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!

https://join.whoop.com/usskiffsquad
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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

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

Long Beach Round 2

After a great two week break back at home, we have arrived back at the US Sailing Center here in Long Beach, California to finish off our west coast training before we move to Miami for the winter!

We are looking to spend the next 2 weeks here in Long Beach and squeeze out the last of what California has to offer before the fall and winter seasons really take over.

Why do this?

  • Keeping the venue the same over the last two camps gives us the opportunity to easily roll back into our sailing and continue getting quality hours on the water!
  • The skiff squad has been able to Finally! get our awesome squad coach, Mark Asquith, into the US from the UK and we are able to get back to our more normal coaching routines.

Here are a few things we are looking to work on while in Long Beach:

  • Starts, Starts, Starts! We are looking to really nail down all aspects of the starting routine and dial in everything from the communication, to the time and distance call, to the acceleration mechanics
  • Straight line tuning with a 3 boat squad: dial in our technique and rig progression in the light air and swell
  • Continue working on communication and decision making around a short course environment

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 US Sailing Center in Long Beach and their members and staff for all the generosity in allowing our squad to come train out of their facility again, to the US Sailing Team for continuing to provide the team 49er, team coach boat and Team Coach!, to the Sangmeister Family for helping us find housing and the Fournier Family for hosting us at their beautiful home!

Can’t wait to get back sailing over the next couple weeks and continue pushing hard on the water. Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/barrowshenkenracing and on instagram, http://www.instagram.com/hanshenken

Mr. Miyagi … “Show Me Sand the Floor…”

Mantra 4. Pass the Ball : “Leaders create leaders.”  – All Blacks

Our camp by the numbers:

  • 15 Days
  • 10 Double Sessions
  • 288 Miles
  • 48 Hours
  • 60 Tuning Runs completed
  • 150 Accelerations completed
  • 2.5 hrs of rudderless sailing
  • 1 15+ knot day of sailing bootless?!!

After a combined total of 15 days of sailing from both Mission Bay, California, and Long Beach, California, our last 49er training camp of the summer is in the books! After sailing in Mission Bay for the first 4 days of the camp, we were able to finally! transition to Long Beach to round off our summer training and it was awesome. Long Beach provided 11 great days of sailing in a very wide range of conditions, which was a perfect way for our team to finish off the summer and really put to work everything we had learned up to this point. Sailing in the ocean is always challenging and being able to make gains in our boat-handling and speed, day in and day out, was very rewarding.

Long Beach gave us the opportunity to Pass the Ball. The challenge facing us, and the rest of the 49er squad, moving into our camp in Long Beach was how we were going to continue our “Learning Curve” momentum. After such an amazing camp at The Gorge, it seemed like an insurmountable task to make the Long Beach Camp really measure up. But with the help of Super Coach, Willie McBride, our squad worked hard to encourage each other to share information and think critically about the day of sailing. This really pushed each one of us to have responsibility and ownership in our groups’ improvement. The results of this mentality was with Harry Melges and Finn Rowe absolutely crushing the last day of practice racing on the water and really setting the bar high in light air and swell. Awesome work boys!

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

Down-speed Maneuvering:

  • Double Tacks, Sliding, Jumping Techniques on the start line
  • Accelerations

Speed Tuning:

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

Boat-Handling:

  • Tacks: syncing first three steps of crew and helm
  • Gybes: rate of turn adjustment

Key Takeaways:

Down-speed Maneuvering:

  • Consistent and deliberate transition of heel angle is key to changing direction
  • Maintaining direction of flow requires critical timing of bow movement, heel and weight
  • Bell Curve flattens are the most efficient technique in generating acceleration speeds

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:

  • Crew needs to “lead the dance” in tacks in order to stay in sync with the rate of turn
  • Carving long and drawn out turns in light air gybes allows the kite to attach flow earlier on the back side

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 and a half weeks. We truly appreciate all the help and support and how open and welcoming the Sailing Center Staff has been to allowing all of the US 49er Teams to come train as a Squad. We all had a fantastic time and look forward to coming back next month! Thank you to Super Coach, Willie McBride, for spending the time to coach our squad and really push us to take the next step in our sailing by challenging us everyday to think critically about what we are trying to accomplish both on and off the water. Thank you to the St. Francis Sailing Foundation for providing us with the generous grant, which really helped to support our housing costs during this camp! Thank you so much for your generosity! As well, we would like to thank the US 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 an awesome dinner and continuing to support our on the water endeavors! Thank you so much!

Look for us to be back training in Long Beach by the middle of October! Until then, we will leave you with a quote from Mr. Miyagi: “Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”

Photo by: Willie McBride

Photo by: Willie McBride
Photo by: Willie McBride