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The Obstacle is the Way

Posted by on 10:20 am in 49er, Ocean, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Obstacle is the Way

  We’ve been competing now for three days. That has included 9 races, 18 hours on the water, 15 starting sequences, 24 PB&J sandwiches, and countless decisions. However, the story behind our score line comes down to 3 decisions. The Obstacle is the Way is a book about success, process, understanding your place in the world, and understanding the moment you’re in. Darn if we didn’t just live through this life lesson the past three days. It truly is the story of a missed opportunity born from learning how to compete at this level. For all of the sailors following us, success here at this event is not about sailing ability, speed, tactics, or OCS’s. It’s about discipline, the discipline of living through a tough situation to get to an advantageous position. We were a touch impatient three times. Although we no longer have a shot at the Olympics today, we assuredly have an understanding that this “obstacle” is the root of how we move forward. It’s a good day today. We’re lucky to be here....

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Here we go!

Posted by on 8:45 am in Ocean, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here we go!

The time has come. The 49er Olympic Trials begin Monday, February 25th in Miami.  The team that will take to the water is Dane Wilson (helm) and Riley Gibbs (crew). The team began their collaboration in the fall and have had a rapid ramp up in preparation. Wish them luck!  Follow the event at  US Sailing Miami and World Cup Miami .        

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“And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.”

Posted by on 9:56 pm in 29er Sailing, Ocean | 0 comments

“And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.”

The inspiration for our website address: John F Kennedy’s America’s Cup Speech, Newport Rhode Island, 1962 “…I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we...

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A Fork in the Road

Posted by on 9:12 am in 49er, Ocean, Sailing, The Campaign So Far, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Fork in the Road

Hello everyone, 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...

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Soul Searching, Soul Sailing

Posted by on 5:46 pm in 49er, ISAF, Ocean, Sailing, Speed, The Campaign So Far | 0 comments

Soul Searching, Soul Sailing

Hi everyone, It’s been several weeks – even months at this point since our last post here, but during the radio silence we’ve been busy at work off of the water, really reflecting on our first year of sailing together as a team, and our paths looking forward.  After a poor performance at the Miami OCR, our post-regatta process has been a soul searching endeavor, touching on aspects of sports psychology, daily meditations, and for both of us, several introspective weeks getting back to the roots of what makes us happy and productive, and reflecting on the mental challenges at play.  The whole journey so far has been an incredibly informative one, and through our passions for sailing we are excited to continue to forge ahead. For the last year, we have pushed very hard with an emphasis on spending as much time on the water as possible.  Our focus at practices was on learning everything we possibly could about the 49er, and our learning curve was off the charts for the full twelve months.  Between January and September of 2014, we sailed almost exclusively at home, pushing the limits of the boat and building our understanding of what the 49er is capable of.  We sailed rudderless, we sailed blindfolded, we sailed wing-on-wing downwind with the kite – every drill during every practice was aimed at building feel in the boat.  In September, we got our first experience sailing with the entire 49er fleet in Spain at the World Championships, and at first the experience was overwhelming, but after returning home and digesting all of the data from the event, we set about narrowing in our focus for maneuvers and boat speed techniques, practicing more practical skills for racing.  Before the January Miami OCR, we had a few practice sessions with other teams on the water, during which we were able to start putting our speed techniques to the test, and by the time we got to Miami we felt that we had very competitive speed and boat handling.  After some very successful practice races, we were confident going into racing, but during the regatta, our teamwork broke down, and the resulting performance was extremely frustrating – disappointing even given our strong lead up. For me, the time off has been an opportunity to reflect on how this Olympic sailing campaign fits into the broader context of my life at this moment in time, and in the future.  Our time in Miami this winter was an emotionally draining experience, but taking the last few weeks to recharge my batteries has opened my eyes once again to what a truly incredible experience and opportunity this campaign is.  The path forward is one that is bound to further refine my understanding of sail trim, and tactics, but more importantly, it is one will continue to develop my understanding of what drives me, what drives other people, and how I can share my passion and experiences with the people around me.  Our learning in the next few months will center around how to draw peak performances out of each other, and how to achieve the “zone” state of mind on a regular basis.  The next obstacle in our journey is one that is applicable to such a broad range of endeavors, whether sailing, academic, business related, or otherwise, because it relies on...

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Miami Heat

Posted by on 8:04 pm in 49er, Ocean, Sailing, The Campaign So Far, Travel | 0 comments

Miami Heat

Two zombies stumble into a chain link pen in a rainstorm… On Sunday night, we were those zombies, as we rolled into the Miami Rowing Club after a 50 hour driving marathon across America, greeted by a 30 second rain squall.  After unloading our two boats in tow, and one on the roof, we grabbed a quick dinner, and hit the pillows hard at the home of our incredible hosts, the Lewis family. As soon as we got to the boat park this morning, the racing started, as the first order of business was to try to be rigged in time for practice races at noon. An hour later, we scarfed a few sandwiches, pounded our remaining supply of water, and headed out for our first sail in Miami in the 49er.  In 6-9 knots, practice racing went very well and we’re feeling excited about the gains we’ve made in the last few months, but there is lots more sailing to come, and many more conditions to be tested, so we look forward to a productive month! One of the biggest challenges today was staying hydrated.  With the humidity, and the scorching sun, we were drenched in sweat from the time we stepped out the door in the morning.  By lunch time we had finished all of our water, and ended up cutting our session to two hours.  After putting our boat away, we made a b-line for the sports store, where we bought more reusable water bottles and grabbed some electrolyte supplements.  We’re all set for tomorrow, and looking forward to a nice, full day of training! We’ll be posting periodic updates throughout the month, and we’ll try to update our Facebook page daily, so be sure to follow along with our progress! Best, Willie and...

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Sailing into a new year…

Posted by on 7:49 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sailing into a new year…

Thank you all for the tremendous support thus far. We are changed people and with the Olympic Trials now a year away we’re feeling renewed and grateful for everything. We are off to Miami to train and compete with our eyes set on some very specific things to learn. All the best in the New Year to everyone, Dane &...

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Ocean Futures

Posted by on 8:42 am in The Campaign So Far, Water Awareness | 0 comments

Ocean Futures

An evening filled with the vivid colors of tropical corals, the abstract geometries of exotic fish, and fascinating behaviors of some of the ocean’s most intelligent creatures captivated and educated a group of Team McBride Wilson supporters during our evening with Jean Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Society, at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.  With scenes from his upcoming IMAX feature film, and stories of his father and his adventures, Jean Michel spent the evening sharing what the ocean means to him, while emphasizing a lesson preached by his father – that, “People protect what they love”.  We couldn’t be more grateful to be surrounded by such passionate representatives of the environment that the love, and humbled by the greater mission that we are able to be a part of. Thank you to everyone who attended the event in support of our team as well as Ocean Futures Society.  Over 70 guests came out for the evening, and it meant a tremendous amount to us to have support from so many corners of the Santa Barbara community and beyond. Thank you also to all of the awesome groups and individuals who helped to make the event such a success: Gail Young and BS Winery for donating wine; John Kelsey Photography for the awesome shots from the evening; The Santa Barbara Yacht Club Women for helping to underwrite the cost of the hors d’oeuvres; Greg Gorga with the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum for providing the venue; Kiki Scheiblauer for making the connection with the Ocean Futures Society and helping organize the event; The Pierce and Guilfoyle Families for helping to promote the event; Francie Lufkin for making the connection with the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum;  Holly Lohuis from the Ocean Futures Society for putting many hours into working with us to organize the event; and Mr. Jean-Michel Cousteau for sharing his time, passion, and stories with us.  Finally, we would like to thank our mothers, Tracy Hulett Wilson and Karen McBride and the McBride.Wilson Fundraising Committee for the energy that they put into coordinating all of the moving pieces while we were training and racing in Spain! This could not have happened without you! To support the Mcbride.Wilson campaign, please consider making a donation by visiting www.FromWhenceWeCame.org/support....

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Join us for an Evening with Jean-Michel Cousteau

Posted by on 3:29 pm in Water Awareness | 0 comments

Join us for an Evening with Jean-Michel Cousteau

Together for the Love of the Ocean.   We’re thrilled to have Jean-Michel Cousteau as the keynote speaker for our fundraiser at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Mr. Cousteau is an explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer. He has dedicated himself and his vast experience to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. Since first being “thrown overboard” by his father at the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Jean-Michel has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has investigated the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone for much of his life. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work. Drawing from over 50 years of experience exploring the world and studying the ocean realm, environmental speaker Jean-Michel Cousteau provides a wealth of stories and knowledge from his adventurous life with his father, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team. Everything is connected, and, as such, everything has a value in promoting the fantastic complexity that keeps the entire communities functioning, keeps our ocean planet habitable. This is relevant to coral reefs, human communities, and the planet. Oceans provide critical ecological and economic services and generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year; a significant amount of this economic value relies on healthy, functioning ocean ecosystems. Through personal stories and exploration, Mr. Cousteau will share some the threats facing the long-term sustainability of our water planet and will showcase the stories of hope with ocean conservation success stories from his travels from around the world. (Reprinted with permission from Ocean Futures Society) The Details Thursday, October 16th, 2014 Wine and Appetizers 7pm McBride.Wilson Presentation 7:30 Jean-Michel Cousteau Presentation 7:35 Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Tax Deductible Donation: $125. Promo Code “lovetheocean” for Friends and Family $50 Discount We hope you can make it! Love the Ocean,   Special thanks to Ocean Futures Society and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum for making this special evening possible. Press Release: mcbride.wilson fundraiser (header image: woodblock print by Hokusai, Fuji from the...

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The Deep End

Posted by on 1:02 pm in 49er, ISAF, Speed, The Campaign So Far, Travel | 0 comments

The Deep End

At 9 am we roll into town and down the waterfront in our rental van chock full of gear. As we enter the city we are immediately surrounded by signs, posters, tents and flags all announcing the imminent start of the Campionato Del Mundo De Vela.  I don’t speak much Spanish, but a glance around at the local cafes and souvenir shops make it incredibly evident that the town is fully geared up for the festivities of the next three weeks.  As we approach the harbor, a massive island of at least 100 brightly colored, yellow, blue, and orange coach boats, visible even from the opposite end of the harbor, indicates that we have arrived.  To our left, event organizers have set up race offices and notice boards on the local college campus, while to the right, a massive, three story sailing complex casts a long shadow over the road.  Inside the floor to ceiling windows, fully rigged sailboats sit undisturbed by the weather outside, waiting for their sailors to arrive for the day.  A large stadium with seating for several hundred, watches over the currently calm bay, while a sea of masts is visible beyond chain link fences, only accessible with proper accreditation.  While I have seen similar regatta sites in the past, I haven’t set foot in a boat park like this one as a competitor in over three years, and suddenly an overwhelming feeling sneaks into the edges of my thoughts.  I take a deep breath, briefly review the mission plan that has been months in the making, and walk away from the parked car, ready to take the plunge into the deep end of Olympic sailing. About twelve months ago, Dane and I stepped into a 49er for the first time and began a quest for mastery.  Our philosophy: that battling the boat or manhandling it around the course as many skiff sailors have implored, is a futile fight.  True mastery of boat handling comes from understanding what the boat wants based on subtle pressures in the tiller and our feet, and maximum boat speed is accomplished through learning to work with the boat instead of against it, to achieve a balance – a oneness between sailors, machine, and the ever shifting racecourse surrounding it all.  In the months since then, we have spent each day focused on the feel of the boat, trying to understand the relationships between techniques, controls lines, rig tuning, and ultimately, various pressures on the boat.  The month of May offered our first check in, where we got to sail against other boats to find out how our training was going, and the takeaways were very positive.  Boat handling was progressing nicely, and our attention to small subtleties had led to a good foundation from which to build.  Our biggest weakness was in straight line boat speed, especially in chop, so through the remainder of the spring, and the summer, we applied the lessons we learned at the training camp, and used them to try to answer a range of new questions that we had about how to sail the boat fast. During this same period of time, we held many late evening meetings, brainstorming with the brightest sailing minds that we could get access to, devising a roadmap and,...

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