The Lake Garda of the West

736 miles and 11.5 hrs of driving later…, we have made it to skiff mecca, the Columbia River Gorge for our 3rd camp of the summer!

We are looking to spend the next 2.5 weeks here in Cascade Locks, Oregon and once again take advantage of some of the best conditions that the United States West Coast can offer. Great breeze, fresh water and beautiful views!

Why do this?

  • The Gorge is known for its beautiful venues, fresh water and epic skiff conditions, which will continue to keep the learning curve high and allow the group to push hard in challenging conditions
  • Easy and quick access to the sailing venue will allow for multiple session days; keeping the feedback loop tight and the energy high
  • We are once again! able to get some great coaching support for the US Squad from Skiff Master and Cascade Locks Guru Charlie Mckee!

Another big benefit to our 3rd camp is our ability to stay together safety, which is facilitated by camping at Marine Park, right next to the venue! De-briefs around the camp fire are going to be a nice change of pace from our previous camps.

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

Boat-handling:

  • Stability and balance out of gybes: quick transitions back to racing mode, kite control, and smooth body weight movements in the second half of the gybe
  • Settling time and driving into tacks: minimizing the necessary time to get ready for a tack, working on the correct entry angle and boat speed
  • Windward mark Roundings: working to transition from “full boat speed mode” to “bare-away mode” quickly and efficiently
  • Leeward mark Roundings: consistent rate of turn in gybe-douses, smooth movement across the boat, clean douses and control of gybe 

Boat Speed:

  • Focusing on finding the proper tuning quickly: falling into the groove as fast as possible
  • Putting ourselves in more “compromised lanes”: learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable
  • Improving communication on VMG Gain/Loss when other boats are difficult to view

Starting/Short Course Racing:

  • Specific starting practice work: holding and defending positioning and acceleration, time and distance to build confidence in our speed when we cross the line at go
  • Racing situations: working on racing comms, decision making and strategy planning

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 Columbia River Gorge Racing Association and their members and staff for all the generosity in allowing our squad to come train out of their facility and to the US Skiff Advisory Council, US Sailing Team and US Sailing Development Team for providing all of the specific help and support, which allow us to continue to train this summer!

Can’t wait to get sailing over the next couple weeks and really put in the hours here at the Gorge. Stay tune for more updates and photos! throughout the next couple weeks both on facebook, @barrowshenkenracing, and on instagram, @hanshenken and @49erUSSkiffSquad.

Dronestagram: http://www.dronestagr.am/
Salty Brother Films : https://www.saltybrother.com/
Salty Brother Films : https://www.saltybrother.com/
Salty Brother Films : https://www.saltybrother.com/
Windmark Foundation

Santa Cruz Done and Dusted!

Mantra 2. Go for the Gap : When you’re on top of your game, change your game.”  – All Blacks

Our camp by the numbers:

  • 13 Days
  • 280 Miles
  • 30.73 Hours
  • 780 Racing Tacks completed
  • 390 Racing Gybes completed
  • Top Speed hit: 21.53 knots
  • Epic Wipe Outs: 3

After 2.5 weeks of some amazing sailing in Santa Cruz, California, our 2nd 49er training camp of the summer is in the books! We came to Santa Cruz in hope of getting some epic conditions, and even though it wasn’t firing everyday, Santa Cruz still delivered a couple classic days of 20+ knots and plenty of swell to match!

Santa Cruz gave us the opportunity to Go for the Gap. We finally had the conditions to challenge ourselves, find out what our strengths and weaknesses are as a team and really push the envelope of what is possible in speed, boat-handling and tactical situations for the first time. There is nothing quite like pushing to the limit and keeping it there for as long as you dare! Everyday, we looked for ways to self-improve from the day before and pushed to never becoming complacent.

During this camp, we centered our focus on learning how to maneuver in sync with each other and the conditions. Having three boats on the water at the same time really increased the level of training and really pushed us to develop our game quickly in order to keep up with the other teams!

Once again, the learning curve has been steep!! and it has been fun learning from each other and seeing the gains and confidence increase from day to day. Up next, we are looking to send it up to skiff mecca, the legendary Gorge! We will be looking to getting back on the water in about a weeks time in Cascade Locks, Oregon and take on some more of some big breeze training!

We would like to give a big thank you to Santa Cruz Yacht Club for hosting us for the last two and a half weeks. We truly appreciate all the help and support and how open and welcoming Santa Cruz Yacht Club 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 soon! Thank you to “Big Wave” Dave Liebenberg for coaching our squad and providing great insight and expertise on our sailing! As well, we would like to thank Trevor and Mara Baylis, and Quinn Wilson for coming out, chasing us around, taking some great shots of our sessions, providing some much needed help in terms of boat repairs, world class advice and some of the most excellent post and pre sailing snacks and desserts! Thank you! Finally, we would like to thank Morgan Larson, Greg Haws, and Peter Phelan for pulling all the last minute logistics together to help make this camp possible for us to put in some quality hours on the water with the US 49er Squad. Can’t wait to come back again!

Photo: Mara Baylis @mara.baylis
Photo: Mara Baylis @mara.baylis
Photo: Mara Baylis @mara.baylis
Photo: Mara Baylis @mara.baylis
Photo: Mara Baylis @mara.baylis
Windmark Foundation

Road Trip to Santa Cruz

After 580 miles and 9.5 hrs with our new trailer, we have made it to windy and wavy Santa Cruz, California for our 2nd camp of the summer!

We are looking to spend the next 2.5 weeks here in Santa Cruz and take advantage of some of the best conditions that the California coast can offer during the summer. Big waves, good breezy and bright blue skies!

Why do this?

  • A change of venue gives us the opportunity to challenge our team in new and fresh conditions which will continue to keep the learning curve steep and fast!
  • We are able to get some great coaching support from Dave Liebenberg aka Big Wave Dave and Local Legend Trevor Baylis!

Another big benefit to our 2nd camp is the addition of a 3rd team! Harry and Finn have finally been able to safely make their way out to the California Coast and have helped to bring the 49er Skiff Squad back into full force!

Here are a few things we are looking to work on while in Santa Cruz:

  • Timing of body weight and rate of turn with tacks, gybes, bare-aways, and douses in wavy and windy conditions
  • Straight line tuning with a 3 boat squad: dial in our technique and rig progression
  • Continue working on communication and building our unique team style on and off the water!

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 Santa Cruz Yacht Club and their members and staff for all the generosity in allowing our squad to come train out of their facility, to the US Sailing Team for providing the team 49er and team coach boat for us to train on and with, to Treasure Island Sailing Center for helping us pick up our 49er, to the Baab Family for hosting us at their beautiful home and Morgan Larson and Peter Phelan for helping pull together the final logistical pieces on the ground in Santa Cruz!

Can’t wait to get sailing over the next couple weeks and really start to test our abilities 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

Cali Training Camp 1 – MBYC

Mantra 1. Sweep the Sheds : “Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done.”  – All Blacks

Our camp by the numbers:

  • 10 Days
  • 170.15 Miles
  • 22.16 Hours
  • 370 Racing Tacks completed
  • 210 Racing Gybes completed
  • Top Speed hit: 17.01 knots

After two weeks of some great sailing in sunny San Diego, our first 49er training camp of the summer is in the books. Even though it was light and lumpy for the majority of the days on the water, we took advantage of Mission Bay’s easy access to the ocean to go put into practice the little things and really work to get them right. No task too small to complete; no technique too simple to work on. It is easy to train and have fun ripping around in epic conditions day in and day out, but when its light and beginning to feel like groundhog day out on the water, being able to keep your focus centered on the task at hand is where the gains are made on the race course later on.

For us as a team, we centered our focus on learning each others individual sailing styles. Since we both have a fair amount of 49er experience, but from sailing with different partners, it has been fun and interesting to discuss how we used to do things, and how we want to merge them in order to do them now. Throughout the camp there has been plenty of “wow, that’s a new one, where did you learn that”, and “I like your way of doing that, let’s keep rolling with it.” The learning curve is steep and its been fun learning from each other and seeing the gains and confidence increase from day to day. We are looking forward to getting back on the water in about a weeks time in Santa Cruz!

We would like to give a big thank you to Mission Bay Yacht Club for hosting us for the last two weeks. We truly appreciate all the help and how open and welcoming Mission Bay has been to allowing us to come train and chase Nevin and Dane around the bay. As well, we would like to thank Giselle Nyenhuis for coming out, chasing us around and taking some great shots of our sessions. Thank you! Finally, we want to give a shout out to Noah and Ian Nyenhuis for stepping up to the 49er and putting in some quality hours on the water with the US 49er Squad. Can’t wait to see the boys on the race course!

Images by Giselle Nyenhuis www.imagesbygiselle.com
Images by Giselle Nyenhuis www.imagesbygiselle.com
Images by Giselle Nyenhuis www.imagesbygiselle.com
Windmark Foundation

49er Road Trailer Complete!

After about of month and a half of design and modification work, the new 49er road trailer is complete and ready for our trips around the United States!

We would like to give a Big Thank You to the teams at Inland Empire Trailers and Chingon Custom Metal Fabrication for helping us to modify and complete our new 49er trailer! This new trailer was designed to transport two 49ers on a custom aluminum frame with three custom steel boxes underneath to help with storing and transporting all of our remaining gear! We look forward to being able to conveniently travel around the United States and transport our boats to and from training camps and events!


Sponsors and Partners

Windmark Foundation

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Back in the 49er, Back on the Water; Training Camp – MBYC

Starting off the campaign right by training out in the ocean from Mission Bay Yacht Club.

And we are off! We have begun our first 49er training session of our campaign from Mission Bay Yacht Club and have been sparring with Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson, as we both prepare for the remainder of the 2020 Season. Ian and I are very fortunate to be able to begin training during these very difficult times through the generosity of Mission Bay Yacht Club and the support of Nevin and Dane. Thank you!

Our Training Goals for the Camp?

  • Learning each others unique sailing styles through specific communication
  • Working to understand the our new roles as a team and begin to develop our own combine style through the basics of maneuvering, straight line speed work and balance.

The conditions here in San Deigo have been more than challenging for our first couple days on the water. Even though there has only been 4 to 7 knots of wind, the medium to large swell has provided an excellent environment for quick learning. The feedback loop is small and mistakes made are obvious, making for a steep! learning curve… we have been stoked with the progress we have made over just a few short days.

Specific Steps for the Rest of the Camp:

  • Learning to build and maintain apparent wind both up and downwind
  • Continue to sync up the rate of turn of maneuvers with the change of body weight
  • Continue to refine our communication both in speed, maneuvers and tactical situations.

We will continue to train out of Mission Bay Yacht Club with Nevin and Dane through the end of June which would conclude a great 2+ week camp out of San Diego. Next up will be a week off for the 4th of July before we look to head to Santa Cruz for the next block of training!


Sponsors and Partners

Windmark Foundation

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