With just over four months left until the 49er World Championship, we are wrapping up phase one of our training program, which has emphasized an intense focus on boat handling, and we are preparing for phase two, which will develop boat speed. During phase one, we have completed 2,368 tacks, 1,707 gybes, 75 “360s,” and countless laps of the race track here in Santa Barbara. Our techniques and understanding of our goals in each maneuver have been refined over and over, and the evolution in training videos from day one until now is remarkable. In the coming months, we will continue to tally our maneuvers, and strive to make each step of the mechanics second nature, but we are really happy with the process, and the progress that we have made so far, and we are confident that we’ll be headed into phase two with a solid foundation to work from.
This Wednesday will be our first time on the water with the other American 49er teams who are vying for the single Olympic berth, so it will be an awesome learning opportunity, and a good chance to find out what our biggest weaknesses are. While our strengths are likely to come from our extensive skiff sailing, and asymmetric spinnaker backgrounds, many of these teams have had a sizable head start in the 49er class, so we will be able to learn a lot from them about sail setup, and by watching their techniques. We expect that in many parts of the game we will be playing catch up, as could be the case all the way through the first few Olympic qualifying events next year, but we are very confident in our learning process, and we are excited for this opportunity to make some huge strides towards qualifying for the Olympic berth in 2015.
During the month of May, we will use our time training with the US Sailing Team squad to start focusing on phase two of our Worlds lead up, by absorbing everything we can about speed techniques. We will try to evaluate whether we need to change our body weights or compositions, we will test rig settings in different conditions, and we will learn everything we can about different techniques and philosophies on sailing styles. We hope to come out of the training camp with lots of new ideas to test and work through between now and September, with a goal of having good foundations of boat handling and boat speed at the 49er Worlds.
We’re looking forward to an exciting week of sailing, so be sure to stay tuned in to all of our social media for updates!