This is the final flash from Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Tough regatta overall. When the best fleet of 60 in the world races, there’s gonna be limited space and opportunity.
Goals for the regatta were improving the starting percentage and consistently passing boats after the windward mark.
Though I made a few positive technique tweaks to the starting, the percentage was 6/10. On the 4 subpar starts, my choice for location did not fit the wind and wave condition.
Passing boats after the windward mark was extremely difficult. Our courses for the whole competition were windward leeward courses with 2 laps. This meant that there was very little separation within the fleet. I lost boats on almost every downwind, which did me no favors for setting up the rest of the race.
8 of the 10 races were in physically demanding conditions above 12 knots. My gas tank was not there to keep driving the boat as fast as needed while making tactical decisions with the fleet and wind. Raw speed and the mental clarity to seize opportunities were just not there.
Training fatigue and racing fatigue are not the same. Training happens in much shorter bursts than racing with fewer decisions to make. So the summer training will include longer continuous drills in a more physically demanding manner. Both Chris Barnard and myself need to add resilience to our racing in 12+ knots. Gym changes will include adding some endurance training on the rowing erg and monitoring heart rate on and off the water.
Starting now, there’s plenty of time to shore up this weakness prior to the Worlds in September and our plan with Coach Dold includes specific training with minimal racing in the interim.
The good news here is that my result in Palma qualifies me for the 2018 Sailing World Cup series. The first of these events is in October 2017 in Japan, three weeks after the Worlds ends.
The near term plans include some coaching of younger sailors and May training in Long Beach. The Laser class just approved a carbon fiber top mast section, so we will be getting to know how it affects the boat.
Thank you all for reading! Onward and upward with the training.