The Endless Summer

Mantra 5. Follow the Spearhead : “No one is bigger than the team”  – All Blacks

Our camp by the numbers:

  • 12 Days
  • 216 Miles
  • 33.6 Hours
  • 300 Accelerations completed
  • 200 Starts completed
  • 60 short course races completed
  • 1 day of a 20 knot Easterly?!

After 12 days of sailing from Long Beach, California, our first 49er training camp of the fall is in the books! Within a 14 day period, we sailed for 6 days in a row, twice!, in order to maximize our time with our U.S. Squad Coach Mark Asquith. Overall, our camp was sailed in very light sea breezes ranging from 3-9 knots with a few days reaching up into the 12-15 knot range. Our last day, we actually sailed in a 15-20 knot Easterly, which was a new experience for most of us and provided a huge challenge both physically and mentally to push hard on our last day of sailing despite having sailed for 5 consecutive days in very light and variable conditions.

Long Beach gave us the opportunity to Follow the Spearhead, or in other words, ‘being of team’. As we continue to train hard to push towards our mission to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in 2024, it is easy to loose sight of the small things that are in front of us on a day to day basis that really affect our mentality and our teammates mentality and focus on the water. One of the most important lessons that the All Blacks learned was that “no one is bigger than the team, and individual brilliance doesn’t automatically lead to outstanding results.” Regardless of who is doing well on the water, it is important to realize that we are a long road and everyday is a new day to work to improve on the skills at hand. “One selfish mindset will infect a collective culture” and therefore working to keep healthy balance between Squad camaraderie and individual team competition is our key to pushing our team to the top of the international leader board while helping the squad accomplish their goals along the way.

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

Down-speed Maneuvering:

  • Time and Distance Work
  • Start Line Communication

Speed Tuning:

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

Boat-Handling:

  • Post Acceleration Control
  • Windward Mark Roundings

Key Takeaways:

Down-speed Maneuvering:

  • Working to improve our ability to call the line with and without line-sights within an half meter accuracy by using the line perception as distance cues
  • Working to improve our “short-hand” communication to help define what we are trying to accomplish on the start line in a quick and efficient way

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

Boat-Handling:

  • Focusing on the exit of the acceleration and keeping the boat up to speed off the line by locking in the boat heel and sail trim
  • Maximizing the speed away from the Windward Mark by controlling the rate of turn and improving the consistency of the kite hoist to match body weight movement through the boat

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 weeks. We truly appreciate all the help and support and how open and welcoming the U.S. Sailing Center Staff has been to allowing all of the U.S. 49er Teams to come train as a Squad. We all had a fantastic time and look forward to coming back in the future! Thank you to our U.S. squad coach, Mark Asquith, for spending the time to fly all the way to California from the U.K. to coach our squad and really push us to focus on the small things that are going to move us to the next level in our sailing! We would like to thank the U.S. 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 two amazing dinners and continuing to support our on and off the water endeavors, and the Fourier Family for housing us during this last camp! We had a wonderful time and can not thank you enough! Thank you so much!

After a small break and some more long distance travel, we will be continuing our fall training in Miami, Florida at the US Sailing Center in Coconut Groove by the 12th of November!

Photo: Mark Asquith
Photo: Mark Asquith
Photo: Mark Asquith
Photo: Mark Asquith

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