Following the ISAF World Sailing Cup regatta in Miami, where I finished the 4th American and missed my goal by 1 point, I had to look at my goals and schedule for the summer to determine the best course of action.
Finishing 1 point behind where I needed to be was upsetting, but all things considered I was thrilled with where I was. Sailing with a new partner who had only been on the boat for 7 days leading up to the regatta, having to deal with a major theft of sails and equipment on the first morning of the regatta and facing challenging conditions that did not let us race on two days of the regatta and still ending up only 1 point off our target is actually pretty good!
Sailing with Steph Hudson was an amazing experience. Her focus, dedication and clarity from the first day she got onto the boat was amazing and she picked up on some of the complexity of the helm much more quickly than others I have seen over the past year. Her ability to communicate and facilitate positive decision making on the water in crowded beats was tremendous. Our ability to coordinate our teamwork and communications quickly are a big reason we ended up as high in the results we did.
Since Steph Hudson was only a temporary partner for training and the Miami regatta, I needed to reevaulate my schedule and training plans following the regatta. Originally I was to be in Europe all of March and April sailing with some of the top sailors in the class and training with one of the best coaches on the globe, but it did not make sense to spend the money or time to sail in those conditions and with the training partners when I would just be starting off on the boat with a new partner. So I decided to stay home to focus on planning, boat maintenance, working out and training. Since I had qualified for the 4th USA berth at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Spain this coming September, an event where the first 1/2 of the Olympic berths will be awarded (the top 12 Nations will secure their positions in Rio), it will be a highly competitive event and will be the single most important regatta for most athletes this year.
So, new goal = Santander, ESP in September! Objective, securing the USA berth for Rio 2016. Path to make it happen, train in US waters through the spring and summer with a specific focus on solid teamwork, communication and tactical maneuvers in crowded and aggressive waters. With this in place, our expense structure for 2014 has changed dramatically. As you know, training and competing overseas is expensive and makes up the majority of our annual budget. So the less we travel to Europe, the less money we need to raise (for this year) and the more time we can spend on the water perfecting our skills in small groups. We are training in Miami this spring and will move our training to Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, New York for the summer!
Going to Spain will not be cheap. We need to charter a boat, which will cost about $10,000, pay for a hotel, coach, food and airfare (not to mention registration and required insurance for the event) All told we need just under $40,000 to train and then compete in Spain this coming September. Good news is that because we are not buying any equipment for this regatta, we can capitalize on our relationship with the Sailing Foundation of New York (SFNY) so that all contributions can be made tax-deductible through the 501c-3 not-for-profit. Can you help us win at the ISAF World Sailing Championships?
A Couple of our partners have made it a little more interesting by providing donors with branded “gifts” for individuals that donate at certain levels:
$250 contributors will receive a branded baseball cap…the same ones we will be wearing while we train and compete in Spain! The first 100 donors who give $250 or more will receive a limited edition cap to show our appreciation!
$500 contributors will be given a limited edition long-sleeve technical t-shirt that provides both UV and abrasion protection while you are sailing, working in the year or just sitting in the clubhouse. Since this is branded with our logo, everyone at the club will know that you are an important part in our efforts to win Gold in Rio 2016!
$1,000 contributors receive a coveted team jacket. These jackets are only provided to us athletes and sport our logo, name and our corporate supporters. The first 10 individuals who contribute $1,000 or more to get us to Santander, Spain will receive one of the same jackets we proudly wear when the weather gets a bit cooler or wet than we are used to!
Please help us to train and win at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Spain this September by clicking that link and donating ANY AMOUNT. Your support of even $25 will help go a long way towards getting us to our goal and make sure that the USA has one of the first Olympic berths awarded for the Rio Games in 2016! ISAF World Sailing Championships are being sailed in September 2014 in Spain.