. Ali is a fellow youth team member and also a canterbury sailor. She sails the Laser radial dinghy.

Results and information will be available on this website.

Wish me luck ( and good skills!!)
Xanthe Bowater

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