Mr. Miyagi … “Show Me Sand the Floor…”

Mantra 4. Pass the Ball : “Leaders create leaders.”  – All Blacks

Our camp by the numbers:

  • 15 Days
  • 10 Double Sessions
  • 288 Miles
  • 48 Hours
  • 60 Tuning Runs completed
  • 150 Accelerations completed
  • 2.5 hrs of rudderless sailing
  • 1 15+ knot day of sailing bootless?!!

After a combined total of 15 days of sailing from both Mission Bay, California, and Long Beach, California, our last 49er training camp of the summer is in the books! After sailing in Mission Bay for the first 4 days of the camp, we were able to finally! transition to Long Beach to round off our summer training and it was awesome. Long Beach provided 11 great days of sailing in a very wide range of conditions, which was a perfect way for our team to finish off the summer and really put to work everything we had learned up to this point. Sailing in the ocean is always challenging and being able to make gains in our boat-handling and speed, day in and day out, was very rewarding.

Long Beach gave us the opportunity to Pass the Ball. The challenge facing us, and the rest of the 49er squad, moving into our camp in Long Beach was how we were going to continue our “Learning Curve” momentum. After such an amazing camp at The Gorge, it seemed like an insurmountable task to make the Long Beach Camp really measure up. But with the help of Super Coach, Willie McBride, our squad worked hard to encourage each other to share information and think critically about the day of sailing. This really pushed each one of us to have responsibility and ownership in our groups’ improvement. The results of this mentality was with Harry Melges and Finn Rowe absolutely crushing the last day of practice racing on the water and really setting the bar high in light air and swell. Awesome work boys!

Here is a list of the skills we practiced and the takeaways that we learned:

Down-speed Maneuvering:

  • Double Tacks, Sliding, Jumping Techniques on the start line
  • Accelerations

Speed Tuning:

  • Helm Driving Technique
  • Crew Mainsheet Technique 
  • Targeted Rig tuning and Jib set up ideas focused on efficiently matching conditions and sailing styles


  • Tacks: syncing first three steps of crew and helm
  • Gybes: rate of turn adjustment

Key Takeaways:

Down-speed Maneuvering:

  • Consistent and deliberate transition of heel angle is key to changing direction
  • Maintaining direction of flow requires critical timing of bow movement, heel and weight
  • Bell Curve flattens are the most efficient technique in generating acceleration speeds

Speed Tuning:

  • Quick, consistent and deliberate steering through puff and lull sequence to keep the bow down to minimize main sheet range and help boat stability
  • Manipulating the relationship between the lowers, primaries, and caps to all work together to set the twist and camber profile in order to optimize the release of power


  • Crew needs to “lead the dance” in tacks in order to stay in sync with the rate of turn
  • Carving long and drawn out turns in light air gybes allows the kite to attach flow earlier on the back side

We would like to give a big thank you to the United States Sailing Center in Long Beach and specifically, Mike Segerblom, for hosting us for the last two and a half weeks. We truly appreciate all the help and support and how open and welcoming the Sailing Center Staff has been to allowing all of the US 49er Teams to come train as a Squad. We all had a fantastic time and look forward to coming back next month! Thank you to Super Coach, Willie McBride, for spending the time to coach our squad and really push us to take the next step in our sailing by challenging us everyday to think critically about what we are trying to accomplish both on and off the water. Thank you to the St. Francis Sailing Foundation for providing us with the generous grant, which really helped to support our housing costs during this camp! Thank you so much for your generosity! As well, we would like to thank the US Sailing Team for all the logistical help and support in making this camp happen. We would not have been able to do this without you! Thank you! Finally, we would like to thank the Sangmeister Family for hosting our squad to an awesome dinner and continuing to support our on the water endeavors! Thank you so much!

Look for us to be back training in Long Beach by the middle of October! Until then, we will leave you with a quote from Mr. Miyagi: “Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”

Photo by: Willie McBride

Photo by: Willie McBride
Photo by: Willie McBride
Windmark Foundation

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