by Brenda Hoult
Following the hugely positive response to the coaching at the 2013 edition of GJW Direct SailFest, this year also sees the inclusion of nutrition workshops within the 2014 schedule at Calshot Activities Centre, on the Solent shore of the New Forest. Many of the competitors last year commented that they had not previously had access to coaching in the SailFest format, with ongoing advice throughout the weekend.
SB20 sailing action
Likewise, with everyday news increasingly focussing on what we eat, this is a fantastic opportunity to hear the views of a nutritionist who has been studying and prescribing performance related eating plans for over 20 years, unaffected by fashion and whims.
Nutrition Consultant Gareth Edwards has National Championship titles in Fireball, 470 (French) and 49er. In 2006 he was approached by elite sailor Paul Brotherton to help loose unwanted weight and regain physical performance. The programme was effective, resulting in a weight loss of 6kg and a remarkable increase of strength and endurance. Paul then became the coach for the world conquering Yngling girl’s crew at the 2008 Olympic Games. He used some of the principals he had employed to achieve his own turnaround to help his team keep down to weight while maintaining peak physical performance.
'You don't need to spend too much time with Gareth to see that food is a total passion for him and as one of the fittest looking and best preserved people I know there is not much of an argument about the benefits,' enthuses Paul. 'I dipped my toe into the world of eating correctly and accurately and was genuinely amazed at the energy and ability to recover from exercise. It was not difficult to pass on the basic ethos of his message to my athletes and to support them through the first few difficult days of the transition. The eating patterns that we established early in 2007 where a substantial part of the success that followed. I would recommend Gareth as a determined, passionate and committed nutritionist. Anyone who takes ultimate performance seriously would be well served to knock on his door.'
Gareth's approach is based around consuming the natural foods available in their simplest form to energise our bodies for optimum performance - be that sporting, mental or simply fulfilment of everyday tasks with energy. He is passionate about the benefits to health derived from sourcing and consuming foods that are ethically produced and rich in nutrients. In addition to dietary and lifestyle advice Gareth uses blood analysis techniques as part of his health consultation that he will give details of in his seminars. His approach is very much holistically based with a real understanding that there is no single formula that can be applied to all patients.
Gareth Edwards sailing with Rick on a 49er
But Gareth's advice is not only for the elite: 'Gareth's fascination for nutrition is contagious - one that he can't help but share, but he never comes across as preaching. I literally drifted into him whilst waiting for the wind to fill in at a Laser event and that conversation changed my attitude to food and diet completely. Gareth's total belief and understanding of the subject serves to present his ideas as straightforward common sense, not rules to be adhered to. With siblings prone to weight gain I had always been (I thought) careful about what I ate, but resorted to experimenting with all manner of diets to get back down to my pre-baby weight and considered my lack of energy as symptomatic of having too many children. Within a year of meeting Gareth I had run my first marathon and shifted my baby bulge completely. Marathon ticked off I now maintain my weight and energy with only a moderate amount of exercise and by following a few simple guidelines. Gareth's advice showed me how to enjoy the healthy food around me with which I even fuel my children, generally without complaint!'
Gareth will be competing at SailFest in his Laser, in preparation for the Laser Masters Worlds in Hyeres in October. He will be holding seminars after racing at SailFest, which are free for any entrants, family and friends to attend, and will be happy to discuss opportunities for further consultation. Bear in mind that there is every chance he will suggest you eat more lettuce - its not rocket science ;)
As the final round of the Garmin Summer Series there will again be the chance to win a Garmin VIRB Elite if you enter before 10th August. Overall winner and the winner of any class or club with over 15 boats entered also wins one of these action cameras and the coveted GJW Direct Outstanding Achievement Award will again be awarded. Also prizes from Trident and Gul. So enter here, now.