Wednesday morning, after Macgyvering a trailer lighting crisis with a few odds and ends from the back of the car, Dane and I hit the road at 6am to head down to Long Beach for the May US Sailing Training Camp. Since we arrived, we’ve been going full throttle to get as much out of our time with other boats as possible.
Three days in, we’ve logged 11 hours on the water so far, and spent another 6 hours debriefing. We’ve had to break out the head lamps to work on tuning the rig past sunset, and the results are evident from the huge strides we’ve made each day.
After day one, the coaches told us that they didn’t know what to expect when we showed up, as we’d never sailed with the group before, but that their conclusion after a day in some solid breeze was that we are, “The greatest rookie team of all time…” We’ve got a ways to go before they revise that statement to, “The greatest team of all time,” but we’re improving quickly, with our practice hours starting to shine through as we get the rig closer and closer to the correct place.
Sailing near other teams has been extremely tiring, because no one wants to give an inch. Our training sessions have generally been 2-3 hours with the other teams, pushing each other around the ocean as hard as possible, and then an hour on our own after they go in. On day one, I didn’t get enough to drink, and woke up dehydrated on day two, so I ended up fighting a headache for the whole session. We’ve been eating more than I’ve ever eaten in my life, visiting the Chronic Tacos multiple times per day to keep our calorie count high enough. Today is a rest day, but we’ll be back in the boat tomorrow and Monday to sneak two more days in, in Long Beach before Dane has to go back to school, at which point we’ll move our operation back to Santa Barbara for the middle of the month.
We feel really good about the foundation that we’ve built on our own so far, and we hope to use this training camp to start developing a baseline of rig tune settings, which we will be able to develop further to improve our boat speed as we enter the summer season.
Huge thanks to all of the coaches who have helped us in the last few days, to Oakcliff for providing the awesome fleet of boats for us to use, to US Sailing for making this opportunity available, to Kaenon for keeping our eyeballs from burning out of our heads with all of the time we’ve been spending on the water, in the sun, and to everyone who has helped us get this far!