December 14, 2012 00:12
As I’m writing this I’m looking out at a beautiful but freezing Weymouth wondering if I can muster the will power to go out sailing.
I’ve just got back from Florida where I enjoyed probably the best days’ of racing I’ve done all year at the Melges 32 Gold Cup event in Fort Lauderdale. The actual event was a bit of an end-of-season ‘fun’ regatta, if there is ever such a thing, and I was sailing on a new boat, Warpath, filling in for Morgan Larson, who was off doing the Extreme 40s.
But the sailing was immense; 20 knots onshore every day, enormous waves, 25 degrees, sailing in t-shirts, it was perfect conditions and the downwinds were awesome.
After the Gold Cup event finished I went down to Miami to sail in a Melges 20 event with Barking Mad, as well as do a bit of 49er and Moth sailing.
I am loving Moth sailing at the moment. I’ve had my own Moth for about a month and I’m so excited about it. I even did my first foiling tack in Miami, which I was really buzzing about!
It’s quite weird getting to grips with how to sail the boat, compared with how you sail a Laser. I’m back at square one again and the learning curve is massive. It’s like learning to ride a bike, once you’ve sussed it you just keep wanting to do more of it. I’m quite fast downwind but not so much around the corners yet!
There are a few of the British team sailors, including Stevie Morrison, Ed Powys, Simon Hiscocks, Dylan Fletcher and Richard Mason, who have got Moths down in Weymouth now. We’re all learning together and are getting really competitive amongst ourselves. The 2013 Worlds are in Hawaii and I’ve definitely got aspirations to see if I could be competitive there.
I’ve been really busy doing loads of different types of sailing since the Olympics and that’s the main plan at the moment for next year too. As well as the Moth stuff, I’ve got some really great opportunities in big boats, including more Melges 32 sailing, racing with the RC44s and in TP52s. I’ll also still be keeping my hand in doing bits of Olympic Laser sailing.
It’s not just been about sailing though. I got a new Orange mountain bikes last month and had an awesome time in Wales, doing the trails in Afan Forest Park. It was about six degrees, pouring down with rain but such good fun.
Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me this year and I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year.
December 18, 2010 11:02
Its been a tough but fun week in Font Remou
I joined a group of twelve sailors for a fitness camp in the Pyrenees, we flew in to Barcelona all excited and ready for a week of cross country skiing. As we drove in to the mountains the sun was shining and the weather was fine, only one small problem! As we arrived at the resort it was 6 degrees and very little snow on the ground…..
We checked in to the French training centre and with a promise of individual rooms we headed off to the second floor. A little disappointed that I could touch all four walls from the bed we headed down for some five a side football.
Over night the temperature plummeted but unfortunately the snow didn’t.
We headed out with a guide for a walk in the mountains for 5 hours. With the temperature at – 11 as we left it was going to be a cold day. The scenery was spectacular and it was great to be out adventuring with the team. Reaching altitudes of 2500m it was at times a little breathtaking on the up hills and jarring on the joints on the way down but great fun.
After a week of training ranging from football and games in the sports hall, interval sessions in the pool, gym sessions in the weights room and walking in the mountains I feel well and truly ready for Christmas.
Happy Christmas and have a great 2011
December 06, 2010 23:05
Australia – Oman – London – Weymouth, after clocking up the air miles I had just about enough time to do the washing and then off again to Miami…
It was pretty cold in Weymouth before I flew out and I felt for the youth squad that were out training in the harbour.
The Red team were on good form after a break from sailing. With two days training we started to get back to where we left off. With 21 boats and short courses the racing was super tight. The first two days saw a shifty challenging Northerly breeze. With out really getting away at the start we sailed to a consistent set of results. For the final day the wind increased from the East creating a challenging shifty breeze, with two steady results we pushed a bit harder for the final race to get closed out at the windward mark to round 20th….. The team fought back well as we pulled back to 7th in the race to take 4th overall. A reasonable result after a challenging regatta.
For final results see,
December 13, 2009 13:50
I had the honour of cyling with Steve Peat yesterday Downhill world champion. We headed out into the local woods and it wasnt long before I was struggling to keep up. His pace down hill was pretty cool making every turn look easy as I slid around in the mood. It was good fun and Im looking forward to trying to keep up next time………
This afternoon I was in Meadowhall shopping centre for a quick appearance at a bikeathlon. I was there to support Dominic Hurley. I met Dom at the Yorkshire Sports awards a few weeks ago and was inspired by his story. What an amazing guy and i wish him the best of look for his Paralympic quest.
Dominic did 10hours on Friday, an 8 hour stint on Saturday and was up for 6 hours today. I felt a little bit lame only doing 90 minutes but it was good to give my support.
For more details see Doms site
I am looking forward to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards tonight Im sure it will be cracking event.
December 08, 2009 03:14
Its been nice to get away from the wind and rain in Weymouth for a short to trip to Miami for the Melges 32 Gold Cup.
I was sailing on Red, the Melges 32 team helmed by Joe Woods. The team was a great bunch of guys which made for not only great sailing but good fun. It was my first time sailing on a Melges 32 so it was all quite new with lots to learn, luckily as tactician I didnt have to pull any strings which made life a bit easier but there was still a lot on especially when the breeze was up.
It was easy to see why the fleet is so popular, the boats are quick, the racing super tight and the fleet is staked with talented sailors.
It took me a while to find my feet and get used to the tricky conditions, it was quite shifty with a good swell and the boats powered up. After a slow start and a few mistakes we got better as the the regatta went on. Consistency was the key on the final day as we pulled through the fleet each race to finish with a 6 – 4 – 3.
Unfortunately this wasn’t quite enough just missing out on winning by a point to Ramrod, helmed by Rod Jabin with Gavin Brady calling tactics.
It was still good to finish 2nd in the first regatta with plenty to still work on Im really looking forward to joining the team again in Key West in January.
For Results see
December 18, 2008 08:51
It has been a busy few weeks. I took the top prize at the BBC Yorkshire Sports Personality of the Year dinner held this year in Bradford. It was a great evening at it was a real privilege to sit on the same table as James Toesland last years winner and, Kevin Blakwell Sheffield United manager. The night was made even more special as my parents were also there to see me receive the prize.
I left Bradford and headed straight to Swansea for a week of mountain biking with a few friends. It wasn’t the warmest week but we had some fantastic riding around south wales, it did get a little icy in some valleys and it was pretty exciting riding in the dark with lights. It was all going really well until Saskia came off and after a trip to the hospital the diagnosis was a pretty serious broken collar bone. After another day of slightly more reserved riding it was time for an afternoon at the football to rest the legs.
After watching the mighty Sheffield United grab a point at Swansea it was off to Liverpool for the national BBC Sports Personality of the Year. It was another fantastic evening and a bit of a reunion with other medalists from Team GB. After the show there was a great party which was pretty surreal being surrounded by lots of TV stars and legendary athletes. It was pretty funny to be signing autographs and having your picture taken as you enter and leave the hotel.
I am back home in Weymouth now, and its back into fitness training in preparation for a cross country skiing trip to Austria post christmas where I will be joined by several other members of the Olympic team.
Have a good Christmas
December 01, 2008 09:24
Well it’s been quite a busy and exciting few weeks for me.
Today I was part of the opening committee for the new Olympic Sailing Centre at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy. The new site has grown somewhat over the last few months and is now completed, the first of the London 2012 sites and on budget!
The site today looked quite spectacular and with the sun shining it was a bit of an inspiration as I enter back into training with London 2012 firmly in my sights.
Over the last few weeks I have been involved with a lot of cool stuff. I have been at the Cycle show with Volvo looking at some pretty cool new bikes and deciding which would be best to kick start my fitness training. One of my toughest challenges has been to take on the Ryder Cup course for 2010. I played at the Volvo amateurs and lost a colossal amount of golf balls! I did however pull it out of the bag when the cameras were on birding the 450 yard first hole, it soon went downhill once we had escaped the cameras.
After returning from a friend’s wedding in Tobago I was thrown straight in at the deep end with my acting skills. I had three days of intense filming were I had to learn a script and perform in front of the cameras. It’s not quite as easy as it looks!!
Having cracked performing in front of cameras ishhhhh a new challenge came about as I was asked to be a stand in for Gladiators. What was I thinking? I had 3 days of training with James DeGale and Kieran Bracken, what a laugh. I even managed to keep laughing while James was beating me with the big sticks used on Duel. I managed to knock him off his feet a few times but never off the podium, each time it ended in me jumping off after taking way too many heavy blows.
Luckily for me, neither James or Kieran got injured so I didn’t get the chance to properly take any Gladiators down but I enjoyed watching the boys try.
Its back into training now as I start to focus on the next 4 years ahead and how we can improve for the next games. It has been great to take some time out but I need to start getting back into shape physically for the year ahead.
Roll on 2012
December 03, 2007 17:13
The BBC and Sport England Yorkshire Sports Awards was a star-studded event held in Barnsley on Sunday 2nd December. Paul won the Sport England Senior Male 2007 Award for his performance this year, which has included winning gold in the Pre-Olympic event for a consecutive year and being nominated by the RYA for a spot in the Olympic sailing team for the 2008 Olympic Games.
“It is fantastic to win this award, especially as sailing is not a big sport in Yorkshire, it makes it even more special,” said a very pleased Paul. “I have had a great year and am looking forward to getting back into training in the New Year in preparation for next August in China.”
Other winners included Sheffield born World Superbike Champion, James Tosland, who won BBC’s Yorkshire Sports Personality of the Year award after a second consecutive World Championship win. Legendary cricketer Geoffrey Boycott was presented with the Hall of Fame trophy.
Finally a special Spirit Of Yorkshire Award was given posthumously to charity fundraiser and married mother-of-three Jane Tomlinson who died this year.