Squad Update

LAYING A FOUNDATION – We have been working hard. And that hard work is paying off!

The 29er squad in Miami is gaining momentum and turning the heads of many sailors across the Bay and our region. Our core group of sailors has expanded from our original baker’s dozen to 14, a complete set of 7 boats. And three out of the seven boats are full female teams, something I’m extremely proud of.

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All our athletes have rallied in spite of the challenges of the skiff and new dynamics of high performance / apparent wind sailing over the past few months and we’ve turned a corner.

Much of September was spent tuning. After lots of swimming and laps up to Bear Cut and back we have found the right pace and tone for our entire group to get the most out of their practice hours. Fitness is a critical aspect of the skiff sailor’s arsenal. We have been working on explosive strength and agility, running ladders and jumping rope in the breezeway of the US Sailing Center before hitting the water.

Every weekend in October was shredtastic. I don’t think we had a practice day in less than 15 knot conditions. After 4 weeks of breeze and big chop we can now handle anything. Finding balance and smoothness through transition was the biggest challenge, but now we’ve got all boats competent and confident in boat handling.

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OPEN DOORS  – We have invited sailors from the Optimist,  i420 and club 420 classes and introduce them to skiff sailing.  Our friends from Antigua spent some time training with us this season to prepare for ISAF Youth Worlds in New Zealand next month. We helped host a US Sailing Try-It-Out Clinic at Key Biscayne Yacht Club at the beginning of the month, while joining forces with a superstar cadre of Miami’s sailing elite with windsurf boards, Nacra 15s, and i420s to share our platform with 15 youth racers . (Scuttlebutt write up here. And if you want one of these at your club, contact our coach.)

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NAPLES CUPDATE -Reflecting on this regatta I think we got a dose of the world outside the bubble of practice, where we’re plagued by the constant onslaught of challenges in the boat (equipment, changes in breeze, bad decisions, bad situations, RC bs, fatigue). All good things. Our team put together an excellent weekend of sailboat racing in the flat and calm conditions of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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The mission of this event was twofold 1) get in front of our regional sailing community and show them how badass the skiff is and 2) use a regional regatta to evaluate our team’s skill development. Success across the board. While our own crew of 6 boats didn’t finish first or last at Naples (places 2-7) the Naples weekend lest something to be desired.
Our friends Harry Melges IV and Finn Rowe put an excellent regatta together. Freed from their layers and the bitter cold of winter in Wisconsin, these two gave our team something to strive toward after putting up three bullets and two deuces.
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And to the first point, success! This nearly 300 participant regatta was great to be a part of and we look forward to Naples next year. Thanks to the hosts for adding us to the line up, and sorry to the lasers we passed upwind.
If you want more information about 29er opportunities and our road map, as well as 2017 schedule of events stay tuned. More information coming to the website this week.

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