Welcome to our first team update. We are currently at home in Fort Lauderdale, Fl, ramping up for an exciting summer on the water!
We were extremely fortunate to be able to spend the better part of this past summer sailing in Newport, RI. We were ecstatic to be back in the boat after a lengthy quarantine, and always enjoy the unique atmosphere and beautiful conditions that come with sailing in Newport in the summer. On the water, we focused on improving our timing and consistency with our boat handling and how we are communicating in the boat. We ended up getting some quality hours on the water, making some strides with our execution with our maneuvers, as well as sharing some laughs off the water with some members of the Oyster Bay 470 team, whom we were fortunate to share a bubble with.
We got the chance to cap off our summer with the Oakliff Triple Crown series, our first taste of racing as a team. The series consisted of two back-to-back weekend regattas beginning at the end of September in Oyster Bay, Long Island. We had a blast getting back into racing, with Oyster Bay offering some exciting conditions and enjoying some great competition from a handful of other young 49er teams. We were able to come away with a win both weekends, as well as a better idea of where we were at as a team and some areas to focus on heading back to Florida. A big thank you to Oakliff Sailing for putting on a great event and for supporting the Olympic Sailing effort with some grant money!
Miami welcomed us back in the month of November with some exceptional conditions. We saw over 20 days in the 20kn range on Biscayne Bay, which provided some valuable continuity for us to make some strides with our heavy wind boat handling and overall comfort level in some tricky conditions. We got the privilege to spend some time working with Coach Willie McBride during the month, who was instrumental in allowing us to maximize our time on the water in the most challenging conditions, and identify weaknesses to focus on moving forward with his detail oriented approach. Thanks Willie!
Moving into December, we began with a fantastic training camp put on by the Olympic Development Program. The camp was a great opportunity to connect with some great coaches and meet some new teams. We were joined by the US 49er Squad, a trio of teams that have been training together campaigning for 2020. They graciously opened up their team to us, allowing us to join their practice sessions and benefit from their wealth of knowledge and experience from their extensive time campaigning in the 49er. We have been consistently blown away by their willingness to go out of their way in helping our team out; from loaning equipment, giving boat handling and tuning advice, to lending a hand with repairs. It is apparent that their team oriented approach has played a large role in their increasing success on the 49er circuit, and we look forward to being able to contribute to the effort moving forward. A huge thank you to coach Mark Asquith, Ian, Hans, Nevin, Dane, Harry and Finn for your help!
Once again we got the opportunity to cap off some quality training with some exciting racing! We ended up with a couple 3rd place finishes at the North Americans and West Marine US Open events, and felt like we were able to lock in some gains we have made as a team since our last time racing in Oyster Bay. We closed out our training block in Miami with some great ocean practices with the squad, making the most of our time on the water with them.
Since February, we have been based out of our home, Lauderdale Yacht Club. Over the last couple months, we have been focusing on:
Building our physical base has been a priority for us during this recent block. Throughout our first year and a half of training, we have fostered a growing appreciation for the importance of not only our strength and conditioning and getting to optimum team weight, but also injury prevention and learning how to get the most out of our bodies. We learned throughout the winter just how crucial it is to account for wear and tear that both our equipment and our bodies take throughout long stretches of training. We continue to emphasize learning how to get the most out of our bodies as a team. The team at Force Physical Fitness has been instrumental in this effort, and we are looking forward to heading into the summer the healthiest, strongest and heaviest we have ever been. Thank you to Micah, Chris, Danny and the rest of the team for their continued, invaluable support! We cannot stress enough how much of a blessing it has been to have such an experienced team of professionals to help bring our team to the next level.
Looking forward, we have our sights set on the 2021 World Championships in November. Our goal is to break the top 25 and make gold fleet. We believe that having these tangible short term goals are important for keeping us on track to achieving our goals in 2024, and while it is a lofty goal for our relatively new team, so is winning an Olympic medal. As for now, we look to get the most out of our last training block at home before we pack up for our next camp in Bristol, RI. As we continue to push ourselves each day, refining our training and development as a team, we acknowledge what we believe will lie at the foundation of our success: figuring out how to have the most fun working the hardest.