Thursday, September 22, 2016

Regatta Report: US Nationals

When we began this campaign we planned our training and competition through September. We divided the summer into two block, West Coast training and East Coast training. The US National Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing Center, was the last event on our summer schedule. Since putting together our schedule in early May, we have looked at Nationals as something of a final assessment of all we learned in over the summer. Regattas are competitions, but they are also one of the few times we go out on the water with the intent of doing everything and "stringing it all together", rather than just practicing isolated skills. They are the final project after a semester of learning. This is how we are thinking about regattas during this phase in our FX sailing career. Rather than focusing on results and evaluating ourselves against other teams we are evaluating ourselves on how well we are able to implement the lessons we have learned together as a team so far. We have had good regattas and bad regattas this summer. At times we excelled on the race course because we were able to successfully connect different aspects of our training; at other times we found ourselves struggling because of a failure to connect different training focuses. This past regatta, the US Nationals, we are happy to say that we were very successful in "stringing it all together". As far as final projects go, Nationals was a great one. 

The three days of racing were in super light to medium light conditions and held in Cold Spring Harbor. The the venue and conditions gave us a lot to think about with regards to connection puffs, playing geographic shifts along three different shorelines, and managing current. The FX fleet was very small, only two boats, so our start was combined with the men's fleet, making for five boats racing at a time. We managed to win all 12 races against the other FX, making us 49erFX national champions. However, we were especially happy to be truly racing against the men's teams as well, despite the difference in our two rigs. Cumulatively, when counting scores from both the men's and women's teams, we finished second, only two points out of first. Not bad for having a mast that's a meter shorter. On the water we felt that one of our strengths was shifting between light air mode and powered up mode. Tactically we also think that we did a good job implementing the skills we learned at North Americans about small fleet management and managed this same sized fleet well. 

Over the course of the regatta and the few days of pre-regatta training in Cold Spring Harbor we were lucky to work with US Sailing Olympic Development Team Coach Willie McBride. It was a wonderfully productive week of training and racing and we are very excited to train with Willie in the future. The next step for us is to go back to the West Coast, first to San Francisco and then to Southern California, where we will continue to work with Willie and push ourselves in a variety of conditions. Going forward we are feeling super motivated to make ourselves the best sailors we can be and can't wait to get back on the water. See you in the Bay! 


No comments:

Post a Comment