WORLD CLASS ATTITUDE
“Kaizen” is the Japanese word that represents constant improvement and learning. A singular word that encapsulates a complex series of actions.
First you start with humility. To focus on improvement you must admit “I have more to learn.”
The second act of improvement is analysis, or self reflection. “What areas do I want to explore?”
After this discovery, the third act is planning and execution. Other words for this might be trial and error. Failure and success. Learning lessons. Team coach Rosie Chapman at Youth Worlds said it best, “Fail first. Fail again. Fail better.”
Then the cycle repeats.
To prepare ourselves for the 48th edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships, which hosted 382 sailors from 66 nations, racing a grand total of 265 boats across nine disciplines, “kaizen” was our team mantra. Daily we pursued this philosophy. And we are all better for it.
OUR SILVER MEDALISTS
The story in short is that going into the ISAF qualifiers two years ago these girls were adversaries. Both skippers at the time, Berta eked out a win against Bella and went to Sanya, China in 2017.
This year, these girls joined forces. Bella took on a new challenge and moved to the wire, armed with her tactical skill and skipper’s sensibility, she checked her ego and unflinchingly shouldered the duties and physical demands of the crew’s role. Berta brought forth the wisdom of her experience in the previous worlds and her natural talent in the skiff.
Fast forward: These girls become teammates. And as such they are fierce competitors. Going into this event I knew they were in a position to win a medal. And we structured our campaign to put them in the best situation to do so. At the event we focused on keeping things simple, racing clean, and sailing fast as hell.
All week during competition these girls handled the stress of the 5 day event with style and grace. They supported each other as friends and teammates, they giggled and laughed, they didn’t sweat the small stuff, they focused on the positives, and hit the race course with a fury and passion that lit the water on fire.
I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished for themselves and for our country. The example they display to our growing 29er class and youth sailors, especially female athletes will have a rippling effect throughout the country. Hard work pays off. Dedication and sacrifice are rewarded. Success is part of the plan.
These two are world class and this year it earned them two silver medals.
Representing the USA from New England in the boys 29er fleet, Nick and Charlie brought forth a world class effort and battled against tough competition in Texas.
The score sheet doesn’t paint the full picture of their effort this week. This may seem obvious, but there are 100 other decisions and even more actions that unfold before the finish line.
During times of adversity we are stripped to the core of our character. And an event like this is like open heart surgery and these dudes continued to climb back on the horse leading with positivity and joy to rig up and do what it is they do best.
Throughout the week, I watched Charlie cheer for Nick on every spinnaker hoist and douse as they pulled off the smoothest gate roundings in the fleet. Nick’s endurance exemplified the merits of his fitness program. And together they strengthened the bonds of our entire team at meals and downtime with their antics.
Perhaps the most courageous thing I witnessed is how they set aside their own struggles to support the girls on and off the water. Always keeping it “world class” these boys personified teamwork. Talent wins games, team work wins championships.