Dream IT & Achieve IT!
Patriotic kiwis wore red socks the day
Team New Zealand won the world renowned most
famous of yachting races, the America’s Cup. The regatta
was held in San Diego in America. The
year was 1995 and New Zealand was at a virtual standstill. Most
eyes were glued to television sets.
But not one set of Kiwi adventures who were tramping around Lake Waikaremona, a lake known for it’s isolation and beauty in the North Island of the country.
The Kiwi adventurous all wore their infamous red socks, a symbol of their patriotism to the New Zealand challenge. However, they realised it would be impossible for them to view a television to watch the race up in the trampers huts. Also, their mobile phones hadn’t got any reception when they’d departed from the low-lying valley in the Ureweras National Park. Therefore the trampers didn’t expect to hear the results of the final race for the challenge for a few days. For the sailors amongst that was a tragedy!
With heavy packs weighing down their backs they concentrated on the simple task of placing one foot in front of the other. After a few hours and climbing steadily up a steep mountain, the silence was shattered when a group of Japanese trampers quickly approached them coming down the track. “We’ve won, we’ve won” they chanted as they danced down towards them. Their packs were obviously empty, but someone’s mobile phone had worked higher up the mountain and they’d managed to hear the good news about the yacht race.
Teams New Zealand’s “Black Magic’ the financial underdogs, but not underdogs in spirit and expertise had managed to triumph over all odds. They had grasped the worlds most sought after yachting trophy, the famous America’s Cup, from the yanks!
Hugs were exchanged in celebration. It was impossible to have a drink to celebrate in good Kiwi fashion at the time. But besides that, the alcohol was stored in plastic milk bottles somewhere in the heavy packs. It was voted celebrations would take place in the trampers hut on the mountain peak, for the evening’s entertainment.
The tramping continued and dodging the tree roots on the path became more of a challenge.
However, it was still possible to soak in the magic of their surroundings as the sunshine filtered through the native bush. During that passionate exchange with eye’s glued to the ground, a dream emerged. Janice was going to be involved with the America’s Cup Challenge, when it came to New Zealand.
As a single mum with two dependent children Janice’s responsibility was to ensure the well being of her family. As the sole income earner and with minimum additional financial support for her children, it made the dream seem even more distant and unattainable. Single parenting drains a person physically, mentally, financially, and even at times spiritually. There’s no one to offer support in times of exhaustion and need. But dreams are a salvation and striving for them becomes part of life’s existence and purpose.
Janice’ creative and lateral thinking brainstormed for ideas of products for the marketplace.
A music CD was researched thoroughly, however, finally the possibility of losing the family house and the financial loss if the product didn’t sell was too great a risk, so that idea was discarded. Intuition is a great skill that woman have and the idea of a telephone call and asking to be involved paid off, towards the first step of achieving her dream.
Janice ‘s background included travel and tourism so when she first met with the organizers she was asked if she’d like to act as a guide to groups of tourists who wished to look at the Cup. A flinch of her face answered that question. Or, would she like to be out on the water helping in the boats. Passionate about the sea and sailing and with her first book titled “Sailing – a Different Course, and being a boatie for over 25 years, of course the answer was astoundingly - yes! Juggling family and work life made it possible to be out on the water.
Attending her first meeting
was interesting as she walked into a room of members of the
opposite sex. With very few friendly faces she had the distinct
feeling of entering into man’s
territory. Surely she was in the wrong place, she thought. This
was like one of those tee shirts with
all the white sheep on them and one black sheep She sheepishly
strolled towards the back rows.
However, determination and a dream to follow meant she was back
at the second meeting. Still the
black sheep amongst the white ones but thankfully, a friendly grandfatherly
face took her under his
wing. Later he said she reminded him of his daughter.
Trusting and creating dreams, has previously ‘plopped’ Janice in unexpected places. A few years earlier during a Whitbread race finish, she was suddenly whisked aboard to crew on the launch with the international media photographers aboard. For a person passionate about sailing it was awesome. To ensure good photos for the media, the launch cruised inside the coastguard and police security boats. She was aboard the closest boat allowed to the incoming yachts. The same happened with the America’s Cup regatta.
The role of the patrol boats for the America’s Cup Challenge, was to ensure the correct setting up of the course and also keep any of the spectator boats off the racing course. Boats were positioned at either end of the windward course and angled out port and starboard with their buoys in place and then allocated an area to patrol between neighboring buoys. This meant there is a huge area of water used for the course. If there was a wind shift all the buoys had to be hauled in and repositioned again. Three people were on board each boat a skipper, radio person and someone to manhandle the buoys.
Anywhere on the course would have great for Janice. Watching the yachts spin on their keel, maneuver effortlessly and hear the sound of the winches grinding and sails setting and the awesome sight of the huge spinnakers puffed full with wind as the yachts beat down the course, is a spectacular sight.
But trusting the creation of a dream once again launched her into a great spot on the course.
The start and finish box is where the yachts must enter within five minutes prior to the start of the race. Outmaneuvering the competitor ensures the best start for each yacht. At close quarters the yachts are even more magnificent as they steer towards the outskirts of the imaginary boxed area, spin on their keel and then speed off in another direction. It’s the best place on the course to see the yachts in action. That’s where she was! Positioned there for every start and finish of the regatta and once again the closest patrol boats for the 5-Zip win and slaughter of Prada.
Fun is an integral part of Janice’s life, and she managed to slip aboard a water pistol for those quiet moments when she was undetected, cheer leader pom poms to shake at every win and of course some ‘blowers’ and other items that are used in times of celebration. She even managed a proposal on 29th February, when ladies have the opportunity to propose. Luckily she said, it was turned down.
But the ultimate was she was there!! Her dream launched on Mothers day in 1995, steering at the ground as she plowed her way between the tree roots on the tracks around Lake Waikaremoana, had come to fruition. She was involved in the defence of the America’s Cup Challenge. It was great to be supporting your sport and patriotic about the country you love, and have fun as well, she said.
Discussing her next dream with the organiser, she said she’d like to helm an America’s Cup yacht. Impossible she was told, ever, was her reply, just watch me! It will happen somehow, and it did!
There was no indication that any past America Cup yachts were coming to sail on Auckland’s harbour. However during her attendance at the National Speakers Association of New Zealand conference a few years later, her daughter rang a radio station during a competition and was allocated a seat aboard NZL40 ( a past America’s Cup Yacht) for her mother. Janice has the photo to prove it, helming an America’s Cup yacht. Dream it and it can become a reality, she says.
Walking down Queen Street following Team New Zealand at the commencement of the Louis Vuitton challenge had Janice joining the other volunteers assembled this time in their 2003 uniforms. Social gatherings have ensured good team camaraderie has continued, with team members flying in from Australia for events. Excitement is mounting for the February 2003 regatta and defence of the America’s Cup, and once again Janice will be ‘canny’ enough to be allocated a ‘prime’ spot.
‘Sink or swim’ is always a choice, says Janice. In the pursuit of her dream she’s had focus, determination and a desire to succeed. ‘Swim’ has always been her answer and life’s challenges always ensured she’s overcome the adversities that life threw at her. She’s had health, financial, career, family and relationships challenges to overcome. However, proceeding towards her dreams and living out her passions has lead to her new career as a motivational speaker, Life Success Coach, where she can inspire and teach people in both their personal and career lives. She’s passionate about encouraging others to ‘go for their own gold medals’.
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