Rachel Clarke

Rachel is a 25 year old from Hibiscus Coast, Police Constable based in North Shore also serving the community for the past 4 years. She is the 2014 Molokai Surf Ski World Champion, 2013/14/15 NZ Surf Ski World Champion and last year placed 3rd at the Surf Ski World Champs. Everything was going great until she had a scare after visiting her GP.

After the final World Series Race in Perth Sam and I arrived back in NZ and finally summer had arrived! Back to training in bikinis and weekends spent venturing in the sun. With no ocean racing until early February it gave me the chance to have a bit of a break from the long paddles and ocean ski. It has allowed me to get back into the clubby season for the summer. Most nights are spent down at Mairangi Bay Surf club training on the spec ski, board and ironman sessions. Included in training is getting back into the gym about three times a week, running and the odd recovery swim. So far I have had two life saving competitions where I have raced pretty well coming away with some firsts and seconds. Im happy with where I am at but always loads to improve on going into the main competitions like Eastern Regional Champs in late January and NZ National Champs in March. I am really looking forward to racing at these bigger competitions and seeing what I can do. The surf season really allows me to refresh my mind and really think about my 2016 goals in Ocean paddling and which events I want to target. One of those goals is heading back to Hawaii for Molokai in May. This will be the main event for 2016 I am targeting which means 30-50km paddles for a 12 week block leading up to the race. Molokai is definitely a mental race not just physical I think laying off the pressure over the summer for a couple of months with ocean paddling will be good for my preparation going into Molokai more focused and determined than ever.

Over the past couple of months I have had something else very personal on my mind, In October 2015 I went of a cervical smear test which came back as abnormal. In December I had to get a biopsy done to see to what level the cells were. The Doctor advised me my results came back as what they call CINN 2 & 3, these are called pre cancerous cells where if not taken out can turn cancerous over time. I then had to have whats called a Lletz procedure where they remove the cells under a local or general anaesthetic. This means no swimming or strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks. This is a huge set back for me and to be honest I don’t know how I’m going to do it with no paddling, running or even going in the water for that long! But if I look at it another way I think a few weeks break may actually do me some good before the Molokai training kicks in! One thing I do want to say to all you females out there please go and get your Cervical checks done because it could save your life before it’s too late!

On a more positive note I am extremely happy and honoured to announce that i’ve partnered up with AUT Millennium based on the North Shore. I’m very excited to get into the gym and utilise their facilities to improve my training! AUT Millennium has top of the line facilities in the gym, outdoor tracks and 2 x 50m swimming pools. Also at AUT Millennium is Healthzone which is a great Family Practice to keep your health in check or even have some of those sports injuries looked at! Check out AUT Millennium’s website here: http://www.autmillennium.org.nz

(March 2016)