sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Perth 2011 - Canada’s RS:X Champ Nikola Girke shares love and luck

Perth 2011 - Canada’s RS:X Champ Nikola Girke shares love and luck

'Great wind outside, once the RSX sailors get out of the narrow channel - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships'    Shauna McGee Kinney    Click Here to view large photo

ISAF Sailing World Championships - Canada’s Nikola Girke and Women’s RS:X sailor shares her love and luck as she prepares for Perth 2011.

Since last Friday 18th November the RS:X coaches and teams have been running a four day regatta - a Pre-Worlds event. Nikola Girke (CAN) is one of the competitors using this event to prepare for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships from 3 December to 18 December 2011.

The Pre-Worlds event is a chance for the international RS:X sailors to get to know the venue, test their gear and judge their competition. Now you might have thought judging the wind lines can be tough. Nikola points out that judging the 'weed lines' has been even harder. Turns out that the local Fremantle waters have been choked with bands of sea grass and sea weed, making for some lucky and unlucky upwind and downwind legs. The weed and grass offers competitors the potential catapult from their board downwind. And, brings any athlete to a grueling slow and loss of steerage upwind.

The RS:X competitors will have to chance their luck with the debris during their next couple weeks of training, but are promised smooth sailing in December.

John Longley, Perth 2011 Event Director explains 'We will be trawling for weed in the course areas, particularly the RS:X Centre course off Bathers Bay, both before and during the Worlds to reduce the incidence of weed clumps. We did the same thing successfully during the Perth International Regatta test event last November. Over recent weeks, the weed has been brought in off the reefs by the last of the winter storms so we're probably seeing the worst of it at present. We'll certainly be doing our best to make sure it's as small a problem as possible, but it's a natural occurrence and is one of the many elements of nature that sailors contend with.'

Playing the wildcard: Luck goes both ways. From within the RS:X class, Nikola is considered the women’s wildcard competitor. She’s a threat when it’s windy and was the surprise package at Weymouth and Portland in August of this year. Nikola had an exciting bullet (a first place finish) in the eighth race and kept the heat on the leaders by finishing ninth overall.


Nikola happened into the RS:X class with a combination luck, perseverance and sacrifice. Her work to the top of the Womens’ international RS:X competition has been indirect at times. Her winning streak started in 1995 as the Women’s Laser 2 World Champion. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t a lead up into the Olympic classes from the Youth or Laser 2 sailing at that time. When Nikola reached the age limit of the youth classes, there was no real lead-up or stepping stone to into one of the Olympic classes. She gave up on competitive sailing and took up recreational windsurfing while she pursued a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree from the University of British Columbia.

Luck and love of sailing came calling on Nikola’s door shortly after finishing her degree. A friend talked her into coming out to Maui on a holiday and Nikola quickly decided she wanted to live there. Nikola was drawn to the chance of getting into the professional windsurfing circuit. She loved her lifestyle change and immersed herself in the windsurfing competition, the surfing and the lifestyle. Women’s professional windsurfing was not getting the sponsorship, media and funding that other sports were getting. She was competitive and keen to find a long term goal.

Addicted to the goal: Jen Provan from Toronto called in 2001 and asked Nikola to crew for her on the Women’s 470. The team was set on representing Canada at the Athens Olympics. Nikola gave up beautiful Maui and expected to give it a three month trial. Her change came with early success and she was hooked on the 470 dream after the team won the 2001 Canadian Nationals only six weeks into their campaign. Shortly after Nationals, Provan / Girke placed 16th overall at the 2001 World Championships and that was in a large field of 60 women’s teams.

Nikola found that Olympic opportunity brought her the satisfaction of a long term goal. Provan / Girke were in the top 10 at major events including 2003 European 470 Championships, 2004 470 Worlds and won multiple Canadian 470 championships. The team reached their goal and placed 13th in the Women’s 470 Olympic competition among teams with many more years of training and experience.

Going to the Olympics seemed to fulfill that need. The 470 was fun in the wind, but boring in light air. Nikola started to crave the excitement and adrenaline that she so loved when she was windsurfing in Maui. Again, she took a risk and trusted her luck. Nikola jumped ship on the 470 and moved into the RSX class.

Luck comes to those who persevere: When Nikola made the change to the RSX, she lost a lot of the funding and sponsorship that she had as a 470 world competitor. She also had to swallow her pride and started at the back of the fleet. She made it on her own for the first three years, training without a coach. The lack of local and national RS:X competitions and clubs also made the transition from 470 sailing to the RSX class even harder.

The long hours of sailing alone at home were not all fun. Nikola quips, 'When you’re on the RS:X, you’re in control of your own destiny. If you are willing to put in the work, you might reap the rewards.'

The loneliness ends when Nikola joins the class. The RS:X class is one of the most accommodating and welcoming of the Olympic classes. Her solo training was punctuated by camaraderie at the major RSX competitions and some training in Vancouver - Canada with fellow Men’s RS:X sailor Zac Plavsic. Nikola is also part of an international training group, a kind of 'united nations' of sailors that gets together throughout the year. The top training group includes Marina Alabau (SPN), Zofia Klepacka (POL), Wai Kei Chan (HKG) and Lee Korzits (ISR).

Winning is different: It took a long time for Nikola to change a third, fourth, fifth to a first place finish. Now that Nikola is consistently in the front of the fleet, she’s noticed a difference. She had her break through when she understood what being at the front means, 'Winning is different than coming second. It’s different than coming third. It’s another hurdle you need to cross - you are sailing more in the defensive mode rather than attacking or following - because if you are in second you can always follow the first person.'


Nikola concluded, '[When you’re in first] You figure it out on your own - knowing the whole entire fleet is behind you and whatever you do could cost you that win.'

Nikola’s experience isn’t unique, even RS:X class experts mention observing sailors going round a mark with leads of 200 meters or more looking frightened because they have never been there before. Having never led a fleet before, other sailors have often sailed off to the lay line, then waited for someone to take the lead from them. Nikola’s break-through this time is more than luck.

The Pre-Worlds this weekend in Fremantle will give Nikola that edge to get out in the front at the Perth 2011 Sailing World Championships in a few weeks. Look for Nikola’s hard work and good karma to deliver some unexpectedly wonderful first place finishes from this Canadian.



You can follow Nikola Girke through her website.




by Shauna McGee Kinney

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=91043

3:34 AM Tue 22 Nov 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Perth 2011


Related News Stories:

03 Nov 2013  Lijia Xu ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 - THAT Speech
20 Aug 2013  Mat Belcher – 17 in a row - 'The harder I work, the luckier I get'
22 Jul 2013  2012 Olympic Games - Stevie Morrison one year on
22 Jul 2013  2012 Olympic Games - Lucy Macgregor one year on
03 Jun 2013  Ainslie: Close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death
31 May 2013  A Tribute to Bart
29 Dec 2012  Ainslie knighted in New Year Honours, five others recognised
28 Nov 2012  2012 Paralympic Games a winner in global TV ratings
21 Nov 2012  London Paralympic Games debrief to start in Rio
02 Nov 2012  2012 Olympics: The Medalists thoughts on Kites and Windsurfers
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. Adventures of a Sailor Girl #31 - Pathways and passion! ... [more]  

The new application from PredictWind for Mac and PC is revolutionary for accessing weather data when offshore. Accessing GRIB files, Weather Routing, GMDSS forecasts and Satellite Imagery is now a simple task with the unique and user friendly interface. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Sweden to host World Series regatta in 2015 by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th - 30th) 2015. Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen. ... [more]  

Leading sailing marine electronics manufacturer B&G has been appointed an Official Race Supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15. B&G will also be providing full electronic navigation systems, tactical software and race support to the organisers of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, which began on the October 4th in Alicante, Spain. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina and last night an informal welcome drinks reception was well received with crew ... [more]  

2014 Chicago Match Cup - At the end of Chicago Match Race Center's sixth season, the numbers show how well CMRC reached both into and beyond the Great Lakes sailing community. CMRC hosted a total of 12 graded events from May to October. Of these, the five Grade Three regattas were the best attended featuring 23 skippers from nine countries. ... [more]  

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Tom Slingsby, Australian Olympic Laser Gold medalist, and member of Oracle Team USA, has signed up as skipper of Oman Air, one of two Oman Sail Extreme Sailing teams, for the final act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia (11-14 December). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big spread in fleet as Abu Dhabi leads *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race. She is the most westerly of the fleet as they approach the coast of Madagascar. In a video, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explains the weather hazards of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and competitors, the ISAF President welcomed the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be battling it out on Abu Dhabi's waters. 'It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,' explained Croce. ... [more]  

Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016. The second European location is expected to be Cagliari in Italy, where Luna Rossa Challenge have their base. ... [more]  

Chairman and founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox Johnston said: 'The Clipper Race is very pleased to welcome Hyde Sails back on board as Official Sails Supplier for our fourth consecutive race partnership. Hyde Sails evolved with us when we introduced the new Clipper 70 fleet in the last race and we were very pleased with how well the new sail wardrobes stood up to almost a year' ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Brian's Gime *Feature by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind, At sea
The irrepressible Brian Carlin, the On Board Reporter for Team Vestas Wind is on fitness program on board, under the watchful eye of race veteran Tony Rae. Today as my personal trainer, friend and fellow shipmate we accomplished a goal, 70 press-ups. I’m sure to some it maybe easy but I ask anyone of you right now sitting at your desk, hit the floor and give me 70 on the spot. ... [more]  

Two of the crew from Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing look at leg 2 and the race overall. Here are the latest blogs (unedited) from On Board Reporter Matt Knighton, along with an onboard video with Simon Fisher (navigator) musing on what is required to win the race, and skipper Ian Walker on how Leg 2 has panned out for them so far. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - A new deal for corinthians by Bruce Montgomery – Rolex Sydney Hobart media
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Since 1945 starters in the Sydney-Hobart have raced the equivalent of two circumnavigations of the world, almost 45,000 nautical miles. They have been drawn from the seven seas; they come from all corners of the world; they board boats that range from 100-feet supermaxis to boats littler larger than the Owl and the Pussycat’s. ... [more]  

2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships - The International Hansa Class Association has announced that the 2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships will be held in the Netherlands. ... [more]  

Most of the nearly 300 sailors on 216 boats in 21 classes in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 67th Turkey Day Regatta came to enjoy sunny sailing in mild conditions, which the weekend delivered beautifully. By tradition, the winners received turkeys, not trophies, but for a few others it was another important stopover en route to Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Olympics. They hope. ... [more]  

Everyone was expecting a battle between Besson and Cammas. In the end, Morgan Lagravière took the Champion’s title of the seventh edition of the St-Barth Cata Cup with a near-perfect journey. The Marché U day ended with a friendly race to Public. ... [more]  

Robert Scheidt talks to us just a few days before the Nassau start of the Star Sailors League Final. How do you feel inside? I feel very calm. Myself and Bruno have tons of experience with the Star. We’ve been competing together for 10 years now. ... [more]  

The US Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) has selected Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) to host their 2015 National Championships. This championship will be a week-long sailing spectacular on Pensacola Bay sailed by International Optimist Dinghy sailors from eight to 15 years old. ... [more]  

More than forty five years since his historical circumnavigation, legendary Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, continues to prove inspirational to adventurers around the globe. Sir Robin, the oldest entrant in the 3,542 mile Route du Rhum, finished third in his Rhum class into La Pointe À Pitre, Guadeloupe. ... [more]  

With Olympic heroes and World Champions in their numbers at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, UAE, local children are being inspired to take up the sport. By utilising the star names on show at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, hosts of the regatta, are using the event to promote the sport in the Emirati capital. ... [more]  

The last day of the Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup saw a grandstand finale to the 2014 PWA World Tour as the morning showers finally cleared to allow the wind to fill in and the respective titles to be decided. With the racing beginning later than scheduled the title race came down to one final race, which would ultimately decide the title. ... [more]  

Sometime during last night’s moonless gloom in the Volvo Ocean Race, the masthead lights of Dongfeng and Mapfre appeared to the west, maybe right where they would have been if we had jibed with the fleet the previous day. To say that was a relief is an understatement-that we are back in touch, back in the fray near the front, it keeps everyone motivated and pushing a little bit harder. ... [more]  

Olympic medal-winning skipper Ian Walker, from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) – the emirate’s Volvo Ocean Race contesting squad – recently took time out of his hectic schedule while he was in Cape Town, as the team prepared for Leg 2 of the race to catch-up with students at The British School Al Khubairat via a video call. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Corinna Halloran reports on day five of leg 2 for Team SCA. Team SCA has a super fan. She’s seven and, at home, she has posters of Team SCA on her wall. As a member of the team, and as a woman in 2014, this is extremely cool. ... [more]  

The Sailing Instructions for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final that will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 26-30 November have been published. All ten Olympic events and an Open Kiteboarding event will be contested in the Emirati capital off of the stunning Corniche. ... [more]  

Italy's Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich have been one of the leading teams in the Women's Skiff, the 49erFX, and head to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ready for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

St Barth Cata Cup day 3 by Dominique Ladouceur
Day three’s race was a lot more difficult than yesterday’s at the St-Barth Cata Cup due to b winds. After pushing back the morning race to 2p.m. due to 30 knots winds at the tip of Colombier, the race committee decided to stick to only one race in the afternoon. ... [more]  

Team Alivimedica skipper Charlie Enright and navigator Will Oxley sat with Andy Rice to assess Leg 2 before the start in Cape Town. Here is the second part of the Leg Two analysis. ... [more]  

Position report for the Volvo Ocean Race boats as of 24th November 0700 UTC. It's been a fairly quiet night out there - and the biggest change is that the boats are beginning to close up, and become more compact. ADOR, who gybed north first, around six hours before the rest of the fleet on Saturday night, have moved south a little, whereas the rest of the boats have remained in the same line. ... [more]  

The 10 competing teams at the RC44 Oman Cup enjoyed a great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman for the penultimate day of the 2014 Championship Tour. Terry Hutchinson continued to guide Vladimir Prosihkin’s Team Nika the right way around the course, extending their lead in the overall standings, adding another race win to their scoreline, Team Aqua stay second with Charisma hanging onto third. ... [more]  

Position report for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet as of 23 November, 1900 UTC. Four days into the Leg 2, and the fleet is finally making progress towards Abu Dhabi. The seven boats are now south of Madagascar, and they’ve been heading north since last night. ... [more]  

Position report for the Volvo Ocean Race boats as of 0748 UTC, November 23rd. So what happened overnight? Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were the first to head north and then progressively the other boats in the fleet decided to follow their lead. The fleet is really close together. ... [more]  

Gladwell's Line: The America's Cup is now Bermuda's Cup? *Feature
VX ONE Winter Series - Norris and Family earn first weekend victory
RC44 Oman Cup - Nika wins and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 title
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three
Volvo Ocean Race: On board with Abu Dhabi - torn sail and where to go? *Feature
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Bermuda shines
2014 Turkey Day Regatta – Day 1
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Delphine Cousin officially world champ
Volvo Ocean Race: A man's got to do what a man's got to do
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Open Formula Kiteboarding event preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet heads into the Southern Ocean + Videos *Feature
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Set to be an 'experience of a lifetime'
America's Cup: Source named in Bermuda venue leak *Feature
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos
Volvo Ocean Race: A bumpy, hard driving ride in the Southern Ocean
EPA punts on renewable fuel standard
Yates Cup: US supermaxi Rio100 wins first offshore race + Video *Feature
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Men’s title race takes a twist
RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency hard to come by   
Volvo Ocean Race - Discomfort takes over for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Rapid change for Team SCA   
Viper 640 event at Lake Garda - 22-26th June 2015   
British Cycling grows by over 500%, can sailing do the same?   
GC32 Racing Tour 2015 - Dates and venues   
Class 40-footers to be featured in 2015 Annapolis-to-Newport Race   
Spectacular performance by Bakewell-White maxi early in first race *Feature   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Big strides for Cousin and Moussilmani   
America's Cup: Team New Zealand responds to Venue rumours *Feature   
ORC reveals rule improvements for 2015   
Volvo Ocean Race - Hammer down for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA heads for unknown territory   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final set to be 'an experience of a lifetime'   
RC44 Oman Cup - Team Nika gets a taste for the podium + Video   
St Barth Cata Cup 2014 - Game on!   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Wild Oats XI reveals new livery   
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 - Wild Oats XI and Audi ready: photos   
Volvo Ocean Race: Meek's tips pay dividend in Leg 2 squalls and calms *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in search of hometown glory   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT