Since the end of the 49er Nationals in late August Dane and I have been offered some life altering opportunities as well as have had some challenges to consider regarding competing as a team. With a few significant decisions and milestones to weigh regarding the future of the McBride/Wilson 49er campaign, it’s high time for an update.
As some of you may know Willie received an offer in September to coach the top US Sailing Women’s 49er FX Olympic hopefuls, and Dane also received an offer to assume responsibility for the 29er Youth Olympic Development Program. Unfortunately, Willie’s role coaching the women’s team would conflict with the men’s 49er Olympic Trials. We’ve spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of each option, consulting our various life coaches and mentors, and then came back together as a team to make a final decision. The conversation covered a lot of ground, with discussions about our chances of qualification, how our other obligations factored into the equation, and even how a run for the 2020 Olympics might look in each scenario. After a lot of thought and deliberation, we have decided to suspend our campaign while Willie coaches through the end of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Dane will shift his attention to school while continuing to train in the 49er.
The last two years of sailing and campaigning have taught us invaluable life lessons as well as built our personal knowledge and skill as both of the coaching offers from US Sailing attest. We don’t consider our efforts missing the mark, nor do we feel we are walking away dissatisfied. Rather we feel we are pursuing the best course of action given all of the factors involved.
To everyone who read our social media, who signed up for our mailing list, and who donated to our campaign, we are both deeply grateful. This campaign has absolutely been one of the most informative, soul searching, and formational experiences of our lives, and we would not have been able to experience it without all of you. Words can’t describe our depth of gratitude. And although we have yet to attain the goal we set out to pursue, ultimately we are still committed to and on that path. We’ve learned it’s not a straight line, nor a predictable one.
“There is no job, no amount of power, no money to approach the Olympic experience.” —Olympic Gold Medalist, Al Orter
Thank you all for helping to give us a taste of that experience.
All the best,
Willie and Dane