Chasing Excellence

11th place finish at the 2022 49er World Championships in Nova Scotia, Canada!

After a long summer season, we have come to the close of our 2022 49er racing season. Over the past three months we competed at three different events. Those three events were the 2022 Kiel Week, the 2022 49er European Championships and the 2022 49er World Championships. Our finishing positions at each of those events respectively were 20th, 28th and 11th. At each of those events we learned invaluable lessons that we will continue to apply moving forward into the 2023 sailing season.

We still have much to learn to find our way onto the 49er World Championship podium in the future. We had many great moments around the race course, and at the end, just missed the medal race by a single point, but overall we need to continue pushing hard to improve upon our weakness and eventually make them our strengths. However, we are up to the challenge and look forward to pushing hard for it next summer at the 2023 World Sailing World Championships in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The 2023 season will be incredibly important to our 2024 Olympic campaign as this upcoming year will include the events to not only qualify the country as one of the 20 countries to compete at the Olympic Games in Paris, but also the opportunity to personally qualify our team as the US representative for the Olympic Games!

There are numerous people, organizations and foundations that help us on a daily basis. Firstly, we would like the thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation for all of their unwavering support! The Windmark Sailing Foundation is one of the biggest reasons we are able to get on the water and do what we are able to do day in and day out. Thank you so much for your continued support in making our sailing dreams and campaign for the 2024 Olympics a reality! Thank you!

We would also like to thank the St. Francis Sailing Foundation for their continued support in our sailing dreams and campaign for the 2024 Olympics. We are truly grateful for your generosity throughout the 2022 season and can not thank you enough for believing in our team. Thank you so much!

As always, we would like to give a big thank you to our U.S. squad coach, Mark Asquith, for all the support he has given us over the last year. We all pushed incredibly hard all year and much of our success this year has come from Mark’s continued help!

We would like to thank the U.S. Sailing Team and especially, Leandro Spina, for all the logistical help and support in making our month of August and September all come together. We would not have been able to do this without you!

Finally, we would like to thank all of our Friends, Family and Fans for continuing to support us along our journey through your well wishes and good luck messages through out the year. It all adds up and definitely makes a difference in the end! Thank you!

Our next team training camp begins in October in Miami as we prepare for the beginning of 2023 Season and the United States Olympic Trials at the US Miami Open in January. See you at work.

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84 4TW

Allianz World Sailing World Cup

5th Place finish at the Allianz World Sailing World Cup in Almere, The Netherlands!

The Allianz World Sailing World Cup was the second and final event of the 2022 Hempel World Cup Series, following the Princess Sofia Regatta in early April, and the third event of our 2022 49er racing schedule. Over the course of the 5 day event we raced in an incredibly shifty, 5 – 12 knots and flat water. After 12 races, we were ranked 7th in the event with the ability to move up the leaderboard with a decent medal race finish. The medal race was sailed in great conditions! The breeze ranged from 13-15 knots and the sea-state came alive to showcase some extremely choppy conditions, which made for some action packed racing. After rounding the first weather mark in 9th, due to incorrectly judging which side of the race course to execute on, we ground back to a 4th place finish by displaying some clean and consistent boat handling, and great downwind speed. Our 4th place finish in the medal race was just enough to boost us to 5th overall in the event and was a great outcome for our team. With this latest 5th place finish, we have officially marked our 8th top five finish as a team and have moved within the top 5 in the World Sailing world rankings! We look forward to finishing off our summer schedule strong!

Since finishing the Allianz World Cup, we are taking the next two weeks off to review our remaining schedule and relax before heading back to Kiel, Germany to prepare for our first event of the summer. Kieler Woche will be our fourth event of the year and will act as a “warm-up” event to the 2022 49er European Championships the following week in Aarhus, Denmark. The 49er European Championships will be our first peak event of the year and a precursor to what is to come at the 2022 49er World Championships.

We would like to thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation, the St. Francis Sailing Foundation and all of our recent donors for all of your support in our 49er Olympic Campaign. Our success is due to your belief in and commitment to our team and we can not thank you enough! Please stay tune for more updates and photos throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken as we compete at Kieler Woche in Kiel, Germany June 22nd – 26th!

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84 4TW

Spring Season in Full Swing

Silver Medal at the 2022 Princess Sofia Regatta and 11th place finish at the 2022 French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyeres, France!

Our months of March and April by the numbers:

  • 2nd Place at the 2022 Princess Sofia Regatta World Sailing World Cup!!
  • 4th Place at the 2022 Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta
  • 11th Place at the 2022 French Olympic Week in Hyeres, France
  • 5th Place Overall in the World Sailing World Rankings as of May 4th, 2022

The 2022 Princess Sofia Regatta kicked off the “unofficial” start to the 2024 Olympic Quad with the vast majority of 49er teams who will be competing for the Olympic Games in attendance and was full on from start to finish. Over the course of the 5 day event, we sailed in conditions ranging from 15 – 30 knots and, at times, incredibly wavy sea-state. Overall, we are super stoked to come away from the event with our first podium finish of our careers. Across 13 races, including the medal race, we average a 5th place finish which really showed how consistently we sailed throughout the event and how well we were able to execute on our goals. This silver medal has given us immense confidence in our ability to race with the top group and really shows that we are on the path to achieving our team’s mission statement.

After a quick turnaround, we competed at the French Olympic Week in Hyeres, France. Once again, we were met with great sailing conditions ranging from 8 – 20 knots and flat water. During the 6 day event we completed 15 races and averaged a 10th place finish. Even though we came up short on the medal race by a single point, we are extremely proud of how hard we sailed all week! We started and executed our pre-race game plan incredibly well, however, we couldn’t quite come up with the correct first beat strategy, often getting it wrong, and would have to battle back through the fleet for the majority of our races. Regardless, we made good progress on our internal goals along the way and that’s what counts.

Currently, we are training and preparing for the Allianz World Sailing World Cup, which will take place in Almere, The Netherlands. The Allianz Regatta will be our third major event of the year and will be the 2nd World Sailing World Cup event of the season. We have been preparing for this event by training in The Hague with our U.S. 49er Skiff Squad Teammates, and French Olympic Week Silver Medalists, Nevin Snow and Mac Agnese, as well as our Irish and Dutch international training partners. The Hague is going to be hosting the 2023 Combined World Sailing World Championships, which will be the first opportunity for the U.S. to qualify the country for the Olympics, so we are beginning to spend time getting used to the venue and learning what we can to better prepare ourselves for the 2023 49er World Championships.

We would like to thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation, the St. Francis Sailing Foundation and all of our recent donors for all of your support in our 49er Olympic Campaign. Our success is due to your belief in and commitment to our team and we can not thank you enough! Please stay tune for more updates and photos throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken as we compete at the Allianz World Sailing World Cup in Almere, The Netherlands May 30th – June 4th!

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84 4TW

Princesa Sofia Regatta

The stage is set in Palma de Mallorca, Spain for the 51st Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Regatta, April 2nd – April 9th, and the first World Sailing World Cup Event of 2022!

Since competing in Oman at the 2021 49er World Championships, we have been preparing for the 2022 European Season and are stoked to finally kick it off here in Palma de Mallorca. For most of the early winter, we trained domestically in Miami, Florida. In January, we participated in our annual US Sailing Team Camp and took advantage of the wide array of expert advice and technology available to us to kick start many of our project goals. We ended the month on a high noted by winning the 2022 West Marine Miami US OPEN. In February, we devoted our time to fundraising and strength and conditioning to put ourselves in the best position possible to tackle the 2022 European racing season and eagerly looked forward to getting back on the international stage.

Since the beginning of March, we have been training and racing in Palma. We have had a range of conditions varying from sunny, steady south westerlies to cold, rainy and windy north easterlies. We completed in the 2022 Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta from March 10th – March 13th, the precursor event to the annual Princesa Sofia Regatta, taking home 4th place in the 50 boat fleet, while finishing within the top 3, in 5 of the 8 races. As more and more competitors begin to fill up the beach in preparation for the main event, we look forward to our last week of training and are hungry to get back into the swing of racing. It’s Showtime!

We would like to thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation, the St. Francis Sailing Foundation and all of our recent donors for all of your support in our sailing endeavors. We would not be sailing without you! Please stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken and @49erUSSkiffSquad as we compete at the 51st Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Regatta!

Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta 2022, CNA-CMSAP, MALLORCA. 11/03/2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni / http://www.bernardibibiloni.com
Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta 2022, CNA-CMSAP, MALLORCA. 11/03/2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni / http://www.bernardibibiloni.com
Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta 2022, CNA-CMSAP, MALLORCA. 13/03/2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni / http://www.bernardibibiloni.com
Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta 2022, CNA-CMSAP, MALLORCA. 11/03/2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni / http://www.bernardibibiloni.com
Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta 2022, CNA-CMSAP, MALLORCA. 13/03/2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni / http://www.bernardibibiloni.com
Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta 2022, CNA-CMSAP, MALLORCA. 11/03/2022 © Bernardí Bibiloni / http://www.bernardibibiloni.com
84 4TW

4th in the WORLD

Awesome finishes at the 2021 49er Asian Championships and 49er World Championships in Oman!

Our month of November by the numbers:

  • 4th Place at the 2021 49er World Championships!!
  • 5th Place at the 2021 49er Asian Championships!!
  • 1st Barrows Henken Team Goal Completed – Top 10 in the WORLD!!
  • The best finish by a US Team at a 49er World Championship in 2 Decades!

No better way to end a year than completing a big goal! Having finished 4th place at the 2021 49er World Championships in Oman, we not only accomplished our team goal of finishing within the top 10, we absolutely smashed it! We are now the 4th Best 49er Team in the World and it feels good!

Both the Asian Championships and the World Championships were raced from the Barceló Mussanah Resort in Oman. Over the course of our 25 day trip, we sailed in 5-13 knots, very clear and sunny skies, and completed 28 races in 10 days. Every race was just as hard as the last and the key to our success was founded in executing on the fundamentals every time. We analyzed the course for key wind features, we started at the biased end of the line, we followed the compass and stay lifted, we voiced facts, we expressed opinions, and, above all else, we kept the boat sailing fast. Every race is a stepwise process that is executed in a particular order and at each step along the way a decision is made. Our success is defined by all of those decisions along the way, not only on the race course in Oman, but from the beginning of our campaign back in June of 2020. Our 2021 Worlds result is just the most recent step in our process.

As always, we would like to give a big thank you to our U.S. squad coach, Mark Asquith, for all the support he has given us over the last year. We all pushed incredibly hard all year and much of our success has come from Mark’s continued help! We would like the thank Oman Sail and all the supporters and staff for hosting the Asian and World Championships. Both events were awesome and all the support and help was fantastic. We really felt welcomed and look forward to coming back in the future! We would like to thank the U.S. Sailing Team for all the logistical help and support in making our month of November all come together. We would not have been able to do this without you! 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! We would like to thank all of our Friends, Family and Fans for continuing to support us along our journey through your well wishes and good luck messages through out the year. It all adds up and definitely makes a difference in the end! Thank you!

Finally and most importantly, we would like the thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation and especially Bam Miller and Yevgeniy Burmatnov for all their unwavering support! Over the course of the last year, both have not only helped us to rig two brand new boats from Bam’s Oyster Bay Boat Shop in Glen Cove, NY, one of which we raced at the 2021 49er World Championships, but have also worked incredibly hard to give us a training platform and 360 degrees of support, specifically while we trained for 2 months from Sayville, Long Island in the lead up to our World Championships, and continuously around the world. It goes without saying that the Windmark Sailing Foundation is the biggest reason we are able to get on the water and do what we are able to do day in and day out. Thank you so much for your continued support in making our sailing dreams and campaign for the 2024 Olympics a reality! Thank you!

Though we accomplished our top 10 goal in Oman our Job’s Not Finished. We have a new year coming up, a new goal to reach, but our focus still remains the same…

Without commitment, you will never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you will never finish. It’s not easy…so keep working, keep striving, never give up… see you at work.” – Denzel Washington

Our next team training camp begins in January in Miami. See you at work.

2021 World Championship Oman 16 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 16 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 16 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 17 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 21 November, 2021 © Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 17 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 20 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 20 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 20 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 18 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
2021 World Championship Oman 18 November, 2021 ©Sailing Energy / Oman Sail
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Off to Oman!!

Mantra 11. Invent your Own Language: “Sing your World Into Existence”  – All Blacks

Our Dublin, Ireland and Marseille, France Camps by the numbers:

  • 16 Days Sailed
  • 30 Days in Europe
  • 421.82 Miles
  • 40.3 Hours
  • 656 Gybes Completed
  • 576 Tacks Completed
  • 2 Irish Training Partners
  • 2024 Olympic Sailing Venue – Marseille, France

Our last European training block before we head to Oman for the 2021 49er World Championships is in the books! We sailed for a total of 16 days in a wide range of conditions and in two completely different sailing venues. Our original goal for this training block was to train and compete in the rescheduled Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain. However, within days of beginning our trip to Spain, the organizing committee in Palma made a final decision to, unfortunately, cancel the event for the second year in a row! So, we had to pivot our plans quickly and found ourselves off to Dublin, Ireland instead!

The Irish 49er Sailing Team was so welcoming and our training camp was awesome! Since training all summer with the U.S. Development Team, this was our first opportunity since June to go head to head with some top 49er teams and we were stoked! We were able to push incredibly hard on the water for 10 days and sailed in conditions from light and flat water to big waves and great breeze! The Irish Sailing Team have an amazing sailing base, and the weather honestly could not have been any better! We look forward to going back sometime soon!

During our training camp with the Irish, we heard that the French 49er Sailing Team were looking to host a training camp and coaches regatta in Marseille, France during the original dates of the Princess Sofia Regatta. Since we were still looking for a way to compete one last time before heading to Oman, and with this new information in mind, we decided to pack up our equipment and send it down to Marseille, France. Marseille is slated to be the 2024 Olympic Sailing venue for the Paris Olympics and we were both really excited to see what this venue is all about and Marseille definitely let us know! During our stay in Marseille, we observed the incredibly windy, 30 – 50 knot, Mistral, twice, as well as numerous days of absolutely no wind! Marseille definitely is a venue of polar opposites. Overall, we were able to get 4 days of coaching racing and 2 days of training in and we came away feeling very confident about our speed, boat handling and sailing strategy. We feel ready and confident! Box checked!

This block of training gave us the opportunity to invent our own language. One of the most important parts of double- handed sailing is communication. Communication creates understanding, understanding creates confidence and confidence is the key to success on the race course. A common vocabulary and shared set of beliefs glue a team together and that is what inventing our own language is all about. These final sailing days in Europe were great for finalizing what our racing language will be at the 49er World Championships and really start to build our confidence and momentum going into Oman.

The 2021 49er World Championships begin in 22 days! Our bags are packed, our tickets are booked and our equipment is set to arrive at the end of this week! We have been training all year for this opportunity to race on the 49er world stage and we look forward to the challenges that this championship will present and look forward to facing them head on! Next Stop, Oman!

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 Irish Olympic Sailing Team, specifically the Irish 49er Sailing Team, for all the logistical help and support and for generously allowing us to train from their Olympic Training Center! We had an awesome time and can’t wait to come back to train again in the future! Thank you! We would also like to thank the organizing committee in Marseille, France for welcoming us to the 2024 Olympic Sailing Venue and giving us a taste of what it will be like to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games! Thank you! We would like to thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation, specifically Bam Miller and Yevgeniy Burmatnov, for all the generous help and support while we have been training abroad! 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 your continued generous support and belief in us, our goals and dream! Thank you so much!

We arrive in Oman on Oct. 28th and plan to start training on November 1st for our final lead up to the 2021 49er Worlds Championships which begin on November 16th! Stay tune for more updates and photos! both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken, #49erUSSkiffSquad and @us49ersquad!

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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 Windmark Sailing Foundation, specifically Bam Miller and Yevgeniy Burmatnov, 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
Windmark Foundation

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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 like to thank the Windmark Sailing Foundation, specifically Bam Miller and Yevgeniy Burmatnov, for all the generous help and support to get us racing in Bristol, RI! 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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