Knowing the Difference

Mantra 10. Know Thyself“Keep it Real”  – All Blacks

Our Long Island, NY Camp by the numbers:

  • 25 Days
  • 619.98 Miles
  • 62.5 Hours
  • 1075 Gybes Completed
  • 825 Tacks Completed
  • 84 New Sail Number
  • 17 days in 4-7 knots
  • 6 days in 10-15 knots
  • 1 Boat Packed for the 2021 World Championships in Oman

Since winning the 2021 North American Championship in June, we have been sailing hard domestically in Long Island, NY to continue to prepare for the 2021 World Championships in Oman. The majority of our training has been in conditions ranging from 4 to 7 knots and flat to choppy water, which has been great because we are expecting the racing in Oman to be on the lighter end of the wind spectrum. Our main three areas of focus have been centered on boat-handling, starting, and finalizing our Oman racing equipment. With under 80 days to go until the 2021 World Championships start in Oman, every day on the water counts to accomplishing our goal of finishing within the top 10.

This block of training gave us the opportunity to know thyself. From our previous camps, we have been fortunate enough to be in and around many top level teams from across the world. That gave us the ability to constantly measure ourselves against other teams and look for smart and easy ways to improve our own game. During this last training block, the paradigm had shifted with us now being the “top level team” as we trained with the 49er U.S. Development Team. This required us to change our focus in how we develop our game, while also helping to spread the word on the “in’s and out’s” of 49er sailing to the next generation. This shift required a large amount of self-awareness and critical analysis within our team to pick apart what we think works and what we know works. One of the key differences between thinking something works and knowing something works is the amount of confidence you apply to the given situation. Simply put, the larger amount of confidence that you apply to your: equipment, judgements, decisions, technique, ability, the better you are going to sail. And one of the best ways to build confidence, in this difference, is based on your ability to teach and share with others what you have learned. This was our way of shifting our game development: teaching others what we have learned and observing their progress to solidify our own understanding between thinking something works and knowing something works.

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 Oyster bay 470 Team and the U.S. Development Sailing Team, specifically Leandro Spina, for all the logistical help and support while we have been training in Long Island. We would not have been able to do this without you! Thank you! We would like to thank the Long Island Maritime Museum for generously allowing us to train from their grounds in Sayville, NY. 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!

We start training again on September 9th with the Irish 49er Sailing Team in Dublin, Ireland! Stay tune for more updates and photos! both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad as we continue to train for the 2021 World Championships in Oman!

Mark Asquith

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HARD WORK PAYS OFF

Solid Finishes at the Santander Invitational Test Event and 49er North American Championships!

Our month of June by the numbers:

  • 21 Total Races Completed
  • 12 Total Sailing Days
  • 11th Average Finishing Position at Santander Invitational
  • 8 Total Travel Days
  • 7 Days Spent Rigging and De-Rigging
  • 6 Total Race Days
  • 5 Countries Visited
  • 2 Regattas Raced
  • 2021 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONS

June has been a very busy month for our team. We traveled for a combined 8 total days and through 5 different countries to sail 2 different events. Toward the end of May, we made the decision to travel back to Spain to race the Santander Invitational Test Event. This event served as a final Tokyo Olympic Test Event for many of the current Olympic 49er Teams and a last international event for us to compete at before our domestic summer training begins. Once again, we were able to race against some of the world’s best and measure up how we have improved since racing in Cascais! After 3 days of light air racing, we finished the Santander Invitational in 11th place, just 3 points out of the top 10 and the final medal race! It was great to transition back into our light air boat speed, since our heavy air training in Cascais, and a great event for us to end our European racing season. After racing concluded in Spain, we stored our equipment in Barcelona and traveled directly to Bristol, RI to compete at the North American Championships.

The North Americans were raced in 8-15 knots over the course of 3 days. We raced against teams from all across the United States and Canada and it was great to see so many new up and coming teams beginning to find their way in the 49er! After a long month of sailing and training all of our HARD WORK paid off! We won the 2021 49er North American Championship and were named the 2021 North American Champions! What a great way to end the month of June!

From here, we begin a domestic training block in Long Island, NY on July 12th and will continue to exclusively train in Long Island for the remainder of July and August before packing up our equipment and shipping it to Oman! With the information we gathered from the events at Lanzarote, Cascais and Santander, we are ready to put our heads down and begin deconstructing our game. 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 in our sailing! We would like to thank the U.S. Sailing Team for all the logistical help and support in making our month of June all come together. 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 6 weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad as we continue to train in Long Island, NY!

Allison Chenard
Allison Chenard
Allison Chenard

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You Can Say That Again …

Mantra 9. Keep a Blue Head : “Control your Attention”  – All Blacks

Our Cascais Camp by the numbers:

  • 15 Days
  • 367.21 Miles
  • 40.5 Hours
  • 300 Tacks Completed
  • 150 Gybes Completed
  • 40 Races Completed
  • 10 days in 15 – 20+ knots
  • 1 Podium Finish at Cascais Championship Regatta ACT I

Our Cascais training block has just wrapped up! Within a 21 day period, we raced for 6 days and trained hard for another 9, looking to build upon the lessons learned from our Lanzarote Speed Camp. Our priority was to continue to sail in the upper wind and sea-state ranges and we succeeded in sailing 6 days in 10 – 15 knots, 4 days in 17 – 23 knots and all 15 in ocean like swell and chop! The Cascais Championship Regatta ACT I gave us another opportunity to test our progress against some of the world’s best and we came away stoked with a podium finish. Progress indeed! We pushed to revise, we pushed to iterate and we pushed to execute and a bronze medal definitely goes to show we are on our way to accomplishing our goals.

This block of training gave us the opportunity to Control our Attention. From our previous camp, we agreed that the only way to get to the level we want is to train under pressured conditions. However, being pushed on a daily basis requires much more than just physical strength. It also requires the mental fortitude to retain your awareness when mistakes happen and unwanted situations occur. Decision making under pressure is what separates some of the best teams from the poor ones and being able to maintain your focus in the heat of battle can be the difference between accomplishing your goals, or falling short. Bad decisions are not made through a lack of skill, or innate judgement: they are made because of an inability to handle pressure at the pivotal moment and that, just like speed, needs to be practiced.

So, how do you prepare for this pivotal moment? What does it mean to retain your awareness? We believe the answer lies in efficient communication.

Revise: In team sports, it is easy to think you know what your teammate is planning, or predict what they might do next. But, how do you know you were correct in anticipating their actions, if the action itself was actually a mistake, even if the outcome was desirable. You can’t … unless you ask the question. Mistakes are easy to catch, but desirable mistakes can lead to bad habits. So, when is the appropriate time to ask? That is the key to effective learning and the first step in preparing for pivotal moments in a race.

Iterate: It quickly becomes clear from post – race discussions that the volume of communication, how often and how much you speak, isn’t always correlated with desired results. Vocabulary is everything, both in the moment, and in the post – race discussion. The way in which you articulate your thoughts sets the tone for the learning environment and helps to reinforce positive change in habits and actions.

Execute: Things don’t always go the way you want them too. Difficult decisions pop-up everywhere around the race course and often the decisions are 50/50 at best. The key to retaining your awareness and executing on these pivotal moments comes down to concise communication. Saying the same thing, the same way, at the right time, leads to higher levels of focus and more decisive decision making in pressured situations.

Next Steps: After packing up our boats and equipment in Cascais, we headed home for some well deserved time off! Next up on our schedule is to return to Europe on June 5th and look to race one final regatta in Santander, Spain before most teams head to the Olympic Games and we return to the U.S. for domestic training during the summer.

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 Cascais Yacht Club and Sebastiao Osorio de Castro for hosting us and running an excellent championship event. 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! both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad as we continue to train in Santander, Spain!

Mark Asquith
Mark Asquith
Mark Asquith
Mark Asquith
Mark Asquith
Mark Asquith

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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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Lanza – Tricky – Tricky

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!

Photo: Sailing Energy
Photo: Sailing Energy
Photo: Sailing Energy
Photo: Sailing Energy

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Lanzarote International Regatta

Team Barrows Henken Racing is back with the U.S. Skiff Squad in Lanzarote, Spain! We are looking forward to starting our Spring Training and European Racing Season with the highly anticipated Lanzarote International Regatta, which starts tomorrow!

During the next 9 weeks, we are going to be on the European sailing tour. We will be training in locations such as Lanzarote, Barcelona, and Weymouth and we will be racing events such as the Lanzarote International Regatta, and the Spanish National Championships. We are pumped to put into practice all of the things we have been working on over the previous 9 months and see how we tune up against some of the worlds best.

Why the Lanzarote International Regatta?

  • Lanzarote has become a training hub for the majority of European Teams over the last 4 months
  • Since it’s a small remote Canary Island off the coast of Africa, it has been ideal for teams to maintain high quality training while being safe with the unpredictability of COVID-19
  • Since the Olympic Games had been postponed, many qualifying events for different nations had to also be rescheduled, which led to Lanzarote being chosen as the best fit venue

Here are some of the things we are looking to work on while in Lanzarote:

Racing:

  • Focus on direct and clear racing communication both around the race course and during the pre-start
  • Working to being decisive in our decision making and trusting our instincts with what we see and feel
  • Finding the balance between being on the attack and being on the defense when making judgment calls

Training:

  • Stability and balance in tacks and gybes: control the exit out of maneuvers with smooth footwork and steering, be precise and deliberate with our actions.
  • Continue to hone in on our light air and big breeze tuning and techniques from the experience learned from finally sailing against some new teams!
  • Settling time and driving out of accelerations: minimizing the time it takes to get up to full speed and focusing on locking in quickly

The Lanzarote International Regatta starts tomorrow, March 21st, and will continue through March 26th.

Follow along at: https://www.lanzarotewinterseries.com/international/index.php

With 52 49er teams registered and a great forecast lined up for the upcoming week, we are stoked to get after the racing! Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad.

Sky’s the Limit

Mantra 7. Embrace Expectations : Aim for the highest cloud”  – All Blacks

Our camps by the numbers:

  • 17 Days
  • 370 Miles
  • 52.9 Hours
  • 680 Tacks Completed
  • 510 Gybes Completed
  • 660 Accelerations Completed
  • 300 Sets and Douses Completed
  • 5 days sailing in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream
  • 2 Regattas Raced! – 2 x Silver Medals Collected!
  • 1 New Affiliate Sponsor Added to the Skiff Squad – Welcome WHOOP!!

After training for 6 weeks over the course of the last two months in Miami, Florida, our last domestic training block is in the books! Within a 33 day period, we sailed for 17 days and really pushed to maximize our time with our U.S. Skiff Squad and Coach Mark Asquith in some very light and challenging conditions. Overall, our last training block was sailed in very light off-shore, gradient breezes with the wind ranging from 3-9 knots. We raced two great events at the 2Niner Next Generation Winter Series Event and the 2021 West Marine Miami Open where we placed 2nd! at both which continues to show our consistency and improvement in our light air boat speed and handling, but leaves us hungry for more!

This last block of training gave us the opportunity to Embrace Expectations, or in other words, continue to set the bar higher and higher each training day. With this being the last domestic training block before our Skiff Squad sends it to Europe to race against some of the worlds best, we were looking to maximize our time and energy on the water and squeeze as much as we could from each opportunity. We are dreaming big when it comes to our goals at the end of the year and in order for us to reach our goals, we have been setting high expectations both on and off the water. Of course, the higher the goals and expectations, the greater the risk of failure, but for us, its all about taking the hits as they come, looking to embrace the fear of failure and use it to motivate our next performance.

Speaking of Big Dreams and Expectations, our Squad has taken a big step in forming a great new partnership with the up and coming brand WHOOP! WHOOP has been playing a huge role in our Squad’s day to day lives and it is an awesome opportunity for us to be affiliated with their brand. Some of the biggest ways that WHOOP has helped us are the following:

  • Squad Health Tracking
    • We are able to have peer to peer monitoring in our Skiff Squad WHOOP Team where we have a “healthy” competition to challenge each other to have the highest strains, best recoveries and longest sleep scores on a daily basis
    • More importantly, WHOOP has become a huge Early COVID-19 Prevention Tool for our Squad, which has been critical in keeping all of us safe and reducing the spread of COVID-19. More often then not, the Squad knows how you feel, before you do!
  • Training, Travel, Testing
    • Since Sailing is a constantly changing environment, we have been able to use WHOOP to better understand how to achieve an optimal performance over the course of a training week and learn to create good recovery habits to be best prepared for the next day of sailing
    • On long travel days, think driving for 4 days straight from San Diego to Miami twice!, WHOOP has been vital in getting us ready for a sailing block sooner by keeping us on track with our personalized daily sleep needs and forcing us to prioritize our recovery. How often do you finish a travel day and feel exhausted and wonder why?
    • A large portion of sailing is all about equipment testing, and now with our WHOOP bands, we are finally able to test the human element and look to get the most out of our bodies as well as our boats!

If you’re interested in learning more about your personal health and body and would like to start tracking data as it relates to your Sleep (quality, duration, consistency), Strain (internal load from external stress), and Recovery (readiness to perform) our squad is now able to give you a special discounted price on WHOOP Bands! Get your WHOOP discount by following our unique link here!

https://join.whoop.com/usskiffsquad

We would like to give a big thank you to the United States Sailing Center in Miami and specifically, Pat Downey, for hosting us over the last 4 months. 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 next winter! Thank you to our U.S. squad coach, Mark Asquith, for spending the time to fly all the way to Florida from the U.K. to coach our squad and really push us to focus on the small and Big! 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! We would like to thank the Force Physical Therapy Team and Staff, and specifically to Chris Ellis and Micah Kust, for hosting our squad to numerous physical therapy sessions and continuing to keep us and our squad injury free and recovered for all of our on the water training. We can not thank you enough! Finally, we would like to thank the St. Francis Sailing Foundation for helping keep the lights on, the engine running and the dream alive! Thank you so much!

Now! We are off to Europe! Our first stop will be on the small Canary Island, off the coast of Africa, called Lanzarote where we will compete in our first international event as a new team! We are stoked to get after it and represent the United States, and the U.S. Skiff Squad at the highest level! Looking to be #inthegreen when we land! Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad.

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Final Push

After a great holiday break and a happy New Year celebration, Team Barrows Henken Racing is back with the U.S. Skiff Squad in Miami, Florida! We are continuing our winter training block while also beginning to prepare for our upcoming European Spring Racing Season!

During the next 5 weeks, we are going to be training, racing!, and preparing! in Biscayne Bay, as this will be our last domestic training block before we, hopefully, are able to travel to Europe to begin a large, 75 day!, International Racing Block and race 3 major events at 3 different venues!

Why Train in Miami?

  • US Sailing in partnership with the Olympic Development Team has created a new series of events called The West Marine US Open Sailing Series, which begins with Miami OCR from Jan. 20th – 24th!
  • As well, the Skiff Generation Winter Series sponsored by 2Niner continues to hold epic events with one coming up this weekend from Jan. 16th – 18th!
  • Both of these events give us a great opportunity to race domestically and help build and foster the US Skiff Fleet!

Why send it to Europe for 75 days?!

  • After 9 months of training and racing domestically with the US Skiff Squad, we will be looking to see how we hold up and compare to the International fleet!
  • We will be racing three major events back to back to back: Princess Sofia Regatta, in Palma, Spain, Semaine Olympique Francaise de Voile, in Hyeres, France, and the 2021 49er European Championships, in Thessaloniki, Greece!
  • All three events are incredibly important to the development of our team in preparation for the 2021 49er World Championships at the end of the year.

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

Racing:

  • Focus on racing communication both around the race course and during the pre-start
  • Working to being decisive in our decision making and trusting our instincts with what we see and feel
  • Finding the balance between being on the attack and being on the defense when making judgment calls

Training:

  • Stability and balance in tacks and gybes: control the exit out of maneuvers with smooth footwork and steering, be precise and deliberate with our actions.
  • Continue to hone in on our light air tuning and techniques
  • Settling time and driving out of accelerations: minimizing the time it takes to get up to full speed and focusing on locking in quickly
  • Leeward mark Roundings: working on gybe drops and quick audible comms to maximize the speed out of the boat when we are not in desirable situations

Fundraising:

  • We are looking to raise $20,000 for our Spring European Racing Block in the next two months! which includes:
    • Housing: $7500
    • Travel: $4000 (Flights and Ferries)
    • Food: $2200
    • Transportation: $1800 (Car and Boat)
    • 3 Event Entry Fees: $1500
    • Equipment: $3000
  • Please feel free to reach out to us at, barrowshenkenracing@gmail.com, if you would like to join our team and are able to help! Any and all donations to our team are tax – deductible through our account with the Sailing Foundation of New York! We would both truly appreciate it!

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!

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, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad.

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Winter Wonderland

Mantra 6. Create a Learning Environment : “Leaders are Teachers”  – All Blacks

Our camp by the numbers:

  • 23 Days
  • 526 Miles
  • 66.5 Hours
  • 800 Tacks Completed
  • 656 Gybes Completed
  • 446 Accelerations Completed
  • 360 Sets and Douses Completed
  • 7 days sailing in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream
  • 2 Regattas Raced!
  • 1 New 49er Team Addition to the Squad!

After spending 5 weeks in Miami, Florida, and training every 3 out of 4 days, our first winter 49er training camp is in the books! Within a 35 day period, with 5 days off for Thanksgiving, we sailed for 23 days and really pushed to maximize our time with our U.S. Skiff Squad and Coach Mark Asquith. Overall, our camp had a very diverse range of sailing conditions. We sailed in a range from light, off-shore, gradient breezes ranging from 3-9 knots and flat water, to strong, 17- 20 knot, sea breezes out in the incredibly wavy Gulf Stream. We raced two very light air events at the 2Niner Next Generation Winter Series Event and the 2020 North American Championships where we placed 2nd! at both showing some great consistency and improvement in our light air boat speed and handling.

Miami gave us the opportunity to Create a Learning Environment, or in other words, begin to live up to our Team Vision, give back to the next upcoming generation of skiff sailors and “Lead as Teachers”. As we continue to train hard to push towards our mission to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in 2024, and in the short term, strive to finish top 10 at the 2021 World Championships in Oman in November, it is easy to forget to hold ourselves to our aspirations of what we want our team to ultimately achieve: To establish a legacy known for excellence and professionalism that will inspire the next generation of sailors to challenge greatness and pursue the Olympic Dream.

This Miami training camp gave us this opportunity: “to share our learnings and mentor” the next generation. With the U.S. Sailing Center in Miami becoming the “literal” center of U.S. Skiff Sailing this winter, which included not only 49ers, but the 49erFxs and 29ers, we had a great time interacting and sharing with the upcoming U.S. Development Team sailors in the boat park and at debriefs. And! we welcomed Chris and Duncan Williford as a new upcoming 49er Team to the U.S. Skiff Squad, which has increased our training group to 4! Being able to grow our squad and continue to build and foster a foundation of skiff sailing excellence and professionalism in the United States is what we as a team are all about and we can not wait to see how the rest will unfold into 2021!

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 
  • Helm Jibsheet Technique
  • Targeted Rig tuning and Jib set up ideas focused on efficiently matching conditions and sailing styles in light air and flat water and big breeze and large waves

Boat-Handling:

  • Post Acceleration Control
  • Windward and Leeward Mark Roundings
  • Tacking and Gybing in big breeze and large waves

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 and immediately off the start line in a quick and efficient way

Speed Tuning:

  • 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 flow over the sails in light air
  • Working to accurately set and match the mainsail and jib profiles in order to achieve the best power distribution in wavy conditions in order to best minimize the amount of helm on the foils
  • Finding the edge of the speed envelope downwind is largely based on syncing up the trust and attitudes between the helm and the crew

Boat-Handling:

  • Having clear communication before the sets and douses to best line up the timing of the maneuver to maintain speed and control around the marks.
  • Having confidence in each others abilities in big breeze and waves and “fully” committing to each maneuver without hesitation

We would like to give a big thank you to the United States Sailing Center in Miami and specifically, Pat Downey, for hosting us for the last 5 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 January! Thank you to our U.S. squad coach, Mark Asquith, for spending the time to fly all the way to Florida from the U.K. to coach our squad and really push us to focus on the small and Big! 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 Force Physical Therapy Team and Staff, and specifically to Chris Ellis and Micah Kust, for hosting our squad to numerous physical therapy sessions and continuing to keep us and our squad injury free and recovered for all of our on the water training. We can not thank you enough!

After a two week break for the Holidays, we look to be back in Miami, Florida at the U.S. Sailing Center in Coconut Groove by the 5th of January to start our 2nd winter training block! Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday and New Year!

Closing Thoughts: “… I think there is something to be said about how the squad is progressing, it’s unique and we have a huge amount of potential, working together, I am excited to be apart of it, I think the opportunity for success is here and it’s just up to us to grab it …” – Dane Wilson (2021 U.S. 49er Olympic Representative)

US Sailing Team
US Sailing Team
US Sailing Team
US Sailing Team
US Sailing Team
US Sailing Team

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:

Racing:

  • 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!

Boat-handling:

  • 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

Starting:

  • 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