Need for Speed

Mantra 8. Train to Win : “Practice under Pressure”  – All Blacks

Our Post- Regatta Lanzarote Camp by the numbers:

  • 15 Days
  • 446 Miles
  • 43.5 Hours
  • 450 Tacks Completed
  • 225 Gybes Completed
  • 120 Tuning Runs Completed
  • 7 days in 17 – 23+ knots
  • 2 Dutch Training Partners
  • 1 Coaches Regatta Raced!

Our 4 week, post- regatta, Lanzarote training block has just wrapped up! Within a 28 day period, we sailed hard for 15 days looking to find that higher level of consistency and execution we now know we need to compete at the top of this class. Our priority was to sail in the 49er upper wind and sea-state ranges during this camp and we succeeded in sailing for 6 days in 10 – 15 knots, 7 days in 17 – 23 knots and all 15 in ocean like swell and chop! We pushed ourselves to revise, iterate and execute on our beliefs and we definitely came away satisfied that we maximized our time in Lanzarote!

This block of training gave us the opportunity to Train to Win, or in other words, look to place great emphasis on exceptional training. We agree that the only way to get to the level we want is to train under pressured conditions. Having the ability to push and be pushed on a daily basis to develop our skills is our path to the top 10 in Oman. Enter the Dutch Sailing Team. Over the course of our camp, not only did we have great sailing conditions, but we had the awesome opportunity to train directly with the Dutch Sailing Team. They were exactly what we needed to add pressure to our program and played a large role in defining where lies the always elusive benchmark for success.

The main topic of conversation within this camp revolved around speed! How do you get it? How do you maintain it? To answer these questions, we worked through the following action plan.

Revise: Our understanding of what “fast” really is was updated after the Lanzarote International Regatta. We knew we needed greater speed consistency in the upper wind ranges and from photo analysis and group regatta debriefs, we came to the conclusion to revise our philosophy on mast and control setup in 15+ knots.

Iterate: Using the Dutch as a great baseline for experimentation, we iterated on our speed by changing our settings on tuning run after tuning run, day after day, and made good strides in achieving the “look” and boat balance we wanted.

Execute: Using the new information we gathered from our tuning sessions, we put our philosophy to the test by executing in a small 10 boat coaches regatta and were pleased with the performance we were able to maintain during the 4 day event.

Next Steps: After packing up our boats and equipment in Lanzarote, we decided that our best bet to continue our heavy wind training would be to travel to Cascais, Portugal and take advantage of continuing to train near other top 49er teams in the month of May!

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 while we have been training and traveling through Europe. We would not have been able to do this without you! Thank you! We would like to thank the Dutch Sailing Team for coming out on the water and pushing us to find that next level of speed! Finally, we would like to thank the St. Francis Sailing Foundation for your continued generous support and belief in us, our goals and dream! Thank you so much!

Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next 4 weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad as we continue to train in Cascais, Portugal!

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