Qualifying for the US Sailing Development team this year has energized my enthusiasm and motivated me to pick-up my game in all areas. One of the biggest changes to my training program is the addition of the Nation’s most advanced training camps and those all start with the 2013 CISA Advanced Racing Clinic.
As I write this, I am 1/2 way through the clinic and being late at night (it is scheduled to publish while I am on the water), I can tell you that the training has proven to be exhausting. I had become somewhat complacent in my training, getting on the water at 12:30 or 1 and being done well before the sun gets down. That is not the case here in Long Beach, California!
Our days start at 7am with breakfast and leaving the home of our host family, at the club by 8 to rig, and be ready for a grueling workout provided by Annapolis Sailing Fitness (more on that later, but wow). The coaching staff for the Multi’s have us first out on the water and last in, which provides for a tremendous amount of time on the water receiving truly individualized instruction! And what an experience to be coached by a group of Olympic sailors and coaches that are top in their classes.
The opportunity to receive input and have Olympic sailors hop on the boat and share techniques that have moved them to the top of their class, and then to have them sail with me to make sure I see, feel and move as they are explaining. Well, I can tell you that I have seen huge gains in boatspeed for the conditions we are sailing in. This is only possible with the influence of top athletes sharing the “secrets” of their class and helping to apply them to the multihull!
After getting the boats put away for the night, we then have a great dinner and then a couple of hours of debrief with video, charting group discussion and amazing feedback from the entire group about what we are doing and how we can all improve individually and as a group! Again, it is unique when the entire yacht club is filled with sailors that are focused on one thing…becoming the best in their class. Yet everyone is openly sharing their thoughts, concerns and advice openly.
This open sharing of ideas and speed enhancing techniques is a direct result of the mandate from the US Sailing Team High Performance Director, Charlie McKee for all classes to openly share and practice as a team and to raise the bar of competitive sailing as a group, letting the entire group of sailors compete at a much higher level at the US Olympic Trials and thus making a stronger Olympic team for 2016! It has clearly produced a marked change in sailing at this level already.
By the way, we don’t wrap up for the day until 9pm! Long days but they are awesome!
So I am basically saying that I am having a great time in California and that I am learning way more than I thought, but I am exhausted! Leandro Spina talked to us about the Olympic Pathway for youth sailors, and how critical it is for us to be at these events throughout the year. I can tell you that I am already looking forward to the upcoming events in Long Island and Newport this summer and am excited to learn that there are fall events that will soon be announced (hopefully a bit closer to my winter training grounds of Miami).
If you have the opportunity to apply to sail at CISA or at the Brooke E. Gonzalez clinic I strongly recommend it. Nothing better than sailing with a great group of competitive sailors and receive the highest level of coaching that is available anywhere!