by Craig Heydon
Victorian 29er skipper Tess Lloyd is in good spirits and continuing to make steady progress as she recovers from a head injury suffered during the 2012 Australian Youth Championships in Brisbane in early January.
29er States at RBYC
Following a number of weeks in hospital in Brisbane Tess headed back to her hometown of Melbourne with her family and has been undergoing continued treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Since returning to Melbourne Tess’ condition has improved enough to allow her to return home to stay and continue her rehabilitation as an out-patient, a very positive step.
Tess was recently visited by Australian Sailing Team member Nathan Outteridge who flew down to spend an afternoon with her in hospital.
Outteridge, a triple 49er World Champion, 2011 Moth World Champion and Olympic representative has a lot in common with Tess having also suffered a major injury and having to come back from it to sail again. In early 2005 Outteridge was involved in a car accident where he broke his back and for a time it was unclear if he would ever walk, let along sail, again. Outteridge’s determination saw him recover to win his first 49er World Championship just three years later and compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the same year.
The pair, along with Tess’ crew Lewis Duncan, spent time talking about all things sailing, along with Outteridge’s journey back from injury and the road ahead for Tess.
Last month Tess also had the opportunity to catch up with her fellow 29er sailors, attending a BBQ during the 29er Victorian Championships at Royal Brighton Yacht Club.
The BBQ provided the first chance that Tess has had to spend time with many of her friends. Tess has now been sailing on yachts and even on Oliver Tweddell’s Finn with coach Johnny Rodgers. She is spending two-three sessions per week at the VIS gym and is extremely keen to resume training. Tess will be involved in a 'try 29er' day shortly and in the Australian Youth Camp at Sorrento around Easter.