Winter Training: Miami

After 3 days of navigating through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and finally Florida…, we are in Miami, Florida for the beginning of our winter training block!

We are going to spend the next 5 weeks training and finally racing! in Biscayne Bay! After getting the most out of the United States west coast through the Summer and Fall, we are looking to put ourselves in a single location and really chalk up the hours as we train for the remainder of the 2020 year.

Why do this?

  • During the winter season, the west coast sailing conditions tend to become light and variable, while the conditions in the south- east tend to become more moderate and significantly warmer!
  • Our 2020 49er North American Championships! will take place from the 10th – 13th of December from Coconut Grove, Florida, and will be our first big event as a new team!

Here are the things we are looking to work on while in Miami:


  • Finally get to put what we have been working on all summer onto a race course at the 2020 49er North American Championships in December!


  • Stability and balance in tacks: control the exit out of tacks with smooth footwork and steering, be precise and deliberate with our actions.
  • Settling time and driving out of gybes: minimizing the time it takes to get up to full speed
  • Leeward mark Roundings: working to keep the maximum amount of speed into the rounding by increasing the length of time the kite remains up and pulling.

Boat Speed:

  • Working to continue to work out the relationships between the jib car, center board height and the cap shrouds to optimize our set up in very specific conditions
  • Continue to put ourselves in more “compromised lanes”: continue to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable
  • Looking to take a specific look at our sail set up on the downwind runs and really zone in on specific settings


  • Refine the communication on the start line, working to have specific language for specific situations
  • Work on reducing the settling time out of the start and accelerations

Of course, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the help of so many different organizations and people. We would like to give a big thank you to the United States Sailing Center in Miami and their members and staff for all the generosity in allowing our squad to come train out of their facility, and to the US Sailing Team for providing all of the specific help and support, which will allow us to continue to train this winter!

As well, we would like to thank Bob Peterson and Steve Taylor for both of your generosity and support! We really appreciate it!

We can’t wait to get sailing over the next couple weeks and continue to put in the hours on the water! Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken and @49erUSSkiffSquad.

Photo: Craig Denis
Windmark Foundation

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