Sail Newport proved again to be an awesome host as Max and I offer our 2013 Brooke Gonzalez Clinic Wrap Up from Newport, RI.
Driving my brand new 2013 Chevrolet Silverado pickup (provided by Serpentini Chevrolet) and trailer to Newport by myself was an experience in itself, but Sail Newport made the trip well worth the time and money to attend the 2013 Brooke Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic. The clinic featured almost 200 of the top youth sailors in the USA and focused on advanced racing and tactical skills for each class.
The Multihull class (sailed in the US Sailing Development class of F16) was an excellent opportunity for Max and I to get on the water and begin working out our strategy for the US Sailing Youth Championships this August. Since this is only the second time we have been on the boat together, we clearly recognize our need to improve teamwork and movement on the boat and this clinic offered many hours on the water to get us ahead of our planned development for this summer.
The clinic started with an educational session as we helped to introduce the F16 to the East Coast sailors, where the class is in the infancy stage of development. It was well received and everyone at the clinic (both in the class and others) were impressed with the boats and the speed they deliver. We were in the middle of a weather front which provided for heavy winds and so we worked on positioning and movement across the boat while ashore on Thursday.
Friday proved a little lighter and so we got out on the water. Everyone in the class had an opportunity to prove their ability to right a catamaran (since we all flipped in the gusty breeze) and Max and I blew out our mainsail, forcing us to drift ashore to hoist yet another new sail (sporting sail number 213 in these photos). That reminds me that I have to get new graphics for the new mainsail…
Back on the water, Max and I both took the opportunity to try several new moves as we worked out our timing through tacks and jibes, and as you can imagine these timing differences created some rather amusing situations (for everyone watching). Through the event, we were able to get our timing much more in synch and proved to both of us that working together through the summer we will definately have a shot at taking the Youth Champion title in Texas.
Sail Newport gave us ample time on the water and a ton of debrief each evening. The coaches helped with specific teamwork related items in group discussions and one-on-one conversations while ashore. The entire fleet of F16’s learned a lot and I know that right now there are a ton of youth sailors talking about the opportunity to switch to multihulls!
Many of the high-performance staff from US Sailing came to talk about the Olympic Pathways, and I could see that many of the sailors at this event have inklings of a campaign in their futures. The US Sailing Team staff talked about the importance of influencing sailors early in their competitive sailing careers and how we can be an inspiration to the generation of sailors coming up behind us as we strive to be the best in our sport.
The 2013 Brooke Gonzalez clinic ended with a series of races. At the end of the day, we sailed 5 races where we took 2 bullets, 2 seconds and a third (after flipping at the weather mark). Obviously it is not what we wanted (taking 2nd overall) but our primary focus is on getting ready to be able to execute our plan flawlessly in August so all in all we had a tremendous week to start our training for the US Sailing Youth Championship regatta this coming August. I am sure you will see more on our development over the summer!
If you are thinking of sailing a catamaran, I highly recommend it. Sailing these boats have proven to be the most fun I have ever had on the water and I can’t wait to get on the water every day. Call me and I would love to set up a time to take ANYONE out so show you how much fun apparent wind sailing is!
Thanks to Sail Newport, to the Lane family (for housing us), the coaches and specifically Ken Legler for providing the great images of us sailing in Rhode Island this summer at the 2013 Brooke Gonzalez Clinic!