Lanzarote International Regatta – 1st Milestone Event: 21st Place Finish in Gold Fleet!
Our Regatta by the numbers:
- 16 Total Races Completed
- 11th Place Average Finishing Position
- 6 Days Raced
- 5 Laps Led
- 1 Race Won!
We just finished up our 1st Team Milestone Event at the Lanzarote International Winter Series Regatta this last week and we are stoked. After racing against some of the world’s best, we qualified for Gold Fleet and finished the event in 21st place. Over the course of the 6 day event, our racing conditions ranged from shifty 6 – 9 knots and flat water to steady 15 – 20 knots and large swell and chop. It was a blast to finally race again on the international stage and we are pumped and excited to put into practice the lessons learned from this event!
The purpose of this event was to learn how our game compares to our competition. We had zero expectations about where we anticipated finishing the event and definitely found it exciting to see ourselves within the top 10 on the results halfway through the regatta. However, we learned quickly that battling in Gold Fleet requires a much higher level of consistency and execution than what we delivered during the Qualifying Series and, understandably, we moved down the leader board as a result. We are just not there yet, and that’s okay!
Overall, we had our moments of brilliance around the race course. We finished within the top 3 in several races during the Qualifying Series and even won the second race of the regatta. The light air speed and boat-handling work from Miami showed that our skiff squad training environment worked and provided what we needed to succeed at the top level of the 49er game in those conditions. However, the lack of training in the higher wind ranges resulted in us not having the starting, or speed consistency needed to execute at the top 10 level in Gold Fleet. That is not a failure in our ability to race the 49er, that is just a lesson learned and new information to motivate us to go out on the water and put the work in to obtain it!
From here, we revise, iterate and execute. With the information we gathered from the event, we have spent the last week revising our training schedule and now plan to stay in Lanzarote, Spain until April 24th to continue training with a few foreign training partners in light of the Hyeres French Olympic Week being canceled and the 2021 49er European Championships being moved to September. With our eyes keenly focused on executing at the end of the year at the 2021 World Championships in Oman, we relish the challenge of building better consistency in our game and can’t wait to get after it in the upcoming weeks.
We would like to give a big thank you to our U.S. squad coach, Mark Asquith, for continuing to really push us to focus on all the right things that will move us into 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 Spring European Trip happen. We would not have been able to do this without you! Thank you! Finally, we would like to thank the St. Francis Sailing Foundation for helping keep the lights on, the engine running and the dream alive! Your continued support in our goals and dream is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next 3 weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad as we continue to train in Lanzarote, Spain and find our Gold Fleet speed!