Honiara Pacific Games - Jarrod Jones

December 11, 2023

A Glimpse into the Multisport Event in Honiara

By Jarrod Jones

 

Over the past two weeks I have been lucky enough to experience and compete in the 2023 Pacific Games, representing Australia in the Sailboard. I am currently digesting the whole experience, but I know that it holds so many memories that I will look back on and learn from. Furthermore, if there was ever an incentive to continue pushing yourself for training to be an Olympic hopeful it is being treated like an Olympian for 2 weeks. I loved the professionalism of the environment, and being part of not only a sailing team, but a multi-sport National Team.

Honiara Pacific Games 2023 Australian Team

75 Athletes from all over Australia and varying sports left Brisbane for Honiara, and it was great to see the different ways that the different sports and individuals prepared for their events. Before the competition began, it was amazing to be able to experience the opening ceremony, broadcasted internationally, with a packed stadium.

The first day of racing saw only one race out of a planned 4 but it was good to assess the fleet.  I was up against Veterans of the sport, professional Windsurfers that had already had successful Olympic campaigns.  My division of competitors definitely had their sailing credentials which only added to the whole experience.

Gold and Silver were firmly secured by New Caledonia and Tahiti respectively early-on in the regatta.  I then ended up in a tussle with Fiji for the Bronze.  When the wind was heavier, I would gain on him and he on me when the wind was light.  We ended up Match racing each other the last couple of days of racing but with good spirits and fair racing all the way up to and including the Medal race. We both ended up on the Podium with Fiji taking the Bronze but I too returning from the games with a Bronze Medal in the Team event.

Honiara Pacific Games - Jarrod Jones

After the racing it was great to be able to take in the culture and the other highly experienced athletes from other sports, so after helping my fellow Aussie sailors launch each day it was great to go and watch sports such as boxing, Rugby 7s and judo. Boxing was probably my favourite with the Australian Boxing team being full of genuine sporting heroes, charisma and team pride. All 75 team members returned with a medal and plenty of positive experiences from playing soccer with the locals to being asked for their autograph.

I would recommend applying for this great opportunity in 2027, and if you are RQYS junior sailor who will be between 15-19 years old at this time then most definitely have this event up for consideration as a midterm goal. Tahiti will be holding the next Pacific Games who I’m sure will also be able to provide an amazing authentic Olympic experience.

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